Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Anglican Youth Synod: Day of Action. May 04. 2013.

Our day began with a question: What is eco-justice? Youth were invited to draw or write down in words their ideas on large pieces of paper. Everyone got a chance to tell the group what their drawings/thoughts were about.  One youth made the following comment (which I love): 
"Eco-justice is using the environment in a good way. It is allowing the space provided to be used fairly." Amen. 
This exercise was then followed by a powerpoint presentation on eco-justice where I was able to share some examples of Hamilton area environmental justice initiatives—specifically the work Environment Hamilton is doing in the community.
About to begin our work! Say 'weed.'
We then headed over to the Hamilton Victory Gardens  where we worked at the site (one of six gardens and expanding!) for a couple hours, pulling out rye weed that had been planted last year in order to renew the soil. HVG is a non-profit organization dedicated to alleviating poverty and food insecurity in our community of Hamilton, Ontario through urban agriculture. It is completely volunteer run!!! Volunteers grow thousands of pounds of fresh produce for local food banks and hot meal programs, transforming empty city lots into spaces of community, education, and growth.
Digging out rye weed at the Hamilton
 Victory Gardens.
A quick lunch before moving on to the Bike

After a quick lunch, we hopped on the bus and rode down to New Hope Community Bikes.
We learned about the origins of the initiative, starting of as an project  of New Hope Church. Here is their mission statement (which is brilliant by the way):
As a non-profit, social enterprise we seek to get more people on affordable, reliable bicycles and provide employment and job training opportunites for youth. We believe bicycles can help build a healthier, more environmentally friendly community and that everyone should have access to affordable, efficient transportation. We build and restore bikes to a variety of price points and rider specifications, offering everything from cheap winter commuters to unique one of a kind custom bikes. 

Our group then learned from a mere 13 year old—the competent Brett about how to dismantle an old bike to recycle still useful parts (keeping bikes out of landfills is a good thing people).
Here we are at the New Hope Community Bikes

Here's 13 year old Brett, a member of Community Bikes and already a wealth of knowledge!

Some of our team decided that they would rather paint the future home of Community Bikes (conveniently located across the street from the current location) and that's what they did!

Helping with the renovations at the new Community Bike location!

We then returned to the Cathedral where I handed out flyers with links to more eco-justice action and some fun swag to take home.  All in all, a satisfying day!

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