Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee
November 7, 2012
A meeting of the Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee was held in the Board Room at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, on Wednesday, November 7, 2012, at 6:00 p.m.
P. Murray, Co-Chair
Debbie Villeneuve, School Council Liaison Committee
Tracey McKenzie, County of Lennox & Addington
David Hahn, National Farmers Union, Local 316
Kathy Moulton, Hydro One
Ruth Noordegraaf, Kingston Coalition for Active Transportation, KFL&A Public Health
Linda Malcolm, KFL&A Public Health
D. Fowler, Manager of Facility Services
D. Hendry, Sustainable Initiatives Coordinator
J. Hendry, Energy/Environmental Technician
S. Lehman, Supervising Principal
M. Sewell, Program Leader, Skills Training & Technology
D. Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
Catherine Styles, Parent Volunteer
Regrets: Tom Carpenter, SWITCH
Becky Corby, School Council Liaison Committee
Stana Luxford-Oddie, Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority
Meg Skinner, KFL&A Public Health
The meeting was chaired by Paula Murray, who welcomed those present to the meeting. Those present introduced themselves.
Approval of Agenda
MOVED BY Tracey McKenzie, seconded by Debbie Villeneuve, that the agenda, as distributed, be approved.BCarried
Approval of the Minutes
MOVED BY Debbie Villeneuve, seconded by David Hahn, that the minutes of the May 2, 2012 ESAC, as distributed, be approved.BCarried
Business Arising From the Minutes
There was no business arising from the minutes.
Limestone DSB/St. Lawrence College Student Energy Audits
Joe Hendry stated that in 2007-2008, Limestone District School Board and St. Lawrence College started a partnership, where students from St. Lawrence College came into schools to learn how to do an energy audit. He introduced Gordon McAlary, an instructor in the Energy Systems Engineering Technology/Technologist (ESET) program at St. Lawrence College.
Mr. McAlary thanked ESAC members for the invitation to present information about the ESET program at St. Lawrence College to them this evening. He provided the following information:
• St. Lawrence College (SLC) established in 1967
• 3 campuses – Cornwall, Brockville, Kingston
• An integral part of the communities it serves
• Provides students with an education that gets results
• Helps build better communities
• Creates diverse partnerships to ensure program relevancy to student’s educational requirement
• SLC has over 80 full-time studies programs
• School of Computer and Engineering Technology – 12 programs (mostly in Kingston)
Energy Systems Engineering Technology/Technologist (ESET)
• Program initiated in 2005
• ESET Technician, 2 year program culminating in a Technician diploma
• ESET Technologist, an additional third year in the program, culminating in a Technologist diploma
• Program has an emphasis on the design, analysis (modeling) and operation of renewable and sustainable energy systems
• Students develop skills to analyze energy use in residential and commercial buildings (Energy Auditing)
• Program is based on both classroom lectures and “hands-on” practical laboratory work (HVAC, Controls, etc.)
