County Sustainability Group A Proposal for Prince Edward County—Community Asset Mapping

Renia TyminskiA Proposal for Prince Edward County—Community Asset Mapping

It is important to note that environmental policy advisers have made a strong case for understanding culture as the foundation for increased human consciousness and responsible action to share limited planetary resources. Policymakers at the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture have accepted the relationship between cultural participation and the health and well-being of communities.

Such participation:

red accentis a central and foundational dimension of consciousness and our ability to relate to others both within communities and within a natural environment

red accentforges meaningful connections with each other and the natural systems on which we depend

red accentencourages strong relationships within communities, between individuals and groups, and can increase our effectiveness in addressing the complex sustainability challenges on our doorstep

red accentcan be enhanced by providing a framework oriented towards environmental and community resilience-building

Insofar as regional and local economic development policies have an impact on our natural environment, it is important to note the caveat issued by UNESCO that "development divorced from its human or cultural context is growth without a soul." Economic development strategies that ignore culture, and by extension the natural heritage that contributes to its local expression, are too frequently translated into ever more unsustainable behaviours and resource depletion.

PEC was one of the first regions to undertake cultural mapping as Phase 2 of the Cultural Plan, in 2006. Since then the Ministry has produced its own guidelines for the mapping process identifying Natural Heritage as one of the 6 broad categories that make up cultural resources (see Appendix 4, Cultural Resource Framework. The MTC has assessed the work done by the County Economic Development Office and the Cultural Round Table at that early stage, and indicated that the mapping done then is inadequate in its scope and in need of upgrading. The Ministry provides grants to be used for the purpose of cultural mapping: a list of communities that have received such grants can be found at: http://www.mtc.gov.on.ca/en/awards_funding/ccpf_recipients.shtml

The PEC municipal departments involved in the 2010 application to the Creative Communities fund were The Economic Development Office, Planning, and Recreation, Parks and Culture. The Picton BIA was also a partner. There is the possibility with Council support that another application could go forward in the future.

I believe our community organizations that are particularly concerned about the impact we are having on our natural environment should be aware of this initiative and also consider supporting it. Community stakeholders would help to determine some of the parameters of such a project, as each map is unique to the community it represents. As it is a detailed and broad ranging enterprise, questions such as storage of data would have to be determined as part of the process.

Renia Tyminski

 

 

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