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What is CAFES?

Community Associations for Environmental Sustainability (CAFES) is a network of residents and citizens’ associations in the City of Ottawa, established in 2010 and active on unceded Algonquin territory. Members of CAFES are community association environment committee chairs or green point persons in citizens associations. We also have individual members who are citizens active in their communities and concerned with living in ecological balance. 

As of March 2021, there were over 200 members in our network, from 43 different community associations and 6 citizens’ organizations. Our members include representatives from urban, suburban and rural communities in the municipality of Ottawa.

The mission of CAFES is to support effective environmental action in the local community and at the municipal level towards creating and safeguarding a more healthy and livable city. 

CAFES regularly liaises with, and is a member of, the Ottawa Federation of Citizens’ Associations (FCA). We partner with other community organizations such as Ecology Ottawa, the Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital, Waste Watch Ottawa, the Healthy Transportation Coalition and City for All Women (CAWI) and lend our support to efforts by local groups to make Ottawa a better, more healthy and livable place. CAFES is a member of the Peoples’ Official Plan group.

 

Media Contact: Angela Keller-Herzog 
akellerherzog@cafesottawa.ca
(613) 769-3794

Who we are - Meet our board members!

Liz Bernstein
Liz Bernstein
Chair of the Board

BIO

Liz is the founding Chair of CAFES and served as the co-chair of CAFES from 2015-to 2020, prior to the incorporation of CAFES in January 2021. She is an activist passionate about collective efforts to address climate change, protect nature and wage peace for all people and our planet. She serves as vice-president on the board of Lowertown Community Association, as a founding director serving on the steering committee of Ecology Ottawa, working to make Ottawa the green capital of Canada, and serves on the board of Succession, a charity dedicated to supporting the environment. She served as Director of the Nobel Women’s Initiative, an organization of Nobel Peace Laureates amplifying feminist peace movements globally from 2006-2021and previously served as Coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. She lived in Thailand and Cambodia for 10 years, where she worked extensively with local peace and justice advocacy organizations and co-founded the Coalition for Peace and Reconciliation. She found her home in Ottawa in 2005.

Lauren Touchant
Vice Chair of the Board

BIO

Lauren (PhD) is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Ottawa with the Centre on Governance and the Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability. Her expertise includes environmental and climate change policy, energy policy, networks and municipal governance, disaster management and emergency preparedness. Lauren, is a former Vanier Scholar, and is currently the recipient of Alex Trebek Scholarship on Water Governance and Law. In her spare time, Lauren is President of the Vanier Community Association (since 2017) and is involved with other boards of directors working on issues such as democracy and poverty reduction. With over 15 years experience in not-for-profit governance and grant writing, Lauren is looking forward to contributing to the growth and success of CAFES.

Stephanie McNeely
Stephanie McNeely
Member of the Board

BIO

Stephanie is an outdoor enthusiast and community builder with over 20 years of experience as a civil engineer in the transportation planning field. She has primarily worked within the municipal sector on strategic initiatives related to sustainable transportation. Stephanie is passionate about increasing community livability through the delivery of municipal infrastructure and building effective public engagement into the process.

Stephanie is a past president of the Cumberland Village Community Association and helped launch its successful local farmer’s market in 2006.  She co-founded an afforestation non-profit (Forêt Capitale Forest) in 2020 and is the secretary of the Old Ottawa South Environment and Climate Action Committee. Stephanie lives near Brewer Park with her family.

Barbara Ramsay
Barbara Ramsay
Treasurer of the Board

BIO

Barbara is the Chair of the Kanata Greenspace Protection Coalition. She has led this volunteer-based not-for-profit since its incorporation in 2019 and has become a champion of the protection and development of open urban greenspace across all Ottawa neighbourhoods. Much of her career as a pharmacist spanned several decades as a business owner and employer operating pharmacies across Ottawa. The last decade or so was spent in long-term care as a geriatric consultant providing care to the elderly. A longstanding community volunteer, advocate and leader she has had senior roles in a number of not-for-profit organizations in and beyond the health care sector. She offers private sector and NFP governance, management and leadership experience. Barbara continues to serve as a public member of a national administrative tribunal as well as the Board of the Federation of Citizens’ Association of Ottawa (FCA).

