Archive for the ‘About Us’ Category

Green Venture representatives receive national awards!


Stephanie Holko – Outstanding Board Member – Green Communities Canada 2013 award


Clare Wagner – Outstanding Staff Person – Green Communities Canada 2013 award

Green Venture’s Stephanie Holko  received the 2013 Outstanding Board Member, and Clare Wagner the 2013 Outstanding Staff Person award in recognition of their hard work in the service of the environment and the City of Hamilton.

“We’re very impressed with the accomplishments of Clare and Stephanie,” said Clifford Maynes, of Green Communities Canada, a national organization which conferred the award at its recent Annual General Meeting. “We want to take this opportunity to congratulate them and their community supporters for everything that’s been achieved to date, and to wish them the best for the years to come.”

Maynes noted that it is far from easy to maintain and grow an organization like Green Venture, with its excellent programs and partnerships (see to learn more).

“It takes determination, entrepreneurship, and constant innovation,” he said.

“Environmental sustainability is an urgent goal, but we’re not going to get there overnight. We need people like Clare and Stephanie that will keep working away — through good times and difficult times.”

Green Communities Canada is a national association of more than two dozen community organizations that help people go green – at home, at work, on the road, and throughout their communities. See:

For more information, contact Clifford Maynes, Executive Director at or 705-745-7479 x 118.


Doors Open Hamilton

Doors Open Hamilton 2013 is Green Venture’s annual opportunity to celebrate the heritage of the EcoHouse site. The site is open for the May 4-5 2013 weekend (10-4 on Saturday and 12-4 on Sunday), providing our neighbours an opportunity to get to know us better, and to learn what is new.

Because Doors Open Hamilton is about architecturally interesting buildings and their community connections, this event is one in which the heritage of Glen Manor, the traditional name for the site, comes to the foreground.

Glen Manor may have been named by the Veevers family, or may have already been called that going back into the late 19th century. The name is first referenced in 1930 in a shot of the entire farm from the Niagara Escarpment, although the name “Glendale”, for the surrounding roads and lands, appears to have existed back to before 1900.

Green Venture takes great pride in maintaining the heritage building, and indeed is determined to showcase EcoHouse as an example of adaptive reuse: the repurposing of existing facilities and “invested energy” rather than destroying said facilities and expending more energy and materials in creating something new. In 2012, Green Venture received a Benjamin Moore paint grant to enable us to repaint the front façade in more appropriate heritage palette colours.

new paint job EcoHouse 2012

new paint colours for EcoHouse 2012

Please help us get a better historical picture of the families who lived not only at our site, but also in the surrounding neighbourhoods. Green Venture welcomes any historical information or pictures of the Davis Creek neighbourhood (roughly from the Red Hill Valley to Centennial Parkway, and from King Street to the escarpment) to better help us present a good narrative of the land and its people.

In 2011, Green Venture was very glad to receive from a Veevers descendant a series of photos of the farm in 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, as well as invaluable information, helping us to get a better idea of the dimensions of the Glen Manor farm and what sort of crops they were producing. The complex, and occasionally painful, story of how the farm was eventually subsumed into the modern City of Hamilton provides an illuminating example of the nature of technological change and the effects of urban sprawl

Glen Manor farm sketch

sketch of Glen Manor farm in 1940s

Glendale Dairy barn

old Glendale Dairy barn, c1940

Davis Creek 1953

Davis Creek in 1953

Green Venture has aspirations to one day return the front façade of the building to its pre 1970 look, removing the front dormers and recreating the clean lines of a mid 19th century pre-Confederation stone farmhouse. Such a project is, of course, well beyond our current means, and would have to be taken in partnership with the City of Hamilton, owners of the heritage property. Doors Open Hamilton however, is a good annual opportunity to keep the dream alive and to remember the rich story of the Green Venture education centre.

During Doors Open Hamilton 2013, Green Venture will be conducting a Garlic Mustard Pull on Sat M<ay 4, between 1-3 pm. This volunteer event is part of our commitments to maintain the site and a heritage and horticultural centre. Help us eliminate this aggressive invasive species on the site. If time and manpower permits, we will expand the effort into the neighbouring Veevers Park.

