Citizen Science Project on Salt Spring: Good for People and Butterflies!

This month, participants are flocking to a free training in butterfly citizen science led by entomologist Linda Gilkeson, PhD, and hosted by the Salt Spring Island Conservancy. Trainees will learn how to identify and count butterflies from Linda and how to take photos of butterflies from Simon Henson, as a way to aid in identification. There is still space for trainees. This project seeks to increase the number of citizen scientists trained to identify butterflies on Salt Spring Island and to collect records that can be used to show long-term trends in butterfly numbers. Records of butterfly counts are a way to measure the health of local ecosystems, and for the last 2 years, the Conservancy has been establishing a group of volunteers to identify and record butterfly sightings. The data collected by citizen scientists during the monthly counts will contribute to a growing body of data that could supplement (or stimulate) research by scientists. Citizen science is good fo…
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2019 Home & Garden Show

Introducing the Salt Spring Island Home & Garden Show presented by Mouat’s Trading! March 16th and 17th – what a great weekend to be on Salt Spring Island as we host the Salt Spring Home & Garden Show., This great community focused event showcases local designers, landscapers, construction and trades professionals, along with service and recreation providers. Admission to the event is FREE and attendees could win some great prizes. All events are at the Salt Spring Farmers Institute. Friday Evening, March 15th from 5pm-8pm – You are invited to a Salt Spring Home & Garden Show Welcome Reception and cash bar pre-show gathering. There will be a fun, festive atmosphere with music and free food. Meet with the local trades, construction, home services, landscape companies and home décor vendors and mingle with fellow attendees. The Welcome Reception is sponsored by Windsor Plywood. Saturday, March 16th from 9am-4pm and Sunday, March 17th from 10am-3pm – Join us at the Salt Spri…
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Salt Spring Island Artisanal 'Windstorm' Firewood

In all the years I've lived on Salt Spring, few issues have held the attention of locals and visitors alike than firewood. Now, if you asked someone what the ongoing, burning issues of the day are on the island, firewood probably wouldn't come to mind first and though, think about this for just a minute. How many conversations have you had about firewood recently? Yesterday, for me, unprompted, the number was 6. Six times yesterday different people at different places, across different walks of island life talked to me about or wondered about firewood. At least 2 of those people don't even have woodstoves or heat with firewood. They just appeared all caught up in the wondering about it with most everyone else. "There are so many trees down! Look at all that firewood!" The big burning question since the windstorm? Will firewood prices come down? I've had at least a couple of dozen people since the storm wonder about the possibility of this. And for good reason. Good quality, …
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Gulf Islands School District 64 Receives Award for Their Commitment to Training Youth Apprentices

The Industry Training Authority (ITA), along with 48 employers, apprentices, educators and ITA representatives, gathered yesterday on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish people to award Gulf Islands School District 64 with the Youth Work in Trades Performance Award for having the highest number of Youth Work in Trades program registrants in the region. The award includes $5,000 in additional funding to assist the district to further develop their Youth Work in Trades program. Youth Work in Trades is a dual credit program that allows youth to begin a paid work-based training component of a skilled trades apprenticeship while still in secondary school. As 80 per cent of trades training takes place on the work site and 20 per cent takes place in the classroom, it is important that school districts provide students with the opportunity to gain awareness of what a career in trades looks like and get a head start on the crucial hands-on experience required for their trades t…
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Salt Spring Bike Club Announces Merger with Island Pathways

With great enthusiasm and anticipation, the Salt Spring Bike Club announces its merger with Island Pathways and the creation of the new Island Pathway committee: Cycling Salt Spring Island! The Salt Spring Bike Club formed five years ago to: promote cycling as a healthy, sustainable and fun mode of transportation and recreation; foster a stronger cycling culture on Salt Spring Island and create and advocate for safer cycling opportunities for riders of all ages. Its first project led to creation of the Bike Park in Ganges, with generous funding from the SSI Lions’ Club and SSI Parks & Recreation inputs and maintenance. In the summer of 2018, it opened, a network of technical trails nestled into a treed area in the SE corner of Mouat Park. Since opening last August, the Bike Park has been well used by cyclists as young as two and as old as 70. In the fall, up to 20 riders could be spotted in the park at a given time. Spring will be busy again, guaranteed. The Bik…
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Concerned About Snow Load on Your Roof?

