Sustain your community- here’s 4 easy ways

It’s sometimes hard to find ways to get involved to help your local community and do your part to improve sustainability, but with the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) it’s made easy!

Tree planting, one of the many opportunities you have when you volunteer with the NPCA.

The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority is in charge of 39 conservation areas in the Niagara Peninsula Watershed, which covers the Niagara Region, as well as parts of the City of Hamilton and Haldimand County.

As a non-profit organization, the NPCA looks forward to new volunteers coming into the organization as more hands for large amounts of work is always a good thing. The NPCA has many different areas for volunteers to get involved in, here are just a few ways you could get involved to help the NPCA:

  1. Surveying amphibians
    This opportunity is from March-June and requires you to identify frogs and toads in one of the conservation areas and you must commit to surveying three times during the spring to early summer.
  2. Bird Surveys
    Similar to the amphibian survey, you would be identifying marsh birds in one of the conservation areas and are required to commit to  surveying two times in the spring and early summer.
  3. NPCA Ambassador
    An on-going position where you attend events in the community on behalf of the NPCA to raise awareness on programs, the conservation areas, their mission and projects they have.
  4. Member of the Yellow Fish Road Program
    In this position you would be going around the Niagara Region, and painting yellow fish next to storm drains as a symbol to help educate the public on protecting out valuable water sources.This project can be done as an individual or with a group and is weather dependent.

    Yellow Fish Road volunteers painting yellow fish to raise awareness about the importance of water sources not being polluted

There are many more opportunities, and as time goes on, you can check the NPCA website for updated opportunities.

Happy sustaining!


4 Reasons to Support your Local “Girl Gang”

The collaboration of many small businesses is the main purpose behind Skinner starting Northern Goods.

Did you know?

Canada was home to 950,000 self-employed women in 2011, with Ontario holding the highest percentage of those women.

As a woman business, Melinda Skinner, owner of Sunstone Jewels, which was established in 2014, knows all about why it’s important to support local businesses.

After operating for over three years, Skinner has decided to add on and develop a new company, Northern Goods, which is a monthly subscription service featuring handmade Canadian artisan products. With this new venture launching in less than a week, Skinner shares her thoughts on supporting local.

Just some of the work Melinda Skinner produces for Sunstone Jewels

Here are four reasons, of the endless reasons, you should be supporting local:

1. They love what they do and it shows

Skinner’s accessory business, Sunstone Jewels, was built on a whim when Skinner’s friends loved what she was creating and started asking for their own, and so it began. “It was never on my to-do list, but I loved it from the second it began,” says Skinner. The love a business owner has for what they do shows in their work, Skinner is no different.

2. By supporting a small business owner, you’re giving back to your community

With the difficult economy, and job competition, it’s hard on everyone. Skinner says when you’re spending your money and directly putting it back into the hands of locals you’re building a better economy locally as well.

3. You’re helping someone fulfill their dreams

When someone has enough guts to start their own business, they have a deep desire, and Skinner believes when you shop local you’re supporting these community members not just to pay their bills but also fulfill their dreams.

4. There is no denying the quality

The difference when you look at a local craft vs. a mass produced overseas item is undeniable. You’re supporting the craftsmanship, time, and dedication put into creating items, or building businesses from the people around you.