Green Venture will also be hosting a vermicomposting workshop on Sat May 4, from 1030 am – noon. Learn about worm composting from an expert, David Pitt of Vermisprout, and make your own starter kit to take home. Get a jump-start on producing superior organic compost and liquid fertilizer for your gardens. There is a $30 charge for this workshop to cover materials, a great value for an item that regularly costs double that to buy. Pre-registration is required. Please give Green Venture a call at 905-540-8787, ext 115 to register, or email contact

Food Trucks Bring the Tasty (My Green Adventures Part 3 of 5)

My Green Adventures is Green Venture’s open house event, taking place on Saturday October 13th from 10AM until 3PM, at our demonstration home, EcoHouse (22 Veevers Drive, Hamilton).  In the weeks leading up to My Green Adventures, we will feature blog posts highlighting some of the exciting activities taking place on October 13th.


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Green Venture will have some company this Saturday, October 13th.  Dirty South and Southern Smoke food trucks will be set up outside our front gates for the afternoon to provide their unique brand of travelling gourmet southern bbq to our visitors and volunteers!

My Green Adventures will be a day full of fun family activities.  We’re thrilled to have Scientists in Schools coming to show kids some really neat science experiments that they can try hands-on!  All of our partners will have kids activities on hand.  On your tour of EcoHouse, you and your family will get to see our newest educational displays and have a chance to try them out yourselves.

This Saturday, come spend some time at EcoHouse!

Green Venture Hosts Japanese Garden Volunteers

Hello. We are international students from Japan. We have stayed in Hamilton about one month to work at Green Venture as volunteers. We had never experienced gardening before we came here, so we learned a lot of things. For example, we did weeding, seeding and digging.

At first, we thought weeding was very easy for us, but when we actually tried it, it was tiring. Moreover, the day when the sun was shining brightly, it made us more tired.

Now we will talk about seeding. Before we tried seeding, we plowed the hillside. It was a hard work for us because the soil was so solid. But when it was completed, we were glad to make new land by ourselves. We are also glad to create more nature, because we must preserve this beautiful natural scenery.

We like this work because we can commune with nature. We live near Tokyo and it is a very busy city, so to spend time at natural environment like this place has put us at ease.

We are also happy to meet people who work at Green Venture. We can’t speak and understand English well and can’t do anything without support. But thanks to everyone, we can work pleasantly. We deeply appreciated this surrounding.  We will go back home on August 24, so we will work here only 6 more times. We are sad, but we will do our best for the next 6 days.

-Hanako & Manami

Federal Government Cancels Katimavik Program

Update: April 10, 2012

Found this great pdf document: “Investing in Katimavik” – provides data that demonstrates why the Katimavik program is so valuable to all Canadians! Pete.

Original Post:

Hi friends,

We at Green Venture were very disappointed when we received the announcement below from our Katimavik partners. Not only does this program provide a unique experience to help build and shape future leaders, but it greatly benefits community organizations such as Green Venture, Environment Hamilton, and many, many others across Canada with much needed labour assistance. We hope that the government will reconsider this decision and continue this valuable program for all Canadians.

Excerpt from letter below:

“There is still time to reverse the government’s decision. In the weeks and days to come, we hope we can count on Katimavik’s many supporters to speak with their elected officials about their experiences and articulate the value and benefits of a strong Katimavik for Canada. Now is the time for all our stakeholders and supporters to be proud and be heard.”

Pete Wobschall
Executive Director

Letter received from our friends at Katimavik:

Dear Katimavik partners, alumni, friends and supporters,

It is with extreme disappointment that we learned yesterday that the Government has decided to end its funding commitment to Katimavik.

As of just a few hours ago, we received a letter from the Department of Canadian Heritage that confirms that the current cohort in the field will be able to complete their Katimavik experience.  However, the July departures are officially cancelled. In the coming days, our Board of Directors and management staff will be convened to plan the next steps.

Rest assured that the youth currently volunteering with our community partners will continue to serve until the end of June and that this decision will not affect their experience or the quantity or quality of the work they are doing for our partners.

Please know that yesterday’s announcement came as a surprise, since we are entering the third year of a funding agreement whose terms end March 31st, 2013. The decision is even more surprising considering that the recently made public Canadian Heritage summative evaluation of our programs makes very clear how Katimavik’s programs are not only relevant, important and valuable, but also how the organization attains its targets and the programs tie in with government-wide priorities and the department’s strategic objectives.

For the past 35 years, Katimavik has helped shape a civically responsible Canada by harnessing the power of our young volunteers to help those in need in communities across Canada. In that time, over 30 000 Canadian youth have made a difference in communities from coast-to-coast-to-coast. They participated in our program gaining valuable work, life and leadership skills all the while fostering community development and civic engagement. Their parents had peace of mind knowing that their sons and daughters were participating in a structured, time-tested program, while they navigated the transition from emerging adulthood to adulthood.

