Visit McCaskill Street — Forging Community through Resource Sharing (297)

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Lori Garcia-Meredith shows the wall mural with a giant chicken chasing an orange bug

It all started with neighbors meeting to save money and share information around energy, water, food and more. It has grown into shared projects, shared tools and deepened friendships. Residents joined brushes to paint a wall mural with unique neighborhood themes, spearheaded by artist Lori Garcia-Meredith. “Eggnabler” Janet Riddell hatched a Chicken Coop Co-op to encourage others to raise chickens, and they now host an annual “Tour de Coop.” Patti Parkhouse and friends planted a community orchard and several veggie beds on the boulevard (street-side city-owned land). After meeting with an energy auditor, several families purchased heat pumps to save on heating costs (shown by Jack Meredith and Warren Walsh). And that’s just the beginning. Here’s a list of more results:

Results from the McCaskill Transition Street Pilot (9 households)

  • 6 Houses have done energy audits
  • 5 Heat Pumps have been installed
  • 1 high efficiency furnace has been installed
  • 4 houses have had major insulation upgrades
  • 6 clotheslines installed
  • Water audits done on 7 houses via the residents’  water posse
  • 5 low flow toilets installed plus high efficiency shower heads
  • 7 houses aggressively composting
  • More gardening being done by everyone
  • Gardens are being shared with one another
    • Boulevards being reclaimed for food production
    • Group purchasing of local organic food
    • Work parties for major and minor tasks
    • Tool sharing has increased (ladders, concrete mixer, lawn mowers, etc.)
    • Telephone poles have been “decorated”
    • 5 chicken coops with 22 chickens (5 of which are co-operatively owned/managed)
    • 3+ VW Westfalias
    • Boulevard Book Box being planned (now under construction)
    • Learning new skills from one another
    • Everyone knows each others names
    • Borrowing a cup of sugar from a neighbour is expected
    • Aaaaannnnnd… a new sense of community on a street where no one knew each other before!

Transition McCaskill Street started as a pilot project of Transition Victoria and followed Transition Streets guidelines. Transition Streets are happening in the US, Canada, the UK and elsewhere.

Also watch Building Community from Your Front Porch (episode 288) with Transition Victoria founder Michelle Colussi.

Watch video | Audio | iTunes | Janaia’s journal: Why’d the Chicken Cross the Road? – To Meet the Neighbors

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Janet Riddell, Warren Walsh and Jack Meredith, members of the Chicken Coop Co-op

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