What are signs of heavy snow load on my roof? If you’re concerned about the weight of snowfall on a roof, look and listen for signs of stress. These signs can include unusual sounds from the roof or supporting walls, visible movement of walls or sagging of ceiling and cracking of drywall or plaster. Other signs may include doors that jam or water leaks that show up after a big snow fall. The configuration of your roof could be a factor. Pay special attention to areas on your roof where local snow accumulation occurs on a portion of a roof; for example, near dormers, valleys or on shed roofs. Roofs with a low slope or roofs covered with rough roofing material tend to accumulate more snow than steeper pitches or slippery roof finishes. What can I do myself? You should never clear a roof yourself. Instead, opt for a qualified and insured snow removal company. Where the roof is accessible from the ground, you can reduce some load by using a snow rake to safely pull the …
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Salt Spring Doula Collective: Community in the Birthing Year

Pregnant people and new parents and infants on Salt Spring Island have access to state of the art midwifery care for medical support in the childbearing year. Para-medical, social, counseling, and educational support is available through Island Health Public Health, nurse practitioners and second birth attendants, SSI Community Services and the Family Place specialized programming for parents and the early years. In addition to this institutional support, there are lactation consultants, La Leche League groups, alternative health practitioners who have specialized skills and services, and there is a Doula Collective dedicated to serving the needs of those in the childbearing years. Together since 2009, the Doula Collective is a group of up to 12 active women practising on Salt Spring Island. This event was created from conversations between the Doulas, midwives and other health professionals involved with people in the birthing years, as a collaborative offering in response …
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Towards Sustainable Community Economic Health

Salt Spring’s Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) embraced new directions in 2018.  We focused on initiatives that facilitated collaboration, coordination and advocacy on behalf of our island’s economic health and well-being. Here’s an overview of the areas we expanded into and the progress we’ve achieved in 2018. Championing Entrepreneurship Across All Economic Sectors Much of Salt Spring’s economic culture is shaped by resilience and a do-it-yourself ingenuity. We are a community comprised of smaller businesses and many micro-businesses, with the vast majority being sole proprietors. Many of these entrepreneurs create and produce a variety of products that are becoming known near and far as unique to Salt Spring. Being an entrepreneur is hard work and can be isolating. Through our experience with the Rural Business Accelerator Program, we know that most local small business operators are busy working “in” their business, and don’t have a lot of time t…
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Video: Storm Force - Just How Powerful Was the Storm of December 21, 2018?

Strong storm force winds of over 100km/hr hammer the SW BC coast on Dec20 2018.The southern gulf islands were particularly hard hit. 5000 trees down on local roads alone! 500,000 people without power.One fatality reported.Not a good day for boats!         .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }
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Emergency Support Services Volunteer Storm Response

The Emergency Support Services team of dedicated volunteers was handed its most challenging task to date and came through it with flying colours. Along with countless other volunteers, first responders, caring family members, neighbours and commercial operations, the community was taken care of. ESS opened and ran a Reception Centre at the Legion on Windstorm Thursday, sheltering and comforting more than 80 islanders in the dark, for more than 10 hours until 10 pm. Starting the next day - Friday through the following Thursday (7 days), ESS opened and ran a Warming Centre at the Seniors Centre, kindly made available to us by that organization. We registered, warmed and charged up on average, more than 50 people a day. The centre then moved for Days 8, 9 and 10 to the Library Program Room. The centre transitioned from a Warming Centre into a Recovery Centre making water, power and the internet available to those still in need. For eleven days, the ESS volunteers me…
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The Most Damaging Storm in Salt Spring and BC Hydro's History

The windstorm that hit B.C.’s South Coast on December 20 resulted in more than 750,000 customers without power and thousands of damaged pieces of equipment. Highlights; The December 20 storm was the most damaging storm in BC Hydro’s history—and was unlike any previous weather event BC Hydro had encountered because: The wind came from multiple directions—including the southeast, south and southwest; The windstorm was preceded by several heavy rain events—more than 400 millimetres of rain fell in some areas leading up to the storm, which destabilized trees; The wind speeds were significant—topping 100 kilometres per hour in some areas. The storm left more than 750,000 customers without power, making it larger than the August 2015 windstorm that affected the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley, and larger than the 2006 windstorm that hit Vancouver Island and devastated Stanley Park in Vancouver; More than 400,000 customers in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley were impacted.;…
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Get in Involved with Emergency Response - Join The POD Program in Action

