Peterborough and the Environment
Concern for the environment is a priority for many Canadians. A large number of residents in Peterborough incorporate environmentally friendly practices in their lifestyles and have strong opinions about preserving their environment. In school, and at home, children are encouraged from a young age to take care of the environment.
The city takes environmental concerns seriously and has undertaken a variety of different actions to involve residents. Officially launched in 2011, the Sustainable Peterborough project is a partnership between a large number of local organizations. This project will be engaging local residents, businesses and organizations about how to make the Peterborough region more environmentally sustainable.
Peterborough has consistently been recognized as one of Canada’s most eco-conscious communities. Trent University was recognized by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) as Canada’s most environmentally conscious university.
Peterborough has beautiful walking trails. The City’s extensive walking and cycling trails make it possible for Peterborough residents to leave their cars at home and either walk or ride within the city. Many of the trails are paved, include directional signage, provide access to many neighbouring communities, and link to the national Trans Canada Trail. Some of them are plowed in the winter.
Peterborough has an efficient public transit system. With buses running every 40 minutes and routes that cover all points in the city, taking public transit is encouraged, and is something that hundreds of city residents do on a daily basis. Emphasis is placed on the environmental benefits of public transit and how, by taking the bus, people can easily help reduce local air pollution.
Peterborough has many cycling enthusiasts. In addition to the numerous trails that foster a culture of cycling, the city has a Community Bike Shop. The bike shop offers memberships to residents and gives cyclists the opportunity to learn how to perform bicycle maintenance from highly skilled and qualified instructors.
For more information on active and sustainable modes of transportation, please visit the Peterborough Moves website.
There is a strong network of green businesses and organizations looking to promote environmental sustainability. Organizations like Green-Up can help you with your questions on local environmental issues. A local, non-profit environmental organization, Green-Up offers many programmes and services, and maintains a calendar of local environmental events and activities. There are also several local businesses that cater to the eco-minded shopper. The Peterborough Green Expo is an annual event where you can learn about environmental initiatives and connect with eco-friendly local businesses and organizations.
Buying locally grown or made goods is something that is not only an earth-friendly choice, but also helps the city’s business community and local economy. The city has a vibrant downtown businesses community with many shops and services in one central area. The city has two weekly farmers’ markets offering local produce and handmade goods from within the Peterborough region. The Saturday market (open all year) and Wednesday downtown market (open during the summer months) allow you not only to buy great products but also meet the local farmers and artisans who produced them.
Gardening is a pastime that many Peterborough residents enjoy. The Peterborough Community Garden Network was formed to aid in the creation of more community gardens in the city and helps foster a relationship between the gardeners and the wider community. Currently there are 14 community gardens in the city.
Peterborough’s Ecology Park is a local park and demonstration garden where you can learn about nature, crafts or get expert advice on gardening topics.
The Camp Kawartha Environment Centre, located on Trent University’s wildlife sanctuary lands and built by students in Fleming College’s Sustainable Building Design and Construction programme, has been named “Canada’s most sustainable building” by award-winning sustainable builder Chris Magwood. The centre delivers over 40 environmental education programmes to elementary and high-school students and offers workshops, lectures and seminars on sustainability to the general public.
Both Trent University and Fleming College offer exceptional programmes for those interested in pursuing an education in the environmental-sciences field. The two academic institutions even offer a joint programme to those who wish to take part in both the college and university experience.
Ontario is helping Fleming College build a new skills training facility. The Kawarthas Skilled Trades Institute, an 87,000 square foot facility, will provide new space and equipment for Fleming students training in the skilled trades. The building is designed to be constructed using environmentally sustainable building concepts. Green building construction and sustainable teaching methods will be embedded in the curriculum.