EcoSuperior, the multi faceted, environmental non profit has had a major impact on the Thunder Bay community and surrounding area since 1995, relying on program funding, grants and fee-for-service projects to accomplish their outreach and sustainability programs.
“We are mission-driven on building a healthy future for people and the planet.”
A statement taken from the organization’s website sums up their values.
My conversation with Sue Hamel, Executive Director of Environmental Programs, was more than a simple act of information gathering; rather it was a learning experience that helped shape my understanding of community invention and our shared ecological connectivity. The holistic nature of EcoSuperior is evident in the programs and initiatives offered, as the intersection between environmental degradation, poverty and food insecurity becomes a broad reflection of the ailments that communities face.
By collaboration with The Thunder Bay and Area Food Strategy (a recipient of Ontario Trillium funding), this organization is striving to provide sustainably grown local produce to local people. They raise awareness about food insecurity and nutritional needs and coordinate with local agricultural producers and food strategists.
Initiatives such as storm water management help to reduce the amount of waste invariably ending up in Lake Superior. Gardens provide naturally occurring water reserves that both aid living creatures and naturally filter surface water before its reintegration into the water cycle. Well-known rain barrels painted by local artists are a constant at any event that features EcoSuperior. This is a marriage of local involvement, promotion of sustainability and effective usage of the earth’s resources.
EcoSuperior addresses several of the UN sustainable development goals. It tackles climate change with its Home Energy Assessments, and subsequent grants and rebates offer incentives for building owners to lower emissions and energy usage.The Safe Cycling program educates people on bike safety and proper riding practices, and the Active Walking program encourages children to walk to school rather than taking a bus. Hamel and I agreed that for major change to occur, initiatives would need to be implemented not just by our government, but on a global scale with effective protocols for mitigation of fossil fuel usage and rigorous oversight so that environmental regulation is upheld.
Humanity is prone towards commodification of earth’s resources, waiting for the opportunity to exploit. Significantly, water is misused, and fresh water reserves are often contaminated with waste or commercial agricultural run-off. Or the seas are pilfered of living creatures and defiled as dumping grounds.
“Believing you can be a part of change…envision the world you want and create it.”
These words match the values of EcoSuperior. This grassroots effort that has influenced a community and invited people to cast away apathy, concede a natural connection and live with greater reverence towards our community and realize that we, as people, regardless of social or socioeconomic differences, are subject to our environment and the potentially catastrophic maladies destined to occur in response to our misuses.