• Solar photovoltaic and solar thermal systems
• Ground source heat pumps
• Small wind and solar heat air heating
• Energy House
• Affiliated with SEARC – Sustainable Energy Applied Research Centre
• Established 2010 with funding by College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program
• To help businesses to adopt sustainable energy technologies
• To develop or expand transfer of research activities in their communities through partnerships with local companies, particularly SMEs
• A number of ESET students are employed to conduct SEARC projects
ESET 630/631 Energy Management Design Project I/II
• ESET 603: Fall semester of third year
• Objective: Students perform an energy audit on an institutional, commercial or industrial building
• Model current energy usage
• ESET 631: Winter semester of third year
• Objective: Students continue modeling work and evaluate economic and preliminary technical feasibility of implementing energy efficiency and conservation measures into buildings
• Student’s final grades are weighted towards the final report and presentation. Clients receive report copies and invitation to attend presentations
• Course initiated in 2007
• ESET students went out to seven LDSB schools to provide energy information days to elementary students
• This outreach program was funded by OPA, LDSB, Union Gas and Utilities Kingston
• Energy Audit Manual developed for use in elementary schools
• Outreach program continued into 2008/2009, which now included high school students (14 schools)
• Since 2009, course has performed energy audits on one to six LDSB schools per year
• Since course initiation, 150 ESET graduates have benefitted from the LDSB energy auditing experience
• Many of the ESET graduates now work in energy conservation and energy auditing fields
• These courses were taught by Steve Lapp, P.Eng., for a number of years. Gordon McAlary, P.Eng., is teaching this year’s fall and winter courses
• Rideau Public School was chosen as the subject school for energy audit evaluation
• 24 ESET students enrolled
• Fall 2012: Potential Cooperative Activities
1) SLC instructors and ESET students could provide energy conservation lectures/demonstrations to LDSB classes
2) Possible LDSB class field trip to SLC to view laboratories, Energy House, renewable energy components and systems
• Coordinators: S. Lapp/G. McAlary (SLC), J. Hendry (LDSB)
Mr. McAlary stated that St. Lawrence College is grateful and thankful for the continued support that the Limestone District School Board provides the St. Lawrence College ESET Program. He indicated that the College sees the cooperative efforts between SLC and LDSB as providing benefits to the students, teachers, and staff in both educational institutions. He commented that St. Lawrence College remains committed to assisting Limestone District School Board in developing and promoting activities that will enrich their students in learning and understanding energy usage and conservation efforts. He said that Dave Fowler and Joe Hendry’s efforts in assisting the ESET programs are gratefully appreciated.
Ms. Murray thanked Mr. McAlary for providing the above-noted information.
GROW Project Presentation
Dan Hendry introduced Catherine Styles, a parent volunteer who developed school gardens with the Limestone District School Board, noting that the GROW project has been evolving for the past five years.
Ms. Styles thanked ESAC members for the opportunity to provide information about the GROW project.
Ms. Styles advised that the GROW project is a food education and community building initiative launched in 2008-2009 at Rideau Public School. She said that GROW introduces ideas about art, gardening and environmental initiatives through a series of classroom and garden events.
Ms. Styles reported that students in grade 4/5 adopt, plant, and raise tomato plants in a garden on the front lawn of their school property. A team of students is assigned to water and care for the plants throughout the summer and produce harvested by students in the fall is shared within the community. In the first year, students also paint fence panels to surround the garden and communicate the goals of the GROW project to the surrounding neighbourhood.
Ms. Styles said that along with gardening activities, the GROW project involves regular classroom sessions featuring guest speakers from the Kingston Arts community, Kingston area Community Shared Agriculture (CSA), Urban Agricultural Initiatives and local community gardens. She commented that GROW encourages students to interact with and explore what makes a community a good place to live and what kind of contributions they can make towards building a healthy community.
Ms. Styles stated that the primary objectives of the Grow project include:
• Enhancing knowledge of sustainable food production, how to work in the garden and raise produce
(Through GROW, students learn to care for seedlings, compost, plant, maintain and harvest a garden. In partnership with Loving Spoonful and the Plant a Row, Grow a Row campaign in Kingston, students will raise produce to share with their community)
• Reinforcing the importance of being socially active within the community, and exploring what it means to be a citizen;
(the project will ask students to consider their role in the community and develop an understanding of the importance of community and community organizations)
• Improving the school environment and developing links between the school and the surrounding community
(GROW develops interaction between the school and the surrounding community through the building, planting and maintenance of the garden. Students feel proud of their school and the things that they and their classmates can accomplish)
Ms. Styles indicated that the GROW project has three components, as follows:
Ms. Styles advised that as a group, students paint and build a fence, dig and plant a garden, adopt and raise plants to share with friends, teachers, families and neighbours. However, fundamentally GROW is about Community and Communication. Each of these components offers an opportunity to investigate and discuss the role of Community, our place within the Community and our responsibilities to the Community.
