Dear Sustainable Orillia Community-–
As we embrace the warmth and joy of the holiday season, I extend my heartfelt wishes to each of you for a wonderful holiday.
It has been five years since Sustainable Orillia began its work in our community. It’s been a journey of steady commitment towards becoming a credible voice for sustainability and developing a strong following. Moving forward into 2024 and beyond, we will continue to apply ourselves to initiatives that reflect and support this commitment. We look forward to working with you on this journey – Sustainable Orillia could not make a difference without your support!
A BIG Welcome to Sarah Patterson
I’m delighted to announce the addition of Sarah Patterson to Sustainable Orillia’s Board of Directors. Sarah is new to Orillia and she brings a wealth of experience working with young people, while supporting environmental causes and learning. Sarah currently serves as the President of Common Earth, an organization dedicated to developing on-line courses that provide people with a fuller understanding of climate change and what they can do about it.
Sarah is passionate about our natural environment and is looking forward to working with Sustainable Orillia to find new and more ways to support sustainability in her new community. Her fresh perspectives and energy will undoubtedly invigorate our initiatives. We extend a warm welcome to Sarah.
Some of Sustainable Orillia’s Plans for 2024
I am excited to share some news about what is planned for the New Year, including:
- Thanks to a Community Services Recovery Grant, we are working with an experienced consultant to develop a revitalization plan that will strengthen board activities and provide better support for our many valued sector volunteers and their projects.
- Building on previous work, such as the comprehensive report (“Closing the Gap: Renewable Energy in Orillia’s Climate Future”) recently presented to Council, we have plans for a Sustainable Living Symposium that will serve as a source of inspiration, fostering conversations and innovations that will shape a more sustainable future across all aspects of our lives.
- The Annual All-Electric Vehicle Show will be back in 2024, building upon its success to-date. Once again, the event will promote greater awareness and adoption of zero emission transportation options, as we increasingly prioritize ‘getting off gas’ in areas extending beyond transportation.
Other events and reports throughout the year will address diverse aspects of sustainability from natural environment and circular economy initiatives to urban planning and food security. Our annual scholarships for the best and brightest highlights that the future is through our youth, and the annual student art contest allows students to express their feelings about the environment through art. These events and reports will help empower our community and assist our leaders in making informed choices that will promote sustainable living in every facet of our lives.
A Heartfelt Thanks to our Volunteers
To the many dedicated individuals who have already volunteered with Sustainable Orillia, a heartfelt thank you! Volunteer commitment is the driving force behind our success, and we are excited that our current squad of volunteers will be joined by a large group of new volunteers at a special volunteer information session in the New Year. This will be an opportunity to connect, share ideas, and outline ways and means toward our collective vision of a net-zero community by 2050.
As we come together with family and friends for the holidays, let’s celebrate the season and carry the spirit of sustainability and community into the New Year and beyond. May it be a time of positive change and shared progress toward a net-zero future.
We wish you and your loved ones a joyous holiday season and a sustainable New Year!
President, Sustainable Orillia