Community Blog

This is where you can find a collection of articles written by our members. Most of these articles have appeared in the Beaver Creek DAM, our Newsletter.

Unique Student Housing Co-Op Uses Unique Fundraising Drive

The GRAND HOUSE project

The Grand House Student Co-operative, in Cambridge, ON, is nearing completion. It is one of the first university student housing co-ops to be developed in many years. Its large house will accommodate 12 students. The building itself is on the cutting-edge of environmental design including using straw bale construction. The co-op has launched a Buy-a-Bale campaign to raise funds to help it complete the project. For more on the co-op, its unique construction, or its campaign, go to

CHF Canda Calls for Permanent Affordable Housing Options

Last month’s announcement of funds from the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) for two homelessness shelters in Vancouver—while welcome—only puts a band-aid on the housing and homelessness crisis that is facing the city, the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHF Canada) says.

Housing Cooperative Makes Even Lewiston Liveable

Kelly found this great video made by some of the members of a housing cooperative in Lewiston, Maine. I don't know much about Lewiston, but according to the video, it gets a bad rap. These members tell the world that Lewiston is not all bad, and that their cooperative is helping to create a worth while community.

Country Hills Co-op Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Country Hills Co-op Logo

Saturday August 16, 2008, Country Hills Co-op will celebrate their 20th anniversary with a community carnival, BBQ dinner, and evening street dance. Happy Anniversary!

Participation vs Community Building

I think it is easy for "community builders" to forget that the primary purpose of our cooperatives is to provide affordable housing by having the members pool their money together. The cooperative principles only include economic participation, and most cooperatives have a very detailed policy for dealing with arrears. Everything else is gravy.

By keeping a good attitude about those who are participating, and by becoming strong community builders, we can foster an environment where more people will see value in the community and thus more likely to become community builders.

See my lists detailing how to participate vs how to help build a community.

White Mulberry, Morus alba

White Mulberry: Morus alba

Extending over the fence behind Block One and onto the sidewalk is a white mulberry tree which is now covered in fruit. Mulberries are made into jellies, jams, pies and added to baked goods. Mulberries also make a good wine. As far as I can tell, most of our mulberries are left on the tree and no one, except the birds, is taking advantage of its bounty.

Over thousands of years, the mulberry tree has a history completely intertwined with human economies.

Bugs of Beaver Creek: Stink Bugs

Stink Bug

Though people commonly refer to all insects as bugs, entomologically the term is reserved for a specific group of insects called “true bugs”. These insects have characteristic needle-like mouthparts that stab and suck the liquefied contents from other organisms like a straw. They form a large order of insects called Hemiptera, which includes a particularly pungent bunch of bugs:

Stink Bugs

Coming in a range of colours and patterns, the shield-shaped stink bugs can be quite an attractive lot of insects. Unfortunately for us (but fortunately for them), they stink!

Beaver Creek Word Cloud

Beaver Creek Word Cloud

Here is a word cloud generated by Wordle. It was created by taking some of the copy from the website and feeding it into Wordle. It generated this image by taking the words that appear more frequently and making them larger. It gives a quick way to see what the important issues are at Beaver Creek. (The image as uploaded is small and a little fuzzy, click to see the full version. )

Young & Free

Alberta's Common Wealth Credit Union has created the Young & Free chequing account which offers the following free features for young people aged 17 to 25:

  • Withdrawals from your own or other credit union ATMs
  • Transfers between accounts
  • Point-of-sale transactions
  • Global payment card transactions
  • Cheques
  • Bill payments
  • Internet banking and teleservice

To advertise this service, they have created their own website for it, and are advertising via YouTube and Facebook. Click Read More below to see their two very entertaining and informative videos that explain the difference between banks and credit unions.

Rooftops Canada now recruiting for interns

Rooftops Canada Abri International Logo

Rooftops Canada is pleased to announce the beginning of recruitment for the 2008 International Youth Internship Program. This is an excellent opportunity for new and recent graduates aged 19 to 30 who are interested in working overseas. Rooftops is recruiting nine interns for six-month internships in Chile, South Africa, Cameroon, Egypt, and India. The internships will start in July or August 2008. This internship program is part of the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy, facilitated by CIDA's Youth Action Division. Each intern receives a stipend to cover travel and living expenses for the six-month overseas placement.

The deadline for applications has been extended to May 16, 2008.