Groundswell seeks public input for next steps

Consultation set for Thursday, Otober 5th at Invermere’s Pynelogs

Changes are afoot at the Groundswell Network Society and the group is looking for community input before it proceeds.

Long-time Groundswell executive director Bill Swan stepped down from the role last year, although the public announcement of this move was made just recently, and the society plans to undertake public consultation prior to figuring out its next steps.

“We want to find out where the community see Groundswell in their lives, and to learn how Groundswell can improve on what we’ve done right, and how we can have more engagement,” said Groundswell community and network liaison Katrina Kellner. “There’s been shifts in management and how we operate, but we want to understand the needs and expectations of the community before we go forward.”

A new executive director for the society has not yet been hired, with Ms. Kellner saying that will come after the group has conducted its community consultation.

“It’s exciting times at Groundswell,” she said.

Ms. Kellner lauded the work of Mr. Swan, saying “he’s done a great deal.”

In outlining what the society is and hopes to be, she cited Mr. Swan, that the group attempts to advance community sustainability and resilience through applied, innovative, on-the-ground projects that result in social, economic and environmental benefits.

The focus of Groundswell’s work has strong connections to what the group refers to as the ‘big five’ — food, energy, water, waste and climate.

“The network aspires to empower individuals to recognize sustainability goals, and strives to create healthy communities,” said Ms. Kellner.

Groundswell has been around for the better part of a decade and has been involved in a number of projects over the year in areas such as renewable energy, water, food, plants, green transportation, local economic development, and community composting. But the group is best known in Invermere, and far beyond, for its community greenhouse/sustainability centre. Ever since the greenhouse was first set up back in 2009, it has garnered acclaim as a model of sustainable development, and attracts students to its sustainability courses literally from around the world.

“It truly is a top notch facility, and we do get attention from all over the globe,” said Ms. Kellner.

Groundswell’s public consultation is set for Thursday, October 5th at Pynelogs/Allium Cafe from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

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