Monday, 23 March 2020 09:45

Sustainable Merrickville-Wolford: Initiatives taken in light of this pandemic

Hi, everyone,

I hope you are doing as well as you can in these incredibly challenging times. 

I wanted to update you on a few things we are doing together to focus on community sustainability in light of this pandemic. Feel free to share this with your friends and neighbours.

  1. Creating a hub for volunteers and people in need of support. We have converted our Facebook page to be an online “board” where people can offer their services, share resources, and ask for support. These types of Facebook pages have been popping up all over the world, and we wanted to make sure our community had one too. Please find us at bit.ly/SustM-W to offer help, find the latest on shops and services open, or to express a need. If you are not on Facebook, send us an email and we will do our best to connect you or respond to your question.
  2. Elevating our goal of local food security as a focus. We have a few approaches:
    1. Collecting food for the Merrickville Emergency Food Cupboard, which serves families all over our region. They rely solely on community donations, and are worried about the weeks ahead. The items they most need are: canned tuna, diced tomatoes, peanut butter and cereal. They will gratefully accept all non-perishable donations. They are limiting people into their location so please drop off at Healthily Ever After, 118 Brock Street West in Merrickville, and we will deliver in batches as the donations accumulate. You can leave donations on the porch if you prefer. If you are able to make a financial donation, families receive food vouchers for our Merrickville Food Market - so the financial gifts do double duty in our community. Send an e-transfer to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - at the Rideau Community Health Centre - indicating "Client Needs Fund". If you or someone you know needs to access the Food Cupboard, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 613-269-3400.
    2. Supporting local residents to create or expand home vegetable gardens. To enhance healthy local food supply, build soil health, promote biodiversity, and reduce our dependence on the broader global food production system, we can grow vegetables on our own properties. We can learn much from the victory garden movement in WWI and WWII about ensuring local food security. We also want to invite you to plant an extra row or two for our Food Bank. Carrots, tomatoes and cucumbers are most popular, but they will welcome any harvest donations! What a wonderful opportunity while we are all at home this spring to plan our gardens. Check our Facebook page for resources and watch for further information on how to easily convert some of your lawn to productive gardening space! Pro-tip: start saving your cardboard, it is helpful!
    3. Supporting local farmers. We have had 2 successful “Ask a Farmer” events, and we are working on new ways to connect residents with our local farmers who offer wonderful local produce and meat. These farms are such an important part of our local food security. 
  1. New Repair Cafe going online. We were so excited about the possibilities for our Repair Cafe, so rather than cancelling we are going online! Our first one will be on Basic Bike Maintenance and Repair next Saturday, March 28th at 10:30am using Facebook live - just go to our Facebook page and you will find it. We will have Jack Rossi, a student at Queen's who runs the campus Bikes and Boards shop demonstrate some basic ways to tune up our bikes for spring, do a few common repairs, and we will take questions from people watching live. It will also be available on our page as a recording. We will learn lots from this first attempt and hope to bring you more local Repair Cafe Online events in the weeks ahead. Stay tuned, and send us a note if you want to volunteer to do one, or have a topic to request.
  2. New website in the works. We know not everyone is on Facebook, so we have a team that has been working on a website where we will share resources. Still a few weeks away - we will let you know when we go live!

If you want to join us at our next Planning evening, we will be hosting a Zoom video conference call on Wednesday, April 8th at 6:30pm. Please join us through your web browser at  https://zoom.us/j/741135477, or call in by phone at 1-647-558-0588. Everyone is welcome to join us to take action to build community resilience, and take positive, practical action in the face of this pandemic and the climate crisis.

If you have any questions or suggestions, want to RSVP for our meeting, or add someone to our mailing list, please send us a note.

Take care,

Michèle Andrews for

Sustainable Merrickville-Wolford

A Potluck Action Group

We invite anyone interested to join us in working together to take positive action in the face of the climate crisis. No judgement, no guilt, no shaming - we need all our efforts, however imperfect. Let's come together to learn, build community resilience and regenerate our planet.