New workshop series graduates climate champs

From a Cool Hood Champs trainers workshop held in spring. photo supplied

Last Tuesday, eight Tri-Cities residents wrapped up their last workshop at Poirier rec centre. If all goes according to plan, the fateful eight will go on to serve as community climate champions.

Initially a UBC initiative, the Cool Hood Champs program was brought to the Tri-Cities by Josephine Tsen, the Rotary Club of Coquitlam director for Youth Services and Environment.

The program consist of three three-hour workshops with one goal.


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“The whole idea was to try to steer them to some kind of a climate action plan,” Tsen explained.

The program begins with a neighbourhood walk, Participants are invited to survey areas in the community and judge the relative biodiversity, tree canopy, the permeability of the land, and energy-saving infrastructure. After that, they’re tasked with thinking of something that would make the area better.

“They just have to start somewhere,” Tsen said.

Participants search the city for places to improve. photo supplied

Ideas have ranged from a neighbourhood tool-sharing club to nature appreciation sessions. However, many of the more ambitious ideas require neighbourhood help.

So, how does a graduate get their street or strata to help with their climate action plan?

“Block parties are a fantastic way,” Tsen said.

It’s not the beginning of a conversation, but it allows for a conversation to begin. After faces become names and names become friends, neighbours are more likely help clean up trash or to assist with a boulevard garden project, Tsen explained.

Two more workshop series are scheduled for this fall.

The program is offered free of charge.


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