Dinah Robinson
Dinah Robinson
Member of the Board

BIO

Dinah moved to Centertown in 1984 and has continued to live here, except for some time in Sandy Hill while attending UOttawa. She studied Commerce and has worked in financial management for the majority of her career. She was the treasurer on the Bike Ottawa Board of Directors for many years and has also worked as a volunteer with Epilepsy Ottawa and the March of Dimes, helping people with disabilities find work so they can live independently in the community. Most recently, she has been involved with the Centretown Citizens Community Association. She is an active member of the Trees, Greenspaces and Sustainability Committee and the Dundonald Park Gardening Group. She was previously on the Board and Head Gardener in Dundonald Park. I helped to establish the Off-Bank Community Garden and I work with local Community Gardens to ensure they have beautiful pollinator plots to attract bees and butterflies, which will enhance their food crops. Her primary passion is pollinators. She is an experienced beekeeper and educator and has delivered presentations and workshops about beekeeping and native pollinators.  Dinah has beehives in three locations and is working on a pilot project with CCOC to install rooftop beehives in Centretown. She has been engaged with the CAFES network for several years and looks forward to the exciting work to come with CAFES.

Eugenie Waters
Eugenie Waters
Member of the Board

BIO

Eugenie has become increasingly involved in environmental sustainability and advocacy regarding the health impacts of climate change over the past 3 years. She now chairs the Manor Park Community Association Environmental Sustainability Committee and is also involved with a number of other advocacy and community groups including the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, MD Moms for a Healthy Recovery, For Our Kids Ottawa/Gatineau and Ottawa Reduces. She lives with her husband Alex and their two young children and is happiest exploring the outdoors, gardening and getting around Ottawa by bike.

Joan Freeman
Joan Freeman
Member of the Board

BIO

Joan has recently retired after a  38-year career mainly as an independent environmental management consultant assisting communities and government institutions to develop and manage resources sustainably. She has extensive experience in impact assessment (including analysis of climate change impacts), monitoring and reporting, capacity building, and governance of multi-jurisdiction environmental organizations. She has authored guidance and manuals for international and domestic organizations. Joan has an undergraduate degree in biology and geology (Queen's) and a Master’s degree in planning and resource management (University of British Columbia). Now Joan is retired she is very actively involved with CAFES, her community association (Glebe) and a group of other retirees (C3) working on climate action.  Joan is a keen naturalist and outdoors enthusiast and when not behind a screen or locked down is likely to be outdoors pursuing her other interests - citizen science (ecosystem and bird population changes), skiing, canoeing and Arctic exploration.

Mary Waters
Mary Hegan
Member of the Board

BIO

Mary is a community activist focusing on environmental protection, climate action, and public health.   As the pandemic is teaching us, “learning from nature and living with nature”  can lead to a healthier Ottawa for all.  The strength is when communities and neighbourhoods pull together.  Mary is pleased to work with CAFES, which provides a collaborative framework, mutual support, and a strong voice for environmental action.  Having lived in downtown Ottawa (west end) for 36 years and now in rural Ottawa (Burritt’s Rapids) for 17 years on the Rideau River, her passion is waterways, wetlands, and enhancing Ottawa’s rural ecosystem and quality of life for all inhabitants.  She looks forward to working with others, applying university training in community development and years of work experience with different levels of government and Non-Government Organizations to help build a livable and climate-friendly nation’s capital.

Meet Our Staff!

Angela Keller-Herzog
Angela Keller-Herzog
Founding Executive Director of CAFES

BIO

Angela is the founding Executive Director of CAFES and served as the co-chair of CAFES from 2015 to 2020, prior to the incorporation of CAFES in January 2021.  She is active in the community as an environmental and social justice advocate and active citizen observer of municipal affairs. She serves as a director on the boards of the Glebe Community Association, the Ottawa Renewable Energy Coop and Co-Energy Ontario Coop. She leads Horizon Green, an economic consultancy, and prior to COVID-19 also ran an eco-friendly B&B. Angela is a trained economist and has over two decades of experience in consulting, programme management, policy development, risk management and international development with the Canadian International Development Agency.

Gerry Churchill
Gerry Churchill
Membership Coordinator

BIO

Gerry is a nature lover and environmentalist who sees action at the municipal level as a key component to shaping a green future. He sits on the board of the Hintonburg Community Association and is an active leader in the Capital City Chorus. Gerry’s interests include spending time outdoors, playing music, Dungeons and Dragons and philosophy.

Shelby Howard
Program Communications Coordinator

BIO

Shelby is an environmental science graduate and a lover of the outdoors and nature. She has a particular interest in species and habitat conservation and environmental sustainability. Her favourite project that she has worked on was assessing the impacts of climate change on the fall migration timing of the endangered monarch butterfly. Shelby's interests outside of work include biking, hiking, and running.

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