Not every project needs to be its own organization. A shared platform occurs when one organization provides a legal home for an unincorporated project or organization.
reThink Green is using its networks and infrastructure to support community led endeavours which build a sustainable Sudbury.
Typical services for a shared platform project include accounting, insurance and office space. It may also include staff time, access to equipment and mentorship. Each partnership is different depending on the needs of the project.
The initiative being supported contributes to the operating costs of reThink Green, which is less costly to the project than operating independently. By working with reThink Green, the project may be able to access funding that would not otherwise be available.The shared platform is an excellent way for reThink Green to leverage its existing assets to support community projects.
reThink Green is currently hosting two shared platform projects: Clean Air Sudbury and the Community Food Forest. If you are planning or leading a community project, please get in touch with reThink Green if you think Shared Platform would be a good fit for your initiative.
Clean Air Sudbury helps educate people and promote action to improve air quality in Greater Sudbury. It is led by a committee is made up of air quality experts and stakeholders who consider air quality to be an important aspect of our environment and community.
Since joining reThink Green, Clean Air Sudbury has secured funding from major corporate sponsors, produced the 2016 Clean Air Report and is in the process of developing educational programs for schools about air quality and climate change.
Clean Air Sudbury and reThink Green share a full time staff person funded by the FedNor Youth Internship program. Jennifer Harvey act as the coordinate for Clean Air Sudbury and Program Development Manager for Green Economy North.
Sudbury Shared Harvest works to connect food grown in private or community gardens with people who need it. Their first program Fruit for All focuses on connected Sudburians who have surplus fruit in their yard with people who can use it.
reThink Green is providing the legal home and a shared administrative platform for the Community Food Forest: a pilot initiative developed by Sudbury Shared Harvest. A Community Food Forest is a carefully-planned arrangement of edible plants, situated on public land, which is designed to mimic a natural forest. An established food forest is very low maintenance in comparison with an ordinary garden, but this requires very careful selection and location of plants under the guidance of individuals with expertise in permaculture. Such a project takes some years to become fully established, but will eventually provide food that will be freely available for consumption by anyone in the community.
Community food forests require considerable coordination, collaboration, community participation and volunteer skills development. Volunteers will participate in educational workshops and training sessions and the expert will lead community members in participating in a design/planning process for a community food forest. The plan will be a multi-phase design, with the first phase being the pilot food forest.
reThink Green and Sudbury Shared Harvest received a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. This funding will pay for the planning and planting the pilot Community Food Forest and the administrative infrastructure to support it.
In partnership with reThink Green, the Northeast Community Network and Cloverbelt Local Food Co-operative, the Rural Agri-Innovation Network (RAIN) will be coordinating a multi-year funding program for farm and food businesses in northern Ontario.
The Sustainable New Agri-Food Products & Productivity Program (SNAPP) will provide a grants to stimulating the development and expansion of the agriculture and food sector in northern Ontario, addressing challenges specific to northern Ontario agri-food production and promoting value-added processing and innovative production and processing practices that increase scalability, profitability, and competitiveness.
Applications and more information about the program can be found at rainalgoma.ca/snapp.
Please contact Allison Muckle, SNAPP Outreach Assistant for Sudbury, Muskoka & Parry Sound for details.