The Peterborough Examiner
April 29, 2013
By: Rob McCormick

Reaching out to more young people and the development of a strategic plan are priorities for Peter Hughes, the newly appointed executive director of Peterborough Green Up.

The registered charity promotes environmentally sustainable practices locally.

Hughes, 52, a former Fleming College faculty member who taught community development, leadership and program planning, started his new job Monday.

“For me it was the perfect time to take 20 years of teaching experience and lots of community experience and step into an organization that’s doing well already and has lots of exciting things happening in the community.”

Hughes replaces Axel Tscherniak, who left the organization at the end of March after less than two years to be with his family in Germany.

Hughes said his job is to “help facilitate, because that’s what I’ve always done, whether I’m teaching or doing community work. It’s helping groups bring out their best strengths, bringing them forward and trying to make things happen.”

Green Up, he said, “has projects happening all over the place, so it’s that kind of diversity of programming that makes for an exciting opportunity for me to be around that energy and that sort of diverse work.”

Education is an important part of Green Up’s mandate, Hughes said.

“I am a big believer in trying to grow your leadership from within your own community,” he said. “We do a lot of education already with elementary school children, and I see us moving toward providing more of a leadership role to get young people becoming leaders, and ultimately adults becoming neighbourhood leaders.”

Within about six months, he said, he expects the organization to produce a strategic plan. “We are engaging the wider community and staff for their views of what we should be moving toward. That process is wide and collaborative.”

Hughes, who represented Fleming College on Peterborough’s community garden network development group, pointed to the city’s 25 community gardens as an example of local environmentally sustainable projects.

Green Up, with an annual budget of $1.1 million, “brings together, facilitates and encourages the best sustainable practices in this community,” which, Hughes said, “make us healthier and that much more stable, ultimately economically as well. We do programming that encourages people to perhaps move to their better selves, to think about the bigger picture and how their actions impact others, and how they translate into their children’s future growth.”