We have a winner….8 of them!

The Green Venture EcoStar Challenge has come to an end. We were so excited to have 1326 students from 79 different classes participate! After entering all the 111 challenges complete by these students, we drew for our Grand Prize Winners. A big congratulations to:

  • Hillcrest
  • Parkdale
  • St. Patrick
  • St. Brigid
  • Dr. Davey
  • Dundana
  • R.A. Riddell
  • St. Marguerite d’Youville

The winning schools have the choice of three Grand Prizes: a school tour of EcoHouse, our smoothie bike for a week, or a vermicomposting bin for their classroom. During the challenge we were able to see that many actions, small and large, are happening at schools around Hamilton. All the completed challenges have been entered on the Hamilton Climate Change Map, so you can see what students are working on in your part of Hamilton.

We hope that all the students who participated in our EcoStar Challenge will continue to learn about the environment and take actions to protect it.

Doors Open Hamilton 2017

Green Venture is pleased to invite the neighbours in as part of our annual open-house weekend. This year, the EcoHouse (Glen Manor) and its gardens (the Veevers Estate) are featured on the Doors Open Hamilton list of sites.

EcoHouse will be open from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday May 6, 2017 and from 12 pm to 4 pm on Sunday May 7, 2017.  We will be running as an open house for most of that time, but there will also be two special 30- minute guided tours each day. There is no admission charge, although donations are always welcome.

Doors Open Hamilton is an architecture and heritage focused event, and so here will be a rare opportunity to visit the site with an eye not just to our many environmental demonstrations and sustainability ideas, but also to explore the past of the building and grounds. At 1 pm each day, Green Venture will be offering a guided tour of the house, focusing on its heritage architecture and occupants. At 2 pm each day there will be a matching tour of the grounds, again focusing on interesting heritage elements.

Glen Manor driveway, 1982

Come and see our newest additions: the water treatment display, our bike rack made out of recycled metal parts, and the seedling racks in the solarium. Inside, in addition to the sustainable living displays, there will also be a special opportunity to visit the 1850s basement section of the building and the historical “mud room”.  These areas of the building are not normally open to the public, but are a crucial part of the heritage of the site. In these areas of the basement, the Veevers family maintained their workshop, their first indoor bathroom, and a unique dog kennel. Today these areas are storage and the location of the inverter for the solar and wind energy generation equipment.

Finally, Green Venture will also be offering a selection of vegetable seedlings for sale as a fundraiser. Looking to get a head-start on spring gardening? Why not take home a heritage tomato or pepper seedling? Our plants have all been grown without pesticides in the EcoHouse solarium. Some are heirloom seeds from the Hamilton Seed Library, located on site.



Heritage window testing project

Can a restored heritage window work as well as a new vinyl one? GV is contributing to a fascinating project with Mohawk College: air testing a restored heritage window:

This is a research project by Shannon Kyles for Mohawk College Applied Research

The research project initialized by Shannon Kyles is aimed at determining the thermal efficiency and air infiltration of restored 19th century windows compared to new 21st century windows. The research will address this question: Is it true that restored wooden windows are less energy efficient than new ones?

In order to provide the most energy efficient building possible, John Deelstra, Mark Lucking and Brad MacDonald of Mohawk’s Building Reno department have worked with Shannon Kyles to construct a test building. Industry partners Roxul and Turkstra Lumber have helped to provide quality products. Green Venture will be providing the Blower Door Test.

For more information about the project, email shannon.kyles@mohawkcollege.ca

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Countdown is on: last month of EcoStars Challenge!

This is the final month of the Green Venture EcoStars Challenge! To celebrate the diversity of activities happening in classes and schools around the city, we are going to take a look at what is happening at Parkdale Elementary School. They have taken on projects both large and small:

  • GOOS paper (good on one side): keep extra paper to use as scrap
  • Hydration Station: just got a water station that allows students to refill water bottles
  • Reusable Water Bottles with School Logo: selling Parkdale water bottles to encourage
  • use of hydration station
  • The Lorax: grade 2’s are studying the Dr.Seuss book
  • Bank of Computers: reduce paper use by completing written tasks on Google Drive
  • Save Lunchable Covers: collect and return covers to the company, who then donates school supplies and recycles/reuses the sleeves
  • Reusable Snack Bins: Tupperware used in daily snack program to avoid waste
  • Recycle: all paper and plastic is recycle in every class

Good job Parkdale staff and students!

DEPAVE PARADISE: St. Brigid Catholic School joins the growing movement to tear up asphalt in schoolyards

HAMILTON, ON – DEPAVE PARADISE (www.depaveparadise.ca) projects engage volunteers and neighbourhoods in communities across Canada, removing pavement and planting gardens filled with native species in its place. On April 28th starting at 3pm they’ll be liberating the soil at St. Brigid’s by removing the asphalt by hand (and pry-bar) in a community work bee. Beautification projects like these are proven to increase sense of community ownership and stewardship, foster the development of community identity, bring people with various background together to work on a common goal, and help build community leaders.  They’ll return on May 5th to plant a new garden in the depaved space. Green Venture, St. Brigid Catholic Elementary School, 14th Hamilton Scout Group and local community members will be hosting Hamilton’s 4th Depave Paradise event to transform part of the school’s asphalt playground into a green space created through student-driven design. The garden will be split into four quadrants to represent the student’ vision including a peace garden, butterfly garden, rain garden and sensory garden.

