Wimberly Honored for Sustainability Work
by Jayne Sutton, Shambhala Times Correspondent
Early April brought quite an exciting week to David Wimberly, a St. Margaret’s Bay Shambhalian and ardent activist in Nova Scotia for decades. He was honored by both the Province and the Halifax Municipality for his dedicated and untiring work for environmental and economic sustainability in the region, then capped it off by chairing a sustainable skills festival at an important conference presented by the Centre for Local Prosperity.
On April 7, David received the first of the 2015 Provincial Volunteer Awards at a banquet held at the historic Hotel Nova Scotian (now a Westin Hotel) in Halifax. The award ceremony program notes, “Many in the Halifax Region and Nova Scotia have been positively affected by David’s decades of dedication” to causes such as responsible waste management, Zero Waste initiatives, and regional economic resilience, as well as his service to the St. Margarets Bay Shambhala Centre.
The following evening, David was further honored as Halifax’s Volunteer of the Year at the Holiday Inn Harbourview. The program from this event reads, “Thanks in part to David, our region has a waste strategy focused on composting, recycling, and is heading towards Zero Waste. He was a lead citizen advocate responsible for centralized and backyard composting. David also focuses on building resilience in the municipality and across Atlantic Canada through the Transition Network and to bringing the practical skills of local economics to our region.”
“It was a really big deal,” said David. But, not one to rest on his laurels, he moved on the next day to preside over the Up!Skilling Festival and Expo in Annapolis Royal. This gathering of learning and connection offered participants the opportunity to learn heritage and new skills to uplift and inspire self-sufficiency, as well as exchange tools, skills, services, and wisdom while making new community connections. This event opened a conference presented by the Centre for Local Prosperity entitled Local Prosperity: New Economics for Rural Canada. The conference drew over 280 participants from across North America to build the empowerment of local economies.
To David, stewardship of the environment through waste management, composting initiatives, and recycling is inextricably interwoven with the transformation of local economies and communities through sustainability and connection—it’s also central to the mission of Shambhala. “I’ve been active most of my adult life—I’m using the tools I was provided with,” he says. In his view, transformation will come about from a shared broader vision, not focusing on a single issue. This is what will cause the change in our hearts that can change society and the world.
An early student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, David lived for many years in Boulder, was among the first Dorje Kasung, and moved to Nova Scotia in 1987. The Shambhala vision of enlightened society has fueled his engagement and exertion through the years.
David’s enthusiasm for the change he is making in Nova Scotia is palpable, even over the phone. His conversation moves happily and seamlessly from Zero Waste, to Permaculture, to Transition Initiatives, to Deep Ecology and Local Prosperity—because in his view they are all aspects of a greater whole that will lead to sustainable and resilient citizens and communities. He feels that the nature of the region itself is conducive to creating and nurturing community connection, and believes that in Nova Scotia it is possible to “make changes that are more difficult to
make in other places,” because there is still enough “can-do attitude.” In this way, he sees the region as a model. It’s important, he says, to help forge local connections so that people can undertake projects and see that they can “actually get something done.” He envisions fundamental shifts in our notion of society and community in which citizens can “do it yourself, with joy.”
He is also joyful that his lineage of activism is in good hands: Says David, “My son, Nyima, is also a dedicated Shambhalian and an accomplished activist—and he is training to get even better!”
To sum up David’s approach: “Let’s make it so people can have a wonderful life.”