My first assignment for The Green Hubsters took place at the Polish Hall on Pearl Street in Brantford.
There was an educational event dedicated to the subject of brownfields, and discussions about how we can fix them.
Walking into the event, I knew very little on the subject but very shortly became very aware on how important these situations are, even here in Brantford.
The first thing that I noticed was the photo gallery by the Brant Camera Club which, by the way, was gorgeously set up.
However, the subjects which were photographed were not as appealing. They showed the devastating truth behind brownfields and the damage they create.
The pictures proved a very big point in that these areas need to be addressed and should not be left as they are any longer.
I then had the opportunity to speak with Mary Ellen Kaye, a member of the Brantford Brownfield Community Advisory Committee.
It was the first interview I had ever been involved in, and we filmed it for the first coverage by The Green Hubsters for TheGreenHub.ca
Mary Ellen was very helpful, though, and corrected my misconceptions with very detailed answers. This not only educated me along the way, but was perfect for the news video that we were creating.
Afterwards, everyone was seated to listen to the presentations. I was very shocked to see the hall filled with people from all ages. The speakers were very captivating, and even kept my teenage attention span throughout the entire two hours.
The passion these speakers had for these pieces of land so many people usually ignore was unbelievable. There were only three speakers, and they easily filled the two hours, all addressing different valid information.
They probably would have even gone longer if the time allowed them to. The one thing I thought was best about these speakers is that they all stayed very positive and optimistic.
They concentrated on the good in the past and the hopes in the future instead of 'guilting' people, as a lot of speakers do.
After the event, I was able to talk to Terry Boutilier, a speaker from Kitchener, and asked what sparked his passion in brownfields. He quickly responded saying he just wanted a better downtown, and to make the city a better place.
He explained to me that he had a lot of fun with his projects, and he finds every brownfield a page turner on how they end up.
When questioned on what a regular citizen can do to help the issue, he told me that the quickest way would be to get involved with the local brownfield committee. (In Brantford's case it's the Brantford Brownfield Community Advisory Committee).
He added that even showing interest in the subject helped just by attending conferences and trade shows. One could even help by attracting investors.
All in all, it was an excellent event and the perfect choice for my first assignment for TheGreenHub.ca
(Ciara Antoski attends Pauline Johnson Collegiate & Vocational School in Brantford and is also involved in the annual Earth Hour event. Go to GreenHubvideo on YouTube for more about The Green Hubsters, Earth Hour and more.)