Community Resources and Activities
Do you need immediate assistance due to COVID? Check out the COVID-19 general resources and financial assistance page.
When individuals and communities are connected, they have the ability to prepare for, endure, and recover from hazards and challenges we face every day along with those extraordinary challenges that come along from time-to-time.
The Neighbour to Neighbour Project is a central hub for a range of Saanich programs and resources that support community connections. However, we are currently living in an extraordinary time, which is limiting the ways our community can be connected.
Read on for activities you and your household can do during COVID that can support long-term community well-being through improving your emergency preparedness, climate-friendliness, food security, and awareness and interactions with nature in Saanich.
Why not challenge your household to some of these, or incorporate them into your kids’ home learning?
Enhancing emergency preparedness
In our everyday lives, large-scale emergencies and disasters seem remote. But natural disasters, technological or environmental accidents or service disruptions can happen, and the Saanich Emergency Program is here to help, and has many resources for individuals, households, buildings, neighbourhoods, businesses, and schools to help you get prepared.
- You already have many items you need in a disaster in your home. Get organized by creating a household plan and compiling a kit. Everything you need to know is in the Regional Guide to Emergency Preparedness.
- Here are some tips on how to make a family plan
- Check out the new Breaking down Barriers video
- Check out these great practical prep suggestions, and then tweet us @SaanichEP and let us know what you did!
- Believe it or not, the most frequent feedback after our Preparedness Presentation is 'I loved learning how to make a dry toilet!' We can't present in person right now but you can still learn how to make your very own! Check it out
In our region, climate change is expected to result in hotter and drier summers, sea-level rise, and increased numbers and intensity of winter storms. These local changes, and other global changes, affect our ecosystems, infrastructure, agriculture and food security, and health and safety. The 2020 Climate Plan outlines the actions needed for the District of Saanich to meet our greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets and to prepare for a changing climate.
The Climate Plan is clear that we cannot rely on local government action alone - our success needs action from everyone working together. You can use the following resources to get started:
- Saanich Carbon Calculator - find out your impact on the planet’s climate and how you can lower your GHG emissions. Post your results online, and challenge yourself and friends to reduce your emissions and see who can get closest to zero fastest!
- Residents' Climate Action Guidebook [PDF - 12 MB] – explore this activity book, full of ideas for reducing your GHG emissions and increasing your ability to adapt to a changing climate. Use it to make your own climate action plan as an individual, with your household, or with your friends and neighbours online.
- Lighter Living Neighbourhood Action Packs OneEarth's new Lighter Living Action Pack for Neighbourhoods in BC can help you take action for the wellbeing of the planet and your community. In the guide, you'll find fun and inspiring actions you can undertake on your own, with friends and neighbours, or your whole neighbourhood. Will you hold a neighbourhood-wide garage sale? Or make a plan to share tools (or toys!) on your block? Pick something and then bring your idea to life!
Increasing local food security
Support local farmers by sourcing directly. Did you know that many farmers markets are now offering online sales?
- Consider planting a food garden in your yard, on your balcony, or in a community garden. Check out the Growing Together Campaign for tips!
- The ŚW̱,ȻENEṈITEL Indigenous foods initiative is supporting Indigenous families through this time in connecting to traditional foods. A campaign has been launched seeking support either financially or in the ways of soil, garden boxes or plants to help grow a resilient food system. You can find out more about the campaign on their Facebook page. For more information visit the ŚW̱,ȻENEṈITEL Indigenous foods initiative website.
Appreciating nature locally
Things to do outside
Are you curious? Check out our Natural Intelligence page. Let’s work together to learn, connect and care for our local environment
- Go explore nature in your local neighbourhood park. Please take pictures and tag @Saanich Parks, Recreation and Community Services with your observations. Check out the maps showing parks and trails.
- Learn cool facts about Saanich Parks and enjoy Saanich Parks interpretive signs from the comfort of your couch and then head out on foot or by bike to see them in real life.
- Volunteer in Parks, become a Parks Partner, or develop a Park Furniture project
- Landscape your boulevard
Things to do in your yard
- Plant a tree on your property. Check out our resources including a list of suggested trees Please don’t forget to water it!
- Have you tried adding to your garden with habitat in mind? Naturescape is a way to attract and enjoy wildlife in your own backyard or balcony.
- Do you like birds? Building a birdhouse is a great project to do by yourself or with family. Here are some simple designs: Nestbox for Swallows, or Chickadees and Nuthatches. Also check out this information about protecting nestboxes from invasive birds.
- Find out how you can provide plants that attract and support our native butterflies. You may want to identify the butterflies that visit your yard with this Guide to Butterflies of South Vancouver Island or dragonflies if you live near a pond.
- Are you starting or increasing food gardening this year? Native bees can help pollinate your garden! Find out how you can provide habitat for native bees.
- Would you like to have more natural insect control on your property? Support bats by installing a bat roosting box. Find out more about local bats here: community bat programs of BC.
- Consider removing invasive plants from your yard. See Saanich’s Invasive Species webpages and resources for more information on these weedy species. Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and feel free to include a picture or two.
- Wildlife rely on native plant habitat that you can provide in your yard or even in pots on your deck. Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) provides this resource for Gardening with Native Plants. The Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovery Team (GOERT) helps you design a native garden in The Garry Oak Gardener’s Handbook.
- It might be cool to connect with UVIc for some of their Ethnobotany classes.
- If you want to keep track of all of the wildlife that is also enjoying your yard, check out iNaturalist- an online social network built on the concept of mapping and sharing observations of biodiversity across the globe.