Ms. Styles explained the three components.
Ms. Styles indicated that GROW currently has gardens at Rideau, First Avenue, J.G. Simcoe, Rideau Heights and Winston Churchill Public Schools. She said that these gardens have been developed thanks to the generous support from Loving Spoonful, Urban Agriculture Kingston, the Kingston Horticultural Society, Trailhead Kingston, The United Way and many other community partners and volunteers. She reported that funding for the GROW project comes from Parent Councils, Administration, various grants, local business donations, fundraising endeavours and volunteer hours. She stated that the success of the GROW project also comes from the involvement of many constituents: school staff, students, Parent Council, and the community at large.
Ms. Styles commented briefly on the following partnerships and projects: Foodshare, Green Thumbs Growing Kids, Evergreen. She also commented on the Vancouver School Board School Garden Policy, the Portland Public Schools hands-on garden-based education.
Ms. Styles reviewed the collaborations and partnerships the LDSB has, and she commented on the mentoring opportunities.
In response to a question, Ms. Styles stated that if a school, Parent Council or teacher was interested in having a GROW project at their school, they should contact her, and she would share information about how the project works.
A suggestion was made that perhaps a guideline should be developed for the project. Mr. Lehman commented on the sustainability aspect of the project, as well as safe food handling . He said that Mr. Sewell is taking the lead with regard to the safe food handling piece. Mr. Lehman stated that the other critical piece is the buy-in of the school community.
A suggestion was made that the information be circulated, feedback be provided and this matter come back to the ESAC for action.
Ms. Murray thanked Ms. Styles for providing the above-noted information.
Annual Sustainability Report Update
Mr. Lehman stated that we would like to share information around our Annual Sustainability Report, noting that last year we created our sustainability criteria. He reported that 10 areas were identified and that we are working on them within the Board
Dan Hendry reviewed the Limestone District School Board’s Annual Sustainability Report. He said that the report includes the sustainability priority, and the identified criteria under the sustainability priority.
Mr. Lehman indicated that he is seeking feedback on the documents, which he will bring forward at the February 6, 2013 ESAC meeting.
Tracey McKenzie and Kathy Moulton withdrew from the meeting.
Mr. Dan Hendry reviewed some of the current initiatives within the Limestone District School Board, such as the Grade 9 Bus Pass initiative
Brainstorm Community Connections to the Sustainability Priorities
Mr. Lehman distributed a list of future topics and/or ideas for ESAC meetings. Committee members worked in a group to review the information and to brainstorm about any additional topics and/or ideas for ESAC meetings. He indicated that he would collect the information sheet at the end of the meeting, and would consolidate the ideas and bring the information back to the February 6, 2013 ESAC meeting.
Ms. Noordegraaf suggested that a GROW partnership with immigrants be developed, to produce food from their cultures.
Ms. Malcolm commented on the Walking School Bus program that KFL&A Public Health has. She also commented on the bike racks that were done in partnership with Napanee District Secondary School, noting that the bike racks were dropped off at First Avenue, Marysville, R.G. Sinclair and Bayridge Public Schools.
Debbie Villeneuve provided information about a financial opportunity with Awesome Kingston, where a group of ten trustees contribute $100 each per month. Groups can then make presentations to them for funding.
Trustee Jackson stated that there are many community organizations that would like to partner with the Limestone District School Board, but that the Board needs to think about the limitations of that, noting that the Board has to consider the safety of students as a priority.
Next Meeting Date
The next meeting of the Environmental Sustainability Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, February 6, 2013, at the Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, at 6:00 p.m. The remaining meeting for the 2012-2013 school year is scheduled for Wednesday, May 1, 2013, at 6:00 p.m., at the Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, at 6:00 p.m.
MOVED BY Linda Malcolm, seconded by David Hahn, that the meeting adjourn at 8:00 p.m.--Carried