Depaving Day:
Friday April 28th, 2017 3:00pm-7:30pm

Planting Day:

Friday May 5th, 2017 3:00pm-7:30pm


Ontario’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, a key funder of this project, says that managing rain where it falls should be the first priority of stormwater management, to help meeting water quantity and quality targets in waterways. One of the key issues for Hamilton Harbour is the impact of urban runoff which contributes to high nutrient concentration and sediment into the Harbour. Hard surfaces, such as driveways, parking lots and buildings, interrupt the natural water cycle by preventing rain water from soaking into the ground. By removing pavement and replacing it with green space, we are increasing the infiltration rate of rain water, cooling our neighbourhoods, keeping our water clean, and providing us and our children with greater connections to the natural world.

Bring your family and friends, young and old, and join St. Brigid and partners transform the schoolyard pavement into a vibrant and engaging green space for all to enjoy!

Volunteers are needed! This is a family friendly event and all are welcome. We will provide all necessary tools and safety equipment as well as food and drink for all volunteers. Please arrive dressed for the weather (Rain or Shine!), wearing sturdy shoes and be ready to get your hands dirty.

For more information about how you can get involved contact Laura Anderson, Program Coordinator at laura.anderson@greenventure.ca or 905-540-8787 ext. 158.

Many thanks go to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, Ontario Trillium Foundation for funding support provided for this project.  Our project partners: Green Venture, Depave Paradise, Green Communities Canada, St. Brigid, Bay Area Restoration Council, 14th Hamilton Scouts, Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan, HWCDSB and many more!

“It has to be more than gardening and recycling”

“It has to be more than gardening and recycling”. That was my first thought when I began the process of gathering ideas for the EcoStars Challenge. I wanted to make sure that our Challenges represented the fact that living sustainably touches every part of our lives, and that Hamilton students have many styles of learning. That is why if you take a few moments to look through our EcoStar Challenges, you will find Challenges covering everything from jokes to maps to spoken word poetry. You will also find Challenges that encourage leadership (“start a writing instrument recycling program at your school”), as well as those that encourage community (“invite a younger class to join you for local snacks”). Our hope is that these small Challenges will lead to lifestyle changes at school and home.

To prove that change is possible, I like to tell visiting classes that when I was in school there were no green boxes or blue boxes, everything just went in the garbage! That I learned about recycling at school, and it slowly started to happen at home. At Green Venture we believe that giving students a chance to do hands-on learning around environmental issues, will lead to society wide change in the future.

Putting EcoStars on the Hamilton Climate Change Map

Hamilton is a city that has been well mapped: road maps, transit maps, bike route maps, Matt Jelly Neighbourhood maps, and local food maps. But did you know that we also have a climate change map?? The McMaster Centre for Climate Change has gathered many local organizations (including Green Venture and Clean Air Hamilton) together and created two Climate Change Maps. One map records actions that people are taking to minimize climate change, and the other map records impacts that people notice around climate change. Part of our EcoStar Challenge is to get all the great activities that students are participating in, up on the Climate Change Map! As classes submit their completed challenges, one of our Green Venture staff adds them to the Climate Change map. Now everyone in Hamilton can see the exciting things that students are doing and be inspired to get involved in minimizing climate change.

The Climate Change maps are open to all individuals, families, schools, churches, businesses and organizations in Hamilton. If you are doing something around Climate Change, make sure you put yourself on the map!

To check out the Climate Change Maps go to: http://www.mapclimatechange.ca/maps.html

“Corks and Caps Raffle” begins Feb 2

Green Venture is pleased to introduce our 2017 wine raffle, this year also featuring craft beer. Our “Corks and Caps Raffle 2017” features a single grand prize of 17 bottles of Ontario wine and 3 craft beer taster packs from the local area.  Tickets are only $5.00, and there is a limited run of 300 tickets. Those are good odds! Please help support Green Venture by purchasing a ticket.

The raffle draw takes place on April 3, 2017 and winners will be notified by phone, email, and as well as the result being posted via our web page and social media.

Tickets will be available at Seedy Saturday (Feb 4), at the Green Venture table, as well through our staff and board members. If you’d like to get a ticket for this swell prize, please email contact@greenventure.ca or call 905-540-8787, x117.

EcoStars Challenge 4 months in

We are in the 4th month of our EcoStar Challenge, and it has been exciting to meet some of the students involved, and work on some Challenges with them. In December we travelled to St.Brigid, Fessenden, and Blessed Sacrament with our Smoothie Bike. The students were able to use the bike, learn about food, and get entered for their first challenge! Earlier in the fall we had fun visiting Fessenden to do a grade 5 energy presentation and a grade 3 worm presentation. When students from Ridgemount and Norwood Park visited us at EcoHouse for a school tour, they were excited to learn that they had been entered in the EcoStar challenge. And students at St.Marguerite d’Youville were very busy last fall, putting in a Raingers Rain Garden with Green Venture!

If your class would like to get involved with the EcoStar Challenge, we would love to help you get started!Smoothie Bike Kid 2101_1853 101_1784

We’re Looking For Alleys in Need of Some Love!

Do you know a Hamilton alleyway that could use some love? Green Venture has received funding through the Hamilton Future Fund to beautify and revitalize an alley and we need your help! We are looking for nominations of alleys, from any area of Hamilton, that would benefit from some TLC. We are also looking for enthusiastic project leads who want to help us spearhead this transformation. If this is you and you would like to nominate an alley please fill out our nomination form here. Deadline for nominations is Friday February 10, 2017.