Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury is a growing voice for a sustainable community.
CLS began in 2006, with roughly 30 people and 14 community groups. Over 750 citizens and 34 community groups are now members. We are recognized as a strong and credible voice for a green, healthy, and engaged community. CLS received a Healthy Community Recognition Award in 2010.
One of our first campaigns was to advocate for a citizen panel to create an inventory of Greater Sudbury's green spaces and work towards their protection. The Green Space Advisory Panel came to be in 2008. During their two terms, they protected 154 green spaces (~2500ha). They: created and evaluated an inventory of Greater Sudbury's green spaces; established park classifications; gave citizens a voice when the City considered disposing of a park; and did a gap analysis to find which areas lack in parkland and what opportunities there are to fill those gaps. They created a list of priority sites to protect. Unfortunately, the panel was discontinued in 2014. However, their work continues to be used to protect important green spaces.
Privately owned green spaces are the most challenging to protect. We continue to assist citizens in advocating for the natural areas they love.
We are also on the steering committee of the Wolf Lake Coalition, which is working towards the protection of the largest old growth red pine forest in the world, right here in Greater Sudbury.
In collaboration with the Greater Sudbury Watershed Alliance and other water stewards, we are strong advocates for our lakes, rivers, creeks, and wetlands. Here are some of the results: in 2011, a by-law was put in place to prohibit the use of lawn fertilizers with phosphorus; in 2013 City Council unanimously voted in favour of watershed studies, and in 2015 annual funding was set aside for these studies. In 2016, provincial funding was announced for nine subwatershed studies, which are now underway.
We continue to advocate for policies and decisions that will protect our water.
All of us can take actions to protect our water. In 2013 and 2014, our rain barrels and rain gardens project empowered residents to protect the health of our lakes and waterways. Getting all students involved, we installed two rain gardens at Adamsdale P.S. to store and filter stormwater run-off. We delivered 3000 educational flyers in the Ramsey Lake watershed. We provided 115 affordable (and recycled) rain barrels to residents. We held workshops for residents and for landscape professionals, and shared information with gardeners. We helped build capacity in the community, where more rain gardens are being put in.
Following a CLS campaign, Council enacted an anti-idling by-law in 2012.
We continue to provide input to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change requesting that all of our local mining industry be required to meet current air quality standards.
There is growing public support for safe cycling, better transit, and safe sidewalks and pedestrian crossings. We helped the Sudbury Cyclists Union get started in 2010, and Friends of Sudbury Transit get started in 2011. These groups are important voices for sustainable transportation in our community. We continue to advocate for sustainable transportation for all.
In 2016, we collaborated on Walk Sudbury, choosing and wayfinding 16 walking routes with community volunteers.
There were some big steps forward for sustainable transportation during the 2014-2018 term of Council. Here are some of the things we and others advocated for that were put in place: an Active Transportation Coordinator was hired in 2016 (5 year contract); dedicated annual funding for cycling infrastructure was put in place in 2015; transit wayfinding at the terminal and bus shelters; snow clearing at an additional 100 bus stops and an additional 26km of sidewalks; a Sidewalk Priority Index (to direct work to fill gaps in the sidewalk network); a Transportation Demand Management Plan. A Transit Action Plan, Complete Street Policy and Road Safety Audit are in the works. New cycling and pedestrian infrastructure is being put in place, including many firsts for Greater Sudbury, such as pedestrian crossovers, crossrides (cycling 'crosswalks'), and bike boxes.
CLS formed during the 2006 municipal election. Since then, we have been strong advocates for a sustainable community. We provide information to councillors and City staff, and inform citizens of timely opportunities for public input.
In the 2010 and 2014 municipal elections, we and our partners hosted a Good Green Town Hall for mayoral candidates and surveyed candidates on green issues. In 2014, we also hosted a website so that voters could easily access survey results and candidates' positions on green issues. These efforts helped put green issues like water quality, sustainable transportation, and citizen engagement on the agenda.
We can all make a positive difference where we live. In 2014, we initiated Project Impact. Project Impact supports small community projects with a big impact. People pitch their ideas, people pitch in donations, the community votes, and the projects with the most votes get funded. We have funded 34 grassroots projects so far. Participants make great connections and feel the support of their community for their efforts to make a positive difference.
There are many great green initiatives happening in Greater Sudbury and we can all lend a hand. In 2015, we initiated the Earth Crew to connect people to volunteer opportunities to make a hands-on difference. We have participated in tree plantings, shoreline plantings, community garden clean-ups, farm tours, trail work and more.
Every person has the right to have a voice in their community and in the decisions that impact them. We aim to make it easier for people to have a say. For example, our newsletters and action updates have the information you need to provide input on community issues.
In 2013, we hosted Chez Nous on the Rocks, which provided a forum for people to share their vision for their community in videos and open-mics.
In 2014, we wrapped up the project with Voices Chez Nous. With Myths and Mirrors, we brought local artists together for weekend to create artwork inspired by what Sudburians had to say about their community.
In 2009, kids in the Donovan led us on a tour of their neighbourhood to tell us their favourite spots and their concerns. Some of projects and solutions they shared have since come to be, with the help of Myths and Mirrors and the local Community Action Network.
Art and images can be a great way for people to have a voice in their community. In 2009, we held a photo contest and shared the many great submissions. This led to a collaboration with the poet laureate Richard Nash, who produced an on-line zine of local poetry inspired by the photos.
Greater Sudbury has a wealth of grassroots community groups making a positive difference. As a network, we help connect like-minded groups and facilitate collaborations. As a network, we choose to work in partnership. We are stronger together! We initiated Green Gatherings in 2012, to bring local green groups together every fall and spring. With reThink Green, we host these gatherings every spring and fall to share updates and to work on common objectives.
In 2016, we celebrated 10 years of making a difference! We have been part of a shift in Greater Sudbury. Green issues are now part of the conversation and more and more people are involved in making a difference. We are making the connections. And that is important, because everything is connected.
When we improve transit, bike routes, and walkability we make it easier to get around but we also address equity issues and reduce carbon emissions. When we plant trees and protect green spaces and wetlands, we also protect air and water quality and mitigate climate change. When we support people in making a difference, we build community and resilience. When we make buildings more energy efficient, we make day-to-day costs more affordable and reduce carbon emissions. When we address climate change, we address all green issues, and vice versa.
Join us in making a difference!