Welcome A message from the Executive Director!


Welcome to Ecosource's 2013-2014 Annual Report! We've had an exciting year. We made the big move after 30 years at the same address to get one step closer to our dream of creating a Sustainability Education Centre in Mississauga. We're pleased to offer our first ever on-site education at our Streetsville location to students, teachers and community members! Every year, we engage an ever-expanding number of students and community members on the ground, through classroom and outdoor education, food growing, stewardship and opportunities to network and build community. We're focused on the big picture too, and what it means for our collective future. Will we have an engaged citizenship that will ensure we have: An active and sustainable transportation system that even young people have access to, and that will help keep our air clean? A thriving rural and urban lands for local agriculture to grant us food security? An understanding of the life cycle of products and how to consume wisely to protect valuable resources? We think the answer is YES! The ability for us to reach this vision is in large part due to the collaboration of our community partners and support of our funders and individual donors. Thank you for your care as we work towards this collective vision for a healthier, smarter, greener community. I invite you to read below and watch our 2013-2014 video to see all the ways your support is translating to action through Ecosource programs! - Stephanie Crocker, Ecosource Executive Director

PEYA A network of over 700 action-oriented students in Peel Region concerned about environmental issues and determined to make positive change!
"An educational yet entertaining experience with a healthy amount of competition. Definitely memorable" - Amazing Green Race Participant
The Peel Environmental Youth Alliance (PEYA) is a youth-initiated organization guided by a student Executive Committee and supported by Ecosource. PEYA assists students and teachers in creating sustained environmental change in schools and is a catalyst for youth participation in environmental policy-making. This year PEYA hosted monthly meetings providing networking, leadership and skill-building opportunities for Peel youth, and organized 3 major events: Annual Region-Wide Stewardship Day 337 students and teachers joined forces from all across Peel to restore habitats, plant native trees and shrubs, and learn about local ecosystems in 6 stewardship sites. Annual EcoBuzz Conference 200 students and teachers braved the season's biggest snow storm to attend EcoBuzz at Fletcher's Meadow Secondary School to learn about food security, waste reduction, eco-monitoring, sustainable transportation and much more. Amazing Green Race 190 students and teachers engaged raced across the Peel Region using active and sustainable multi-modal transportation while learning about ecosystems, stewardship, waste reduction and sustainable transportation. This second annual event is instrumental in making the ties between Peel's youth population and Ontario's sustainable transportation policy and initiatives.

Teacher ED Offering teachers the support and resources needed to increase sustainability practices in Peel Region schools.
"Excellent course - thank you for the wonderful ideas, suggestions and the great funding as well. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!" - Course Participant
Through professional development activities, courses, and forums, our teacher education programming focused on building capacity and knowledge for the integration of environmental action and education into teaching and school practices. This year, 24 educators graduated from the Ecosource-York University Certificate Course: Approaches to Educating for Sustainability, representing 13 school communities. Each teaching team implemented a successful environmentally-focused school campaign. Motivated by diverse issues, the campaigns included: creating a school-wide outdoor learning resource; hosting a community education event; growing classroom plants; planting a multicultural food garden in a community garden plot; creating a community recycling centre; and more. Over 7,000 people participated, learned, or were impacted in their schools by these initiatives! Our Trailblazers Online Newsletter, a comprehensive environmental education directory highlighting environmental teaching resources, techniques, events, and opportunities from the Trailblazers community was distributed over 3,900 times to educators and community partners across Peel Region.

Waste Reduction Reducing waste and greening school culture through hands-on workshops, school-wide action campaigns, and proactive waste reduction programs!
"Knowledge of presenter passed on to students was tremendous, made concepts come to life with visuals and dramatization. Thank you." - Teacher, Mary Fix School
Our school-based waste reduction programs engaged over 40,000 students, teachers, and school community members in fun, impactful learning opportunities focused on local and contemporary waste issues! From the environmental costs of food waste to the destructive lifecycle of electronic waste, our Elementary and Secondary Waste Reduction Workshops engaged students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 in examining waste issues in creative, thought-provoking ways. Curriculum-linked workshops reached 15,889 students and 683 teachers across Mississauga, helping them make informed decisions to reduce waste. Our Green Schools and WasteWatchers Programs invited 11 dedicated schools to partner with Ecosource to address waste issues and foster school-wide cultures of environmental citizenship through student-led action. 9,372 students and staff participated in waste reduction initiatives. Together, these schools packed 11,614 wasteless lunches and reduced overall waste by 29%! Additionally, partnering with the City of Mississauga's Green Chair Program, providing Whole-School Waste Campaign Kits to Peel schools, and presenting educational waste reduction assemblies to high school students inspired and educated over 18,940 school community members to make positive changes in school!

