In recent years a vision for our Island community has emerged, one that stems from a longstanding tradition of balanced interests. For Islanders a healthy community always has meant a combination of job opportunities, a degree of self reliance, a clean environment, a significant place for wildlife, opportunities in education for our youth, and a vibrant cultural life. As Islanders acknowledge the importance of their collective history they recognize that protecting nature and maintaining the peace and serenity that Pelee offers will not happen on its own. As representatives of the community, Pelee Island’s Municipal Council has authorized the preparation of an Official Plan that addresses these issues, paying special attention to sustainability of the Island’s economy, environment, and cultural traditions. While the Municipality is looking to increase the population to ensure the provision of community services and of vital social infrastructure needs, it also wishes to ensure that the Island’s biodiversity is not merely protected, but indeed enhanced. To this end protected sensitive natural areas are being expanded as additional economic opportunities, ones in keeping with the sought after balance, are pursued.
Photo by Ethan Meleg
Click here to see the Official Plan.
Key Island Initiatives:
Islanders have always underlined the importance of a good education for their children. In keeping with their confidence that the Island is a great place to raise and educate young people, it has been a concern ever since our High School was closed in the 1960s that these students be at home for night with their families. The vision of an on-Island High School continues to be raised, most recently in conjunction with opportunities in environmental studies for a wider student audience.
Meadowlark Organic Farm
The goals of Meadowlark Organic Farm, established in 2003, include healthy food production for local consumption, the encouragement of community self-reliance through crop experimentation, local job creation, and the provision of greater promise for wildlife. The farm has been inspired by the experimentation and entrepreneurial spirit of earlier Islanders like Lorne Ryersee, Ernest Clutton and many others. With 7 small organic holdings on the Island and a local Farmers Market sourced by Meadowlark Organic Farm, we look to further improve our community self-reliance and our diets with natural foods that come from our own backyard.
Nature Reserve Expansion
Through the leadership of the Municipal Council and the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and the support of numerous private and government partnerships, the nature reserves on Pelee Island will be doubled in size by early 2008. More than an additional 1,000 acres are in the process of being set aside, an area which will protect the remaining significant wildlife habitat on Pelee Island.
The vision under the new Official Plan will slowly encourage green methods of transportation on the Island. To ensure that our environment is protected and that visitors’ experience is of the highest quality, the Municipality is seeking to discourage an increase in auto traffic. The Eco-Bike Trail system that is being designed as a part of this initiative will be ready for ‘phase one’ implementation in 2008.
Click here for information about the proposed Eco Trail System and for a map of the proposed trails.
Energy & Recycling
As development plans on the Island evolve requiring additional energy, renewable energy sources are being considered. In Canada’s southernmost inhabited community the sun and wind are ready resources. As our Island grows it is mandatory that reducing waste and recycling is put in place. In 2008 a system of recycling will be operative.
Our vision for Pelee Island in the future is an island where progress is measured more holistically; nature should thrive together with the economy and the social well-being of the families living here. Since we recognize that this place and the beauty found in it are gifts, the goals of our community’s Official Plan are to conserve these for future generations.
Assistance for this project was provided by The Ministry of Natural Resources.