Sustainable Orillia, Volunteer Orientation On Sunday

By Fred Larsen – Special to SUNonline/Orillia

As part of an overall review, Sustainable Orillia has been reflecting on our experience since inception in 2019. The organization is heading into its fifth full year of operation and, more than ever, our attention is turned towards the future and how best to mobilize as many Orillians as possible in the quest to overcome climate change and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

At the heart of our plans for the next five years is the belief that we already have the tools to protect our planet and the quality of life for our children and their children to come. Our challenge is to foster that belief and the necessary behavioural changes more deeply, broadly and quickly across our community.

To make that happen, we need more Orillians to participate directly in sustainable programs and organizations like Sustainable Orillia—Orillians like Sarah Patterson who recently joined the SO Board of Directors. Sarah and her husband, Kyle, moved to Orillia last June. While settling into and enjoying Orillia, they are keen to get involved in the community and make a contribution to their new home town. Sarah feels passionately about the natural environment and the world we are leaving to future generations. She believes strongly in the old adage, think globally and act locally, and, with that in mind, she reached out to Sustainable Orillia. 

Sarah’s experience as an educator and working with youth is invaluable to the SO team.   Continuing education is a critical component in getting the buy-in and changes needed to succeed in this mission. During the pandemic, Sarah co-founded an environmental organization called Common Earth, which delivers online courses to help people understand climate change, its root causes, ramifications and remedies. 

Sarah’s first love is summer camps, bringing together her passion for nature with her educator and leadership talents.  Sarah ran summer camps over a number of years and has a spark and energy that inspires people, young and old alike. That energy, enthusiasm and experience is invaluable to Sustainable Orillia and to our community.

Sarah Patterson is an excellent example of the talent and commitment needed to stave off the encroaching climate disaster. This journey to net-zero also needs you, your talents, your commitment to help whichever way you can – large or small.   Sometimes only a couple of hours once or twice a year is enough to help get the message out, to help our community do its part in protecting the future of the planet. 

If you are prepared to get involved, then please join Sarah—along with another forty of your friends and neighbours this Sunday, February 11 at 2 p.m. for an afternoon of orientation and opportunity at the Orillia Museum of Art History. Members of the Sustainable Orillia board and sector teams will be presenting an overview of the organization and offering a wide range of volunteer opportunities for those present to get involved.    

Everyone is welcome. There’ll be pizza at the end and-we’ll all be home in time for the Super Bowl. If you would like to join us to see how you can do more to head off the looming climate catastrophe, then please, click here to sign up.

(Images Supplied) Main: Sustainable Orillia’s newest board member, Sarah Patterson.


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