Local Food in Schools Delivering education to students and school board staff on food systems and putting this learning into action by purchasing more local food in school cafeterias.
"It is extremely rewarding to know that this project will provide our students with new educational opportunities and more affordable food options. ...I appreciate the collaboration in support of the positive actions we have accomplished." - Jennifer Milne, Manager of Purchasing DDSB
Ecosource partnered with the Durham District School board and their cafeteria service provider, Chartwells (a division of Compass Canada), to deliver the Cafeteria Connects: Bringing Ontario Foods to Secondary School Cafeterias project which aims to provide food system education and opportunities to support local agriculture in Durham secondary schools. The project's multi-stakeholder Strategy Committee created a the first-ever vision statement for their school board's food system emphasizing the need for more nutritious, appealing, and affordable food options, support for Ontario agriculture, and consideration of our food choices' environmental impact. Harvest Days presented in the cafeteria for both students and staff celebrated an array of in-season Ontario products including apples and cranberries, butternut squash, turkey, mushrooms, asparagus, maple syrup and tofu. Recipe cards featuring Ontario farmers accompanied these delicious menu items. Workshops were delivered to 120 aspiring young chefs in hospitality classes to increase skills on cooking with local ingredients and knowledge of the food system. "The Big 6" purchasing strategy was established to ensure that carrots, apples, mushrooms, cooking onions, greenhouse red peppers, and greenhouse cucumbers ordered for the school board will consistently be sourced from Ontario farms.

Urban Agriculture & Gardens Increasing access to fresh, healthy local food and sustainable food growing education across the city.
"Harvesting is one of my favourite things to do in the garden. After days of planting, weeding, and watering, it's nice to see the plant at its full potential and all the work paid off. It's interesting seeing them grow each week. - Program Participant
The 2013 growing season saw over 2,000 participants, who contributed over 3,400 volunteer hours and harvested 1,000 garlic bulbs. The popular Growing for our Good series returned, engaging community members in regular food growing education and was celebrated with a new video. The Enersource Community Engagement Series welcomed volunteers and community members in building new learning plots at the Parkway Green Generation Garden. Through our work with the Eden Community Food Bank, we supported the Colonial/Collegeway residents who started a new community garden. We finished the season by helping fundraise with a delicious Colonial Garden Jerk sauce, a very 'hot commodity', that sold out 150+ bottles, fundraising $700+ for the Colonial Gardeners to continue their work. The 2014 growing season marks the start of our collaboration on new community garden developments with the City of Mississauga, and the new ReRooted in Play program where students and families re-discover outdoor play, healthy bodies, and healthy ecosystems at community gardens across Mississauga. We partnered with Stephen Lewis Secondary School and Applewood Secondary Schools to turn an underused greenhouse into a space where students learn about urban agriculture and organic gardening while raising seedlings.

Sustainability Education Centre Working to inspire and support community action to improve our environment with a focus on local food systems, waste reduction, water conservation and alternative energy solutions.
"Thanks again for the wonderful opportunity to bring our Green Team to participate in the environmental activities at Ecosource. The students had an amazing time. They are still talking about it and are watching their lettuce grow." - Teacher, St. Leonard Elementary School
The 2013 -2014 program year officially marked the first Ecosource Sustainability Education programming at our new Falconer location in Streetsville, Mississauga! This new on-site education potential was celebrated with our Open House in April 2014. This past year, more than 349 students, teachers, and parent volunteers were engaged in curriculum-linked on-site Learning Labs. More than 100 community members have joined us for pop-up cooking classes and sustainability workshops. Our work on food systems education through this project has included support to the Peel Poverty Reduction Strategy's Food Security Task Force where we collaborate with many community partners to create a Food Charter for Peel Region. In 2014, our Sustainability Education Program partnered with Green Communities Canada to embark on a Depave Paradise Project, where we will work with partners to remove an underutilized paved space and replace it with plants and permeable pavement in order to enhance biodiversity, increase infiltration and reduce storm water runoff in our community.

Financials Thank you to our funders, partners, and donors! Your generous support allows Ecosource to continue creating positive change in the community.



Funders
(2013, Over $1,000)

Region of Peel

Ontario Trillium Foundation

Greenbelt Fund

UPS Foundation

Ontario Sport & Recreation Community Fund

TD Friends of the Environment Foundation

Mountain Equipment Co-Op

Peterborough K.M. Hunter Foundation

Enersource

Green Communities Canada

Sustainability Network

Heart and Stroke Foundation

Tides Canada Foundation

RBC Blue Water Project

ECO Canada

Whole Kids Foundation

Service Canada - Canada Summer Jobs

Whole Foods Square One Market

Community Foundation of Mississauga
Partners


Brampton Transit

City of Mississauga

City of Brampton

Compass-Chartwells

Credit Valley Conservation

Dufferin Peel Catholic D.S.B.

Durham District School Board

Eden Community Food Bank

Evergreen

Ladies First - Colonial Gardeners

MIAG Centre for Diverse Women & Families

MiWay

Peel District School Board

Peel Poverty Reduction Strategy

The Riverwood Conservancy

Sahara Seniors Group

Toronto & Region Conservation Authority

University of Toronto Mississauga

York University

Green Communities Canada
Seeds of Care Donors


Ancel Raymond

Anne Bailey

Babita Mehta

Barbara Michasiw

Bruce Elmore

Chris Yao

Cindy McDonald

Debbie Bigwood

Dianne Brown

Emilia Lisicka

Evelyn Bukiejko

Ireena Haque

Kathryn Stewart

Krysta Do Vale

Lea Ann Mallet

Lee-Anne Bigwood

Mary Bracken

Michelle Argue

Michelle Quinn

Rahul Mehta

Sabu Mehta

Sue Lawton

Tina Chu

Tricia Narisa Mohamed

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