Castlegar is a community at a crossroads. We are starting to embrace new ideas to do with water conservation, composting, community gardening, sustainable transportation, etc.
These ideas are not radical, however 20 years ago it would be unheard of that the city would be subsidizing the cost of composting bins. In fact when I first moved to this community way back in 2000 I had to drive to Genelle to recycle my plastic containers. Sometimes change is gradual and people consider ideas outside the norm as radical for a long time before they accept them.
Recently an alternative idea was presented to city council in regard to establishing a public debate on lifting the ban on urban chickens. After the presentation the consensus was that a public debate would be necessary. Unfortunately, at the last council meeting instead of agreeing to a motion to have a public debate, there was motion to squash any further discussion on this issue.
It appears as though City council is being influenced by only a few members of our community. So we have decided to form our own special interest group. Our goal is to gather the concerned citizens of Castlegar in one group so we can balance the influences on city policy. This group is not only concerned about sustainable urban food production (as is the environmental issue with urban chickens) but we are a community advocacy group for all issues to do with the environmental policy in our city.
For now the group only exists on Facebook but in the fall we plan to take steps toward incorporating a society. We can be found on Facebook by searching for “The Castlegar and Area Eco-society”.