The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) is committed to reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions in the provision of its services and has been carbon neutral in their corporate activities since 2012. CVRD supports regional climate action and community partnerships have been identified as strategic drivers by the Board. Subsequently, the Road to 2030 Climate Action Challenge was designed to build capacity, incentivize and catalyze community led climate action initiatives. This year the Road to 2030 Challenge expanded our climate action related initiatives by encouraging community members and organizations to apply for a grant that would help their GHG emission reducing ideas come to life. $27,000 was awarded to three project submissions.

“Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions is a priority for the region. The CVRD has actions and targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our own operations. Road to 2030 was an opportunity to support and raise awareness for community-led greenhouse gas emission reducing projects. By working together, and encouraging innovation, we can make progress towards reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 50% of 2007 levels by 2030,” explains Alana Mullaly, General Manager of Planning and Development Services. “Congratulations to the 2021 Road to 2030 winners and thank you to all of the applicants. These local projects will help reduce GHG emissions in the Valley and inspire other local climate action initiatives.”

Thank you to the Selection Committee who was made up of community members including youth members. These Committee members are passionate and involved in our local climate action. Selecting the grant recipients was a difficult task as there were many great project ideas brought forward. A huge thank you to everyone and the partners involved in the Challenge! Road to 2030 demonstrated wide ranging opportunities for community-led local climate action available within our community.

Road to 2030 was open to grant applications from one of the six identified focus areas. The winning submissions were submitted under two of the focus areas, being carbon sequestration and food (e.g. production, security, or waste diversion). The award recipients were announced on July 7th during an online award presentation. The following projects were awarded:

Project Name: Edible Indigenous Plant Shelterbelt

Organization: Comox Youth Climate Council (CYCC) and Lush Valley Food Action Society
Grant Award: $7,000

Project Summary

The Edible Indigenous Plant Shelterbelt project falls within “Food” focus area.  The CYCC and Lush Valley Food Action Society will work to together to design and install an Edible Indigenous Plant Shelterbelt/ Food Forest. This will provide opportunities to train youth in environmental restoration, permaculture design and edible foodscaping. This project will achieve GHG emission reductions by sequestering GHG locally through plant diversity and soil building. GHG reductions are also achieved by reducing the foot print of food transportation.

Additional Community Benefits: Local food distribution through the Good Food Box & Hot Meals program, regenerative agriculture and education, community collaboration and intergenerational connections, filtration of runoff by the Tsolum River, water conservation techniques, bio remediation and phytoremediation.

Project Name: Trees for Tomorrow

Organization: Conservancy Hornby Island
Grant Award: $9,000

Project Summary

Trees for Tomorrow (T4T) is a project by Conservancy Hornby Island that falls into the “Sequestration” focus area. T4T focuses on working with the community to plant trees to fight climate change. This project helps achieve GHG reductions by planting the right tree varieties and mixes in the right locations in order to optimize carbon sequestration potential.

Additional Community Benefits: Established alliances with tree growers, conservancy groups and First Nations, partnerships with not for profit conservancy groups and creating partnerships through targeted infill areas, biodiversity and wildlife habitat creation and the storing and cleansing of water.

Project Name: Lower Perseverance Corridor Project

Organization: Cumberland Forest Community Society
Grant Award: $11,000

Project Summary

The Lower Perseverance Corridor Project is working on protecting 12 ha of an important piece of riparian and upland forest. The second growth forest has trees ranging from 90 to 110 years and 2 ha is at immediate risk. This project will contribute to the protection of a community carbon sink which sequesters carbon and contributes to avoided emissions by the prevention of harvesting. This project falls with the “Sequestration” focus area.

Additional Community Benefits: Community dialogue and research with the K’ómoks First Nation, biodiversity protection and the protection and restoration of an important riparian and upland, ecological and heritage corridor accessibility providing linkages for the public and interpretive activities.

For more information about the Road to 2030 Challenge Award Recipients visit www.connectcvrd.ca/roadto2030

The Comox Valley Regional District is a federation of three electoral areas and three municipalities providing sustainable services for residents and visitors to the area. The members of the regional district work collaboratively on services for the benefit of the diverse urban and rural areas of the Comox Valley.

Alana Mullaly

General Manager of Planning and Development Services, Comox Valley Regional District