By Davida Morris

It’s a New Year and we are feeling positive about the forward strides we are making with our education programmes. This month sees the roll out of our latest programme Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE).

Young Reporters for the Environment

YRE is a sister programme to Eco Schools in that it is offered by the Foundation for Environmental Education. This programme gives young people the opportunity to put their selves at the forefront of environmental issues by having them research an environmental or sustainability issue they are interested in and feel needs more attention. They then research the topic and propose solutions based on their research in the form of a written article, a video story or a photo story.

To assist students in the process we have teamed up with local journalists who will impart their skills and knowledge to students in a series of workshops. We’re so excited to give young people this empowering experience because they truly have the potential to change the world around them.

Eco-Schools

The New Year also sees us doing something else that’s new. We’re rolling out our first ever Eco Schools survey. We’re asking all our Eco Club members across the island to tell us their opinions, share with us their knowledge and what they have done for the environment. It’s the first time we’ve done such a survey and we’re looking forward to seeing what kind of impact we’re making.

There are more new things to reveal but I’ll save them for a later date. Just know that we are always looking for new ways to improve and enhance our programmes for Bermudian students and one of the ways we do just that is by seeking knowledge through professional development.

FEE Visit

This last full week of January saw Greenrock welcome back to Bermuda Mrs Laura Hickey. Laura is the Associate Vice President, Education Programmes at the National Wildlife Federation; the Senior Director of Eco Schools USA and sits on the board of Foundation for Environmental Education. Laura visited us to provide mentorship to both our Eco Schools and Young Reporters for the Environment programmes and I am so grateful for her visit.

Knowledge was imparted, questions asked and answered all with the aim of ensuring that Greenrock is able to deliver the best programmes possible. After Laura’s visit I am feeling as energised and excited as I did after the National Operators Meeting in November so I am confident that the rest of the academic year and the years to come are going to be great for learning about sustainability.

With the start of the New Year, we are busy working on making sure Earth Hour 2017 is a success.

This will be our ninth year organising Earth Hour in Bermuda, and the tenth year for Earth Hour overall – the first event having been held just in Sydney, Australia.

This year Earth Hour falls on Saturday, March 25th.

As we have for the last few Earth Hours, we plan to hold a 5k Fun Glow Walk and Run throughout the City – and to do this we need your help!

In order to hold this Walk and Run event, we need road marshals to help ensure the route throughout the City is safe for all participants.

As a road marshal you will help provide a safe course for our runners. Marshalls are positioned throughout the course, usually at intersections, and are responsible for managing traffic and directing participants along the route.

We need your help to ensure a successful Earth Hour – please let us know if you can help!

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to let us know!

This June saw a close of another excellent year of our Eco-Schools Programme, marked by our second ever Eco-Schools Awards Ceremony.

Greenrock was pleased that the Minister of Education, the Honourable Wayne Scott, was able to attend the ceremony and provide a welcoming speech. The Shadow Minister, Lovitta Foggo, was also available, and recognised. 

The New Year offers us an opportunity to take stock of the last twelve months while also looking forward to the year ahead. 

Here at Greenrock we have seen some changes over the last twelve months, especially with a new School Programme Manager taking over our environmental education programmes. The next twelve months should see us consolidating our environmental education programmes, including our newest programme Young Reporters for the Environment.

On a global level, the impacts of both Brexit and the election of President Trump remain uncertain for the third sector in Bermuda, and, importantly for Greenrock, for global environmental issues.

Much was said by the new President of the USA during his election campaign attacking climate science, and his subsequent appointments to environmental or science positions in his Cabinet, along with additional comments by him, have given a strong indication that he will reverse the progress made by his predecessor as regards climate change and the environment generally.

What remains unclear however is how much of an impact his policies and actions will have on the global push to execute the Paris Agreement and what impact his domestic policies will have on the USA’s own contributions to climate change.

Here at Greenrock we will continue to observe developments and take an active role locally as we continue to deliver our environmental education programmes and advocate for sustainable solutions for Bermuda.

The year ahead will no doubt be an interesting one…

On June 30th Greenrock were delighted to be awarded a certificate from the Centre on Philanthropy recognising our membership and long-term commitment to Bermuda's Third Sector.

Greenrock has been a member of the Centre on Philanthropy for at least ten years and we remain committed to them going forward.

Greenrock said they were “surprised to learn about the proposal to introduce car rentals,” and said they “would support legislation – such as this proposed amendment – being subject to a more pro-active public consultation approach.”

The environmental organisations’s comments follow after the Motor Car Amendment [No. 2] Act 2016 was tabled in the House of Assembly, with the Bill seeking to amend the Motor Car Act 1951 to include provisions for a motor car rental scheme.

cross-island-aerialGreenrock has accepted the invitation by the Cross Island Committee to join them and provide a key environmental voice.

The Cross Island Committee was set up to engage the community to get ideas for the use of the nine acres of land being created at Dockyard's South Basin for the America's Cup Village, following the America's Cup.

Greenrock is commending the Department of Energy for holding the island’s second ever 2016 Energy Summit, saying that “it is time for Bermuda to move from aspiration to action.”

Greenrock Executive Director Jonathan Starling said, “We were happy to participate in the planning of this event as we view conversations on Bermuda’s energy future to be of critical importance for our island.

In June we were delighted that Chubb (formerly ACE) had offered to host the latest Green Building Forum and provide a light lunch to our members.

Greenrock said they were “surprised to learn about the proposal to introduce car rentals,” and said they “would support legislation – such as this proposed amendment – being subject to a more pro-active public consultation approach.”

The environmental organisations’s comments follow after the Motor Car Amendment [No. 2] Act 2016 was tabled in the House of Assembly, with the Bill seeking to amend the Motor Car Act 1951 to include provisions for a motor car rental scheme.

Greenrock commends the Department of Energy for holding the 2016 Energy Summit, the island's second ever, which was held on Wednesday, June 29th.

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