McCaskill Street looks like an ordinary residential street in Victoria West, B.C. But it’s much more. Neighbors are actively sharing projects and tools and information, and having fun together building friendships.
Residents are joining brushes to paint a wall mural showing a big chicken chasing a bug — a bright-orange VW beetle owned by a longtime resident. Here’s a delightful short video about everybody making the mural — from ugly concrete to giant chicken chasing the bug.
A chicken “coop co-op” was instigated when one neighbor owning chickens (now dubbed the Eggnabler) got two other neighbors raising them, too.
Co-founder Patti Parkhouse spearheaded a project to plant a community orchard and several veggie beds on the boulevard (city land beside the roadway under which utilities are buried). There’s even a Westfalia (VW bus) support group and shared electric lawn mower.
Following guidelines in a Transition Handbook, a handful of neighbors met monthly to share information around energy, water, food, transportation and waste. One outcome was that several homeowners increased the energy efficiency of their homes by retrofitting heating systems to super-efficient heat pumps, almost all of which was paid for by government incentives!
McCaskill Street’s neighborliness was spurred by Transition Victoria (TV), which initiated a Transition Street project. We videoed TV organizer Michelle Colussi about her work building resilient neighborhoods around the city. Her own neighborhood togetherness includes picking and sharing ripe fruit from an elderly neighbor’s trees, and neighbors pitching in together when the creek flooded up the street.
McCaskill Street co-founder Jack Meredith told us he wanted to live on a street where you could borrow a cup of sugar from anyone. Now he’s got it.