From the time Elizabeth Zook was contracted on a part-time basis by the CRD to co-ordinate the Emergency Program 8 years ago, there have been many facets of “emergency preparedness” undertaken. In addition to building a network of excellent communication with First Responder agencies, her focus was predominately on building a POD (neighbourhood emergency) network with the focus of developing community resilience. This program was started in 2005 and had approximately 25 people involved in various locations on the island. Today the POD program consists entirely of volunteers, with 370 people signed up and 60 Pods now established or identified on the Island. If no POD exists, it means no volunteers have been found in that area. POD and Neighbourhood Leaders have built databases for their Pods so communications from the SSI Emergency Operation Center (EOC) can be forwarded to neighbours – as long as Hydro and Wi-Fi are available. Over the years, POD Leaders have repeatedly emph…
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BC Hydro Crews Continue to Repair Damage After Historic Windstorm, Extended Outages Expected

Thursday’s windstorm was one of the most devastating storms BC Hydro has experienced in the past 20 years, leaving 66,000 still without power down from a total of 600,000 customers initially impacted. Due to the extent of the damage, some of the hardest hit areas will be without power for several more days. Hundreds of downed trees have left some road impassable, which means BC Hydro has not been able to complete a full damage assessment in some of the worse hit areas like Duncan, Nanaimo, Lake Cowichan and the affected Gulf Islands. As a result, it will take crews several days to restore power to these areas, and other areas may be added as damage assessments are completed. In some rural parts of Surrey and the Fraser Valley, it may take another 24 to 48 hours to restore power. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is working to clear the roads and highways. The storm knocked trees and branches on to nearly all the roads on the southern Gulf Islands, as well …
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Photos: Severe Wind Storm Ravages Island - Hydro and Road Status Updates

Scroll down to see all current storm photos and the full list of all storm related hydro, water advisory and warming centre updates. Most recent updates are at the top. ROAD CLOSURE - 9:40 am Friday, January 4, 2019 - There is a slide at 289 Stewart Road - Road is closed. People living 289 and higher can access their driveways from Beaver Point Road.People living 289 and lower can access their driveways from Cusheon Lake side. Update on Boil Water Advisory for Fernwood/Highlands - Jan 3, 2019 11:00 pm - IMPORTANT notice. Boil Water Advisory Remains in Effect for Highland-Fernwood Water Service Area (Salt Spring Island). Water system damage and power outages resulting from the wind storm on December 20 caused portions of the Highland-Fernwood Water System on Salt Spring Island to have reduced pressure or no water service. Due to the depressurization, a system wide BOIL WATER ADVISORY was issued December 23 by the CRD in consultation with Island Health. All customers in the…
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Salt Spring Island Foundation Fall Grants 2018

The Salt Spring Island Foundation is pleased to announce over $85,000 in fall grants for local charities, including $34,000 targeted to youth recreation programs. In 2018, the Foundation has granted over $290,000 to island charities, with $130,000 assisting youth programs. These grants would not be possible without the support of our many generous donors, who share the Foundation’s vision of a healthy and caring community. Beaver Point Community Hall For fascia board, gutter and downspout installation for the hall, an important heritage building and gathering place. Gulf Islands Marine Rescue Society To purchase protective equipment for volunteers serving Station 25, Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue. Gulf Islands Seniors Residence Association To support consulting engineer’s fees for a sustainable rainwater capture system that will be incorporated into an integrated water supply system for the Meadowlane Multi- Unit Residential Building for seniors. …
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Watch: Salt Spring Unicorn Riders Association Parade

Recently Rachel Notley while speaking to an Alberta Teachers' Association was heard grumbling: "Maybe on Salt Spring Island you can build an economy on condos and coffee shops but not in Edmonton and not anywhere in Alberta," and "Here in Alberta we ride horses, not unicorns, and I invite pipeline opponents to saddle up on something that is real." Poor Rachel, little did she know that Salt Springers love a challenge so her words stimulated Tom Mitchell's creative juices and inspired his EV & EBikes friends to join him and form the Salt Spring Unicorn Riders Association. To inaugurate this momentous event they decided to saddle up on their real ebikes and real evs for an "embrace the unicorn and get enlightened Ev parade" from Country Grocer to downtown Ganges to the delight, honks and applause of the crowd and passersby. Congratulations to all the participants! It was a real fun event, and brings awareness to the urgent need to electrify and decarbonize if we are to avoid c…
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Let's Try and Win the $60,000,000 Lotto Together Salt Spring

