Archive for the ‘Volunteer’ Category

Celebrating 20 Years: A Look Back

Green Venture officially began operating in 1995, making 2015 our 20th anniversary. Although we’ll be marking this special occasion with an amazing event called UpRoot Hamilton (which you can read more about), we’ve also taken the time to think about our past 20 years, and the amazing journey we’ve been on as we try to make Hamilton and area the most environmentally friendly place to live, one day, and one action, at a time.

Here are some of our highlights.

1994- Green Venture is founded as part of a provincial “Green Communities Program” under the direction of the Region of Hamilton-Wentworth.

1995- Jackson square GV office

Green Venture’s Jackson Square Storefront location. Yes, we do still have that neon sign!

1995- A Jackson Square storefront becomes Green Venture’s first office space.

1996- Following the cancellation of the “Green Communities” program, Green Venture becomes an independent not-for-profit organization, hiring Heather Donison as its new Executive Director.

2000- In partnership with the Hamilton Air Quality Improvement Committee, Green Venture launches the Region’s first annual Commuter Challenge.

2003- Green Venture secures the use of the Veevers Estate in Hamilton’s East End and begins renovations to transform the space into an environmental education and demonstration centre.

The first welcome sign to the EcoHouse Community Garden.

The first welcome sign to the EcoHouse Community Garden.

2005- The EcoHouse Community Garden is established as a prototype garden for the region. Its popularity encourages over 70 other community gardens to be created city-wide over the next several years.

2007- After six years as a staff member, Pete Wobschall becomes Green Venture’s Executive Director. During his tenure, he guides the organization through the development of a revised mission, vision and values.

2008- Solar panels and a wind turbine are installed onsite at EcoHouse, allowing visitors to explore the pros and cons of installing alternative energy at their own home.

2009- The Enbridge Home Weatherization Retrofit Program is launched. With a goal of assisting residents in reducing their energy bills while improving the efficiency of their home, it quickly becomes one of Green Venture’s most in-demand programs.

2010- The first Seedy Saturday event is launched. Today, the event, co-hosted by Green Venture and the Hamilton Community Garden Network, attracts hundreds of eager gardeners each winter.

2011- With assistance from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Bay Area Restoration Council and Green Venture create an easy-to-access education centre focusing on Hamilton Harbour Watershed issues.

Kathryn Enders, Green Venture's current Executive Director, with one of our newest displays- an electric CarShare car!

Kathryn Enders, Green Venture’s current Executive Director, with one of our newest displays- a plug-in hybrid CarShare car!

2013- Kathryn Enders is hired as Green Venture’s Executive Director. In the same year, she travels to Mexico on behalf of Green Communities Canada to present at the Commission for Environmental Co-operation about the success of the Depave program.

2014- EcoHouse Educational Tours increase by 19% from the previous year, solidifying Green Venture’s place as the region’s premiere environmental demonstration and education facility.

2015- Green Venture completes their participation in the Good To Great program, leading to a renewed emphasis on revenue diversification, including the launch of special fundraising events and donor campaigns.

My Green Venture Internship: Lessons Learned

Hi! My name’s Areeba and I’ve just completed a seven week placement at Green Venture. I have learned many different things during the past seven weeks through my position as a green gardener where I assist with the maintenance of the many gardens and facilities present on the property.

During the weeks of my placement I can confidently say that I know how to successfully identify many plants and weeds, use various gardening tools (like a lawn mower), and paint skillfully. Sometimes, like many outdoor jobs, the weather turns on us. When I am indoors, I help keep the displays organized and up-to-date, organize materials, and assist with other tasks around the office. I also had the chance to participate in numerous road trips like a visit to a local farm with other staff.

Being a green gardener has provided me with extensive knowledge of environmental issues and initiatives, and the opportunity to take part in the solutions. For example, I helped to build the new green roof at EcoHouse. Green Roofs are a cost-efficient way to save energy, manage storm water, and insulate the building. This was an eye-opening experience that prompted me to think about the other green initiatives in the Hamilton community.

EcoHouse Green Roof

EcoHouse Green Roof

I have gained valuable experience and skills while working at Green Venture. Before working here I had no real understanding of the issues that are present in our city and in the community. By communicating with the talented and educated program staff and coworkers, I gained thorough insight about various environmental topics and going green together!

Written by: Areeba

Adopting Veevers Park

Green Venture is located in the Davis Creek Community, defined as the area from the Red Hill Valley to Centennial Parkway and from the escarpment to King Street East. We work closely with the Davis Creek Community Planning Team and are always looking for ways that we can give back to community. Recently Green Venture learned about the City of Hamilton’s Adopt-A-Park Program and decided to look into adopting a park of our own.

With the Adopt-A-Park Program a group adopts a City of Hamilton park. The park remains the property of the City but the community group helps maintain it through regular litter cleanups, removing graffiti, weeding and generally keeping an eye on the park.

Veevers Park, named after the Veevers family

Veevers Park, named after the Veevers family

 

Just up the street from Green Venture is Veevers Park, located at 688 Greenhill Avenue. A nice park with a playground, small splash pad and large open area. Veevers Park was actually donated to the City of Hamilton by the Veevers brothers, Bertram and Ronald, the same men who donated Green Venture’s EcoHouse to the City. The location, name and history of the park was a great fit for Green Venture, so we decided to adopt it!

Becoming involved in the Adopt-A-Park Program was incredibly easy and before we knew it we were hosting our first park volunteer event as part of the annual Davis Creek Community Cleanup event this past spring. Early in June we hosted our next event, a park beautification day where volunteers and staff worked together to pick-up litter, clean graffiti, pull invasive weeds and put wood chips around the park trees.

Mulching trees in Veevers Park

Mulching trees in Veevers Park

Another park beautification project Green Venture recently completed was painting a new mural in the park. This mural, found under the picnic shelter, is a way to brighten up the park while highlighting some of Davis Creek’s historical routes.

Completed Veevers Park mural, painted by Jotthi Bansal

Completed Veevers Park mural, painted by Jotthi Bansal

We are looking forward to more events and projects in Veevers Park over the next few years, including our next cleanup on October 4th, 2014.

If you are in the area, make sure to visit!

To find out more about the Adopt-A-Park Program, visit the City of Hamilton website.

Get Involved with Green Venture

Green Venture is a non-profit organization and, like many non-profits, we rely on the help of community volunteers for many of our projects. Whether it’s weeding a garden, guiding a tour, promoting Green Venture at an event or taking part in a clean-up, our volunteers help in all kinds of ways.

Having fun after a volunteer cleanup event

Having fun after a volunteer cleanup event

Many of our volunteers get involved with Green Venture for various  reasons. Everyone is different but most volunteers have a few things in common and many volunteer because they want to help the environment, get experience, learn skills, meet new people and have fun. Some people also volunteer to add to a resume or earn volunteer hours for high school.

Green Venture has several ways you can get involved, including maintaining the grounds at our EcoHouse, joining us at special events or helping lead a tour (for more details on these opportunities, visit our website). These are not the only ways people volunteer with Green Venture though, we also have interns, co-op students and all of our board members are volunteers.

Making paper during an EcoHouse open house

Making paper during an EcoHouse open house

Getting involved is easy:

  • Sign up for our Green Post (online Volunteer Mailing List) to receive regular updates on volunteer opportunities
  • Email volunteer (@) greenventure.ca to receive a Volunteer Application and information about current opportunities to volunteer
  • Visit Green Venture’s EcoHouse or speak with us at an event to learn more about volunteering
  • If you have skills or experience you would like to share as a volunteer let us know!

We hope you will come out and volunteer with us soon!

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