A Word from Brandy:
This year has continued old and spawned new work that has created fundamental change at O.U.R. ECOVILLAGE.Beyond anyone’s wildest dreams so much has been nurtured - incredible accounts of how much folks appreciate OURwork, feel transformed by their experience here, and/or are interested in creating community more deeply because of OUR connection.Last year over 7700 people participated on site with OUR ECOVILLAGE in some way. We are the premierePermaculture/Sustainable Village Demonstration Site and Education Centre of its kind in Canada. We supported 7different Directed Studies projects and had contracts for 14 courses with Vancouver Island University, the University of Victoria, and Royal Roads University all teaching with OUR being done both onsite at OUR ECOVILLAGE and at their campus. We also have a partner agreement with Gaia College and we are now teaching ‘The Organic Master Gardener”here onsite with them.We completed one JCP (Job Creation Project) in the spring of 2009 which had a wonderful impact here by creating all thesite and event planning, and media/marketing tools that we have been able to put into play throughout the year. We havesite rental contracts, booking calendars, new systems, a whole new website, we won a life long membership with a anemail marketing company, Emma, and now have all OUR updates, newsletters, and course details going out this way.We also started another JCP for 2009/10 which has had a huge “ eco-landscaping” impact onsite (more on page 4).We raised over $325,000 in grants/training monies/foundation support. Much of this has come from Skills Training wherewe are able to hire people who have been on Employment Insurance previously. This meant that last fall we actually hadevery person onsite working here under a program (other than CM who traveled to his school and Bill who had justretired). This is an incredible shift to see this many people onsite and not have them commuting all over to get to work.This past summer there were 36 full time residents on site and the winter heralded in 21 people! With the advent of somany of us as winter residents OUR team moved forward to build a beautiful temporary kitchen in TAJII (OUR 2
shop)All of this would never have been dreamt into manifestation without the incredible loving connection of all of you and the100’s and 100’s of volunteers who came through here again last year. OUR work is a living testimonial to what is possiblein a world of challenge with a somewhat uncertain future. All the efforts become so very worthwhile when it is shared inthe healing connection of community and relationship. May the beginning of this new season bring a spark of newpossibility, a new found energy to work magic, and a peace that is healing for all. And may OUR ECOVILLAGE manifestitself on a whole new level…..bringing each of us all of the joy we so richly deserve.
Brandy Gallagher is co-founder and the Executive Director of O.U.R. Ecovillage