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.
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.