Woman standing outside, in front of bushes

Quadra ICAN: Building community resilience through practical projects

“Our aim is to assist Quadra in becoming more resilient and self-sufficient in the face of impending ecological challenges. Our mandate is to organize and foster direct action on clearly defined practical projects.” – Quadra ICAN.ca

A decade ago, the first incarnation of ICAN (Island Climate Action Network) was responsible for getting a community garden started on Quadra. It also joined forces with Sierra Quadra to encourage Quadra’s retail sector to ban plastic bags, and started an anti-idling campaign. Team leader Leona Skovgaard traces the relaunch of the organization, now called Quadra ICAN, to a conversation that she and Jan Gladish had over tea.

Photo courtesy Quadra ICAN

“You know we should look for some of those people who were active on Quadra, there has to be some of them still around,” said Skovgaard. 

So Gladish contacted Mary McIntosh, who reached out to Jan Zwicky. An invitation was sent out to the original ICAN steering committee, and Jude McCormick joined them. 

Quadra ICAN had a six member steering committee when it held a public meeting at the Quadra Community Centre on March 12, 2020. The Bird’s Eye subsequently reported that around 85 people attended. 

That was when the COVID 19 pandemic reached the Greater Campbell River Health Area.

“We were relegated to ZOOM, because we went into lockdown,” explained Skovgaard.   

She added, “We’re not short of ideas. We have some very specific projects underway and a whole raft of them that are kind of in the works, waiting for energy to get them moving.”

Eight key areas were identified during that first public meeting:

“Since those eight action teams were established, we’ve picked up a group that wants to work on housing security, we’ve started a collaboration with the garden club and just last night, at a general meeting, there is a group that identified itself to work on a community forest project,” added Skovgaard. 

In the podcast above, she mentions a few project highlights:

  • the water security team has been selling a lot of 250 gallon water storage tanks throughout Quadra Island and is also researching the aquifer(s) in the south end of the island.
  • the energy self-sufficiency team partnered with the Quadra Island Foundation and School District 72 to raise the funds and hire a contractor to put solar panels on the roof of the Quadra Island School. Work is about to begin.
  • the local recycling team (renamed ‘Live Lightly’) is working with Regional Director Jim Abram to open a recycle BC Depot on Quadra Island. (Public meetings are scheduled for Nov 2 and Nov 8, 2021.) They are also planning a Live Lightly Fair in 2022. 
Leona Skovgaard on one of Quadra Island’s trails – submitted photo

People interested in learning more about Quadra ICAN, specific projects, or getting involved, can go to:

Top photo credit: Leona Skovgaard – submitted photo

This post was originally published on October 4, 2021 and republished on Friday, October 22, 2021.

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