Bob Ewing – Our connection to the land is one of our most fundamental relationships. In Canada, and elsewhere, land is a commodity, bought and sold in the market place. For the most part, the person who buys the land, has the right of ownership and can do, almost, anything he or she wants. It is likely that this ownership model is one of the reasons we face the economic and environmental problems we do today. I contacted Tegan Wong-Daugherty to discuss an alternative model of ownership, community land trusts.
Bob- Would you please tell us a bit about your professional background.
Tegan- I have a Baccalaureate of Environmental Science and have worked in the field of community development both in rural Canada and abroad (namely Mexico and India) for over 12 years. Since 1998 I have also gardened organically both for my home gardens and at work and I am an IOIA trained organic inspector for the Maritime region.
Bob- What is a community land trust?
Tegan- A community land trust is an alternative ownership structure that takes land out of the speculative market forever and makes land available for affordable and ecological habitation based on the particular vision set out by founders and maintained through participation of a community selected board of directors.
Bob- Why are community land trusts needed?
Tegan- Land has been commodified to such an extent that the basic human need to have a home place where they can live, grow gardens, raise a family, etc has become a luxury rather than a basic human right.
Bob- Where is the South Knowlesville Community Land Trust located
The South Knowlesville Community Land Trust initiative is located in the western part of New Brunswick in the predominately rural region known as Carleton County.
Bob- At what stage of development is the South Knowlesville Community Land Trust at and how can people find out more about it?
Tegan- We have land, about 130 acres, we have had several visioning sessions and have articulated a vision, and basic land use guidelines and we have 2 to 3 households living on the land and building homes and gardens. We invite people to come out for a visit during one of our monthly community work / potlucks as the first step to engaging with the community and the land. These community days are generally the last Saturday of the month, but it is good to confirm via email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested. Also, once a year, we host a free community kite festival on May long-weekend, this year it will be Sunday May 20th from 12noon to 4pm. All are welcome, we sell home-made wood-fired pizzas as a fundraiser for our community centre – made right out in the field!