Charlotte County organizations awarded environmental grants

(Submitted photo) Early morning at the water’s edge in Ganong Nature Park.

CHARLOTTE COUNTY – Several organizations in Charlotte County are receiving Environmental Trust Fund grants.

Last week, the provincial government announced funding for 205 projects totalling just under $8.7 million. Organizations in Charlotte County benefitting include the Atlantic Salmon Federation, Ganong Nature Park, Huntsman Marine Science Centre, Town of Saint Andrews, St. Croix International Waterway Commission and Eastern Charlotte Waterways.

The Town of Saint Andrews received $30,000 to undertake a study on establishing a community composting program. Coun. Marc Blanchard is a member of the environmental advisory committee and that’s where discussions began about composting in town.

“Initially, the advisory committee was looking at a household composting program,” said Blanchard, noting the program would have included small, individual composters for households. Each household would have created their own compost, which they could use in their own gardens. A grant application to establish a pilot program was unsuccessful.

Blanchard said their next thought was a curbside program that could encompass Saint Andrews as well as the rest of Charlotte County.

The money the town received is “for a feasibility study to look at what other municipalities and what other regions are doing.”

Part of the reason for looking at a broader, county-wide option is because of the new responsibilities the regional service commissions have taken on as a part of amalgamation.

Town clerk Paul Nopper said the town will be putting together requirements for the study and putting it out to a request for proposal. The study needs to be complete by the end of March 2024. Nopper said the study will also look at the idea of composting through a climate change lens to research options for doing the composting in town rather than shipping the material to the regional site at Lawrence Station.

“Is there another way that a community-based compost program could happen” to reduce emissions, he asked.

He said part of the impetus for the initiative came from residents asking about composting programs and newcomers to the town requesting one.

Ganong Nature Park received two grants for its free educational programs. The nature detective program will receive $15,000 and its youth engagement in environmental stewardship program was awarded $20,000.

The nature detective program is for elementary school students who visit the park and have to solve mysteries based on clues provided.

“It’s almost like an investigation,” said park manager Louise Sumner. “They have to solve a mystery like ‘who am I’ or ‘what am I’.”

The guide takes them through the park on a sort of scavenger hunt and teaching students about animals and their habitat, plants and the environment.

The youth stewardship program is for high school-aged students and is based on the science curriculum. Students will do more advanced work such as pH testing and dissection of owl pellets.

“Basically, owl poop,” said Sumner. “They dissect it and find out what (the owls) have been eating,” which shines a light on the lives of owls.

The high school students will also learn about a habitat or animal but “tailored to an older age group with a little more advanced understanding of biology and chemistry.”

Additional grant details

  • Atlantic Salmon Federation: $9,000 for water quality monitoring in the Chamcook watershed.
  • St. Croix Intertational Waterway Commissin: $40,200 for its ongoing water quality monitoring of the St. Croix River.
  • Passamaquoddy Recognition Group Inc.: $50,000 to be used for water quality monitoring in the Passamaquoddy watershed.
  • Eastern Charlotte Waterways: $50,000 for river bank restoration along the Magaguadavic River; and $69,000 to partner with Atlantic Coast Action progam (Saint John) and the Peskotomuhkati Nation on collection of water quality data for the east and west Fundy watersheds.
  • Southwest New Brunswick Service Commission: $40,000 for education on household hazardous waste management.
  • Huntsman Marine Science Centre: $40,000 to expand its debris free Fundy campaign.
  • Village of Grand Manan: $70,000 for a study on solid waste management on the island.