OUR MISSION: As our climate changes, ACER supports communities with grassroots initiatives to plant trees, and educates on how to measure, monitor and report on tree health and growth.

Community Mapping

LEVERAGING COMMUNITY KNOWLEDGE TO UNDERSTAND AND HELP MITIGATE THE EFFECTS OF LOCAL CLIMATE CHANGE

Community development is strongest when it involves a broad base of community environmental action.

Community mapping is the difference between doing expensive large-scale studies by outsiders or asking people in the community about what’s going on. It is how to find out what’s going on in any given community and what is the priority in terms of environmental issues. A community-mapping workshop captures that knowledge.

Community mapping or asset-based community development (ABCD), is at the center of a large and growing movement that draws upon existing community strengths to build stronger, more sustainable communities for the future. Much of the thinking behind the process of community mapping comes from John McKnight at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

In early 2016, ACER completed a 3-year Community Mapping pilot in the Niagara Region (in partnership with the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority and Greening Niagara and funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation). This initiative engaged community members in 3 separate workshops to help map out the known impacts of local climate change for approximately 70% of the populated area of the Niagara Peninsula. These impacts ranged from crop changes, roofs blown off, wind damage, loss of trees, emerald ash borer infestation, development, flooding, culvert obstructions and culvert sizes. Following completion of the mapping workshops, the last of three Hazard Identification Risk Assessment (HIRA) workshops was held in Ball’s Falls, which had the community work together to identify the top risks from local climate change impacts in terms of both their probability and their consequences. Marianne Krasny, Chair of the Civic Ecology Lab at Cornell University and Don MacIvor, a Nobel-prize winning climate scientist were the guest speakers at that workshop.

During the community mapping and HIRA workshops, the desire and need for citizens to understand the local impact of climate change was made loud and clear, to the community leaders in attendance, and to ACER. They also confirmed the need for and importance of bringing together knowledgeable and engaged community members to help take action action to mitigate and adapt to the local impacts of climate change.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

If you are interested to learn more about Community Mapping, or discuss potential opportunities for Community Mapping workshops in your community, please contact us at: office@acer-acre.ca.