December 7th, 2018 Draw! - If this ticket wins the full amount of the big draw of the LOTTO MAX on Friday this week, with an estimated $60,000,000 jackpot, we’ll share a portion of the winnings with everyone from Salt Spring Island, BC that has subscribed to our Salt Spring Exchange email newsletter, liked and shared this post on Facebook. Open only to voting age, full-time residents of Salt Spring Island! In the event of winning the full amount of lotto draw, you would need to show proof that on the day of the draw you were eligible to vote as a full-time resident of Salt Spring Island, BC for a share in the earnings. You must subscribe to our newsletter by filling out the form below to be entered. If your email is already on our newsletter list, you will NOT get duplicate emails. Only one entry per person permitted! Entry cut off time is 7:30 PM Pacific Salt Spring Island local time on the day of the draw. Draw closed. No win on this one!
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Buy Local, Including Your Local Media

The BC Buy Local campaign celebrates local business to promote the contributions that BC businesses make to our local economy and our communities. The goal of the campaign is to illuminate the local market, making BC-based businesses, products, food and wines more visible to consumers. Think about this too when you spend time online, where you read your news, who you buy your advertising from, where you post your classifieds. Are you using only global social media platforms that have no connection to our local community petitioning people to support your local business? Local media matters. We're incredibly proud to have some great local media and news organizations in this community in the Driftwood, the Fishbowl and the Islands Marketplace. These organizations and Exchange re-circulate almost all of their revenue back into the community unlike all other global media properties. Make sure you support them too! Local businesses enhance our community, connect and support us s…
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Hands On - Video Series Features Salt Spring Artists and Makers

In this digital age there has been a shift in how we relate to our physical things. It is more common to buy things than make them. It is more common to stream music than to learn an instrument. There is great satisfaction in working with your hands. If you are baking bread you know it is a success or failure by the finished loaf. The act of creating something is energizing and empowers us to see what we are really capable of. Also a quick reminder of what our weaknesses are. This series will follow Women who are empowering themselves by working hands on with an art form or discipline that gives them feedback as they develop their skills. These women are of different levels. Some are students. Some are masters. They work directly with their hands to create, build, nurture and play. 'Hands On' was filmed on Salt Spring Island. It was created by Director Deanna Milligan and DOP Julia Hutchings with illustrations Claire Robertson popped over and did all the beautiful illustrati…
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A Surprise Proposal; Facilitated by Strangers and the Salt Spring Exchange

This past July a mystery person using a pseudonym posted an ad on the Salt Spring Exchange, three people sent it to me, I had to know more… The first person who sent me the mystery classified ad requesting, “a photographer for a surprise proposal,” was my Mom. And like all things your Mom sends you, I smiled and thought ‘nahhh.’ But within seconds of confining this thought to the recycle bin, my Aunt emailed it to me too. Things were getting serious. I decided to read the ad and reach out to the mysterious person (all the while wondering if I’d become the publics ‘go-to’ photographer for weird requests after the last surprise wedding I’d accidentally been a part of… [Being the impromptu photographer at a strangers wedding]). Given that the ad was under a fake name, I was forgoing the fun part of being able to look up who the request was coming from before saying ‘yes or no….’ A few days later I found myself standing out in our yard on the only patch of grass with cell rec…
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Salt Spring’s First Neighbourhood Small Grants Announced

The Salt Spring Island Foundation, in partnership with Salt Spring Island Community Services, is pleased to announce the recipients of our first Neighbourhood Small Grants. The Neighbourhood Small Grants program offers grants of $50 to $500 to local projects and events run by people who are passionate about giving back to the community and who have seen a need to encourage social connections in order to make Salt Spring a better place. Unlike regular Foundation grants, which can only be awarded to registered charities, Neighbourhood Small Grants are awarded to individuals with great ideas to bring people together, share skills and knowledge, build a sense of community belonging and responsibility, and respect and celebrate diversity. Glitter Queens Gathering The Glitter Queens Gathering will bring together girls in grades 6–8 to create community, share skills and song circles, and expose them to diverse opportunities and interests. At each Glitter Queens circle, a woma…
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