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Our Community: Saanich house has a living roof; big donation for Easter Seals camp

A Saanich couple have gone over the top to reduce their ecological footprint by installing a living green roof to their house.

A Saanich couple have gone over the top to reduce their ecological footprint by installing a living green roof to their house.

When Fred and Cathy Haynes’ ­children grew up and moved out of the family’s 5,000 square-foot, six-bedroom house, the pair decided to downsize. Their new 1,550 square-foot house fits the bill, but what’s up top sets it apart.

To do their part as stewards of the land, the couple decided on a living roof made up of 1,600 individual plantings representing 37 species of pollinator-friendly plants.

The rooftop was recently featured in B.C. Hydro’s newsletter, touting its ­contribution to the house’s superior energy efficiency.

“The house is part of our commitment to One Planet living principles,” said Haynes, who is the mayor of Saanich.

One Planet uses a framework of 10 principles to encourage people, ­businesses and governments to adopt sustainable ways to co-exist.

“We wanted to showcase what’s ­possible,” said Haynes.

The roof is one part of the overall landscaping designed for low energy ­consumption while still living ­comfortably.

The roof was designed to carry the extra weight of the soil. Anti-slip baffles of two-by-four pieces of lumber laid flat are overlaid with tensile netting. The netting anchors the plants and serves as a counterbalance on either side. ­Waterproofing is achieved via a double-tar overlap sprayed with a bio inhibitor to prevent roots from penetrating the membrane.

The roof adds an extra layer of ­insulation to the home, which achieved a Built Green EnerGuide rating of 51 GJ/year and Platinum certification.

While the Hayneses will never have to replace roof tiles or shingles, they’ll need landscapers on the roof at least annually to weed.

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$10,200 donation for Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan

The Cowichan Valley chapter of 100 Men Who Care has presented Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan with a donation of about $10,200.

The philanthropic group of local men attend quarterly meetings at which ­members nominate charities to support. Three are chosen at random and members vote on which charity after being given a brief presentation by the nominee. Once the winning charity is announced, everyone writes a $100 cheque to that charity.

“Easter Seals is an organization that has been in our community since 1976 when the camp first opened to serve ­children, youth and adults with diverse abilities on Shawnigan Lake,” said ­Matthuw Ronald-Jones, who nominated Easter Seals.

“Each summer they host over 200 campers in a space that is inclusive and accessible, giving individuals with diverse abilities the chance to have a unique camp experience. We see the impact that organizations like Easter Seals have on the families in the ­Cowichan Valley and I’m so thrilled we could acknowledge their great work with a donation from 100 Men Who Care.”

The next 100 Men Who Care’s meeting will be held on Sept. 12, where they will pick another local charity to support.

Exhibit celebrates Ukrainian Canadian culture

The Royal B.C. Museum and Archives officially opened Canada, Here We Are!, a travelling exhibition that celebrates Ukrainian Canadian history, culture and arts, on Wednesday.

Presented in partnership with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and honorary consulate of Ukraine in Vancouver, the display gives audiences a community perspective of Ukrainian Canadian history.

The display highlights the wide-ranging contributions Ukrainian Canadians have made in shaping Canada. It touches on the community’s fight against discrimination, advocacy and activism for justice.

The exhibit is free to view. It runs until Jan. 6 in the Clifford Carl Hall at the museum, 675 Belleville St.

For more information, go to

Hiroshima and Nagasaki anniversary marked on Tuesday

The 77th anniversary of the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by nuclear bombs will be commemorated at Honouring Peace, a special event at the new Gorge Park Pavilion, on Tuesday.

The event, hosted by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War Canada, is a celebration of Japanese culture and a reminder of the need to treasure and work for peace.

The family-friendly event features entertainment by the Furusato Dancers, the Uminari Taiko Drummers and the Raging Grannies among others.

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins will plant a sapling grown from a seed of a giant Gingko tree standing at the time of the blast in Hiroshima at 7 p.m.

Participants are invited to arrive early (between 6 and 7 p.m.) to decorate a lantern, which will be set afloat at sunset (8:35 p.m.) on the reflective pools bordering the pavilion.

Bring blankets, chairs and your own picnic or enjoy food from an on-site food truck.

Admission is free, but donations to contribute to the cost of the event will be welcome on site. The event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. at the new pavilion at Esquimalt Gorge Park, 1070 Tillicum Rd. You can register on Eventbrite. Registration isn’t necessary but will allow people to get reminders.

Making friends and staying fit

If you are a woman aged 55 or better, looking to make friends and stay fit together, you are invited to either join the Victoria Grandmothers for Africa for in-person bicycle rides to explore Victoria this summer or take a month-long virtual ride through Africa.

The group of more than 100 women raising funds and awareness for women in Africa is gearing up for their annual Cycle Tour from Campbell River to Victoria in September. This will be their 16th event and the first time they have been able to ride in person since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tour costs $20 to register. It includes an informative weekly newsletter. Each rider determines for herself a personally-challenging distance to ride over the duration. The tour is suitable for both people new to cycling or experienced, committed cyclists. It starts on Aug. 13 and runs for four weeks, with group rides every Friday from Aug. 13 to Sept. 9.

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