We appreciate the ongoing support of the thousands of Canadians and community organizations that have been touched by our programs. You too can share your experience at

There is still time to reverse the government’s decision. In the weeks and days to come, we hope we can count on Katimavik’s many supporters to speak with their elected officials about their experiences and articulate the value and benefits of a strong Katimavik for Canada. Now is the time for all our stakeholders and supporters to be proud and be heard.

You can also stay connected and get social with us on Facebook, Twitter et YouTube.

Thank you for your support and stay tuned for more information.

The Katimavik Senior Management Team

Green Venture wins Environmentalist of the Year Award!

Green Venture is very proud and pleased to be recognized with the Hamilton Environmentalist of the Year Award for 2010! The media release from the EOY organizers is below.

Hopefully we’ll see you at the dinner on June 8.



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

For immediate release

Hamilton’s Environmentalists of the Year Award Winners Announced

The Hamilton Environmentalists of the Year Awards Committee is pleased to announce this year’s award recipients.

The Dr. Victor Cecilioni Award for the Environmentalist of the Year for 2010 will be awarded to Green Venture for their efforts to improve the environment and quality of life of our community. Green Venture is a not-for-profit organization that has been providing environmental programs that promote and encourage environmentally sustainable habits and lifestyles in our community, for over 16 years. These efforts by Green Venture towards educating and motivating the public truly embody the spirit of the Dr. Victor Cecilioni Award for the Environmentalist of the Year.

Four Awards of Merit will also be awarded this year:

  • Bill Kennedy is being recognized for his long-term commitment to the local environment and his tireless work in promoting efforts to protect trees through his involvement with the Dundas Valley Tree Keepers.
  • The Trail Maintenance Team Group of the Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club is being recognized for their initiative, efforts and determination in replacing the Sherman Falls Bridge and improving access to the Bruce Trail around the location.
  • The founding members of  SERE (Social and Ecological Responsibility in Education) Committee of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board are being recognized for their efforts to raise environmental awareness, heighten knowledge and increase participation in the school board, the curriculum and individual schools.
  • Glenn Marshall is being recognized for his efforts towards assisting and helping business organizations in adopting more environmentally sustainable practices in addition to his local interests in reducing the cosmetic use of pesticides.

Awards dinner on June 8, 2011

The Awards will be presented at the 32nd Annual Environmentalists of the Year Awards Dinner on Wednesday, June 8th, 2011 at the Michelangelo Banquet Centre at 1555 Upper Ottawa Street in Hamilton. Refreshments will start at 5:30 PM and dinner will be served at 6:30 PM followed by a presentation by Dr. Joe Minor about the ecological significance of the Eramosa Karst. Anyone interested is invited to help celebrate Environment Week and over three decades of environmental activism in Hamilton by attending.

Tickets are available at $30 per person and must be purchased in advance by June 4th. Tables for eight or ten can be reserved. Tickets can be purchased at Royal Botanical Gardens’ Shop in Burlington (open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily);  in the centre of the city by calling Environment Hamilton (905) 549-0900 or email at and in the west end by calling (905) 648-3391.

Who sponsors the EOY Awards?

The Environmentalists of the Year Awards and Dinner have been held each year for over thirty years. An independent committee of judges determines the award recipients. The Awards program is co-sponsored by the Conserver Society of Hamilton and District, the United Nations Association in Canada-Hamilton Branch, the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club, Environment Hamilton, Royal Botanical Gardens, Friends of Red Hill Valley, and the Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club with support from the Hamilton Conservation Authority, the Bay Area Restoration Council, and EcoNet.

For additional information on the Awards Dinner please call (905) 547-5116.


For media information, contact
John Struger (

We’re back!

We’re happy to announce that we have resurrected Green Venture’s Blog – It’s the next phase of leaving our Luddite tradition behind us!

  • You can already follow our activities on Facebook by clicking “Like” here:,
  • Join the conversation and get liked to breaking news by following us on Twitter:, and
  • We will soon be posting videos on our YouTube account:
  • We are also in the process of updating our website, which is full of useful reference information on a variety of sustainability-related issues and products, provides information on our staff and board, and has comprehensive list of our active and past programming:

So, we are now pleased to also be using our blog to respond to your inquires and comment on community issues relating to sustainability and the environment.

If you have question you would like us to respond to, please let us know: contact(at) We’ll do our best to respond to your questions in a timely matter (please give us some time to respond as we typically fill our days working on our projects and activities!)

Looking forward to hearing from you!

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