The Centre is working with the community of Invermere on their integrated community sustainability plan (ICSP), and I had the pleasure of being there for their public launch. What struck me immediately while working with the District of Invermere is how SMART and PASSIONATE the locals are. Upon a call for interested people to participate on the sustainability advisory committee, sixteen diverse, articulate, and engaged citizens immediately signed up, and have been giving us their dedicated time, expertise and energy throughout the process.

These individuals are pushing the envelope on thinking about the community’s sustainable future. For example, they are not just talking about green buildings, they are looking at buildings as a part of the larger energy system and how the community will move to a more renewable and efficient one. This doesn’t just stop there it extends to how they will get their food, what the the supply chain in their health and education systems will look like, and the types of industry and economy they want. They understood immediately how systems are integrated, and that sustainability involves addressing community systems, not individual, segregated issues.

So far, we’ve worked with the sustainability advisory committee and the community on identifying a vision for sustainable community systems and have now written these visions down as shared Descriptions of Success. These Descriptions of Success statements define the community’s shared vision of the future and are meant to guide sustainable decision-making and action planning undertaken by the community, including the local government. The Descriptions of Success act as an important lens, ensuring that all actions, taken by a variety of groups and individuals, that will help accelerate Invermere towards greater sustainability and its defined successful future.

The next step in the process is to work with the sustainability advisory committee to identify specific actions that can be implemented by a variety of community organizations and the District of Invermere to move the community from what it’s doing now, to where it wants to be in the future.

Welcome to the journey towards sustainability, Invermere  you’re off to a great start!

by Cheeying Ho