The Members Bulletin
Chartered 1920
April 28, 2024
At our last meeting, on Friday the 26th, we had two presenters giving an update on the Water First project. The meeting began with announcements from the club.
After lunch, Dianne Dance introduced our speakers and briefly discussed how the Water First initiative came to be. Krysta Wordock, the primary speaker at the meeting, is an OACETT Certified Environmental Technician (C.Tech.) who graduated from Mohawk College with an Environmental Technician Diploma and from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor’s degree in Geography. Her passion is water treatment and she has worked in different Ontario municipalities and industrial settings as a Class 2 Drinking Water Operator, as well as a Class 1 Wastewater Operator.
She is an active volunteer within her community, mentoring girls in the FAB (Fit Active Beautiful) program and women as the Grand Valley OACETT Women in Technology Representative and former Chapter Chair. Krysta enjoys any opportunity to share experiences and to learn. Working at Water First, Krysta hopes to further her understanding of how to care for water and to share her experiences and knowledge of water treatment.
Our club, in 2021 was able to raise, through collaboration with other clubs and the Rotary Foundation, $115,000 to assist in the training of interested Indigenous youth in clean water management. This presentation is an update on the Water First Program and an update on where some of those Indigenous youth we sponsored are today. 
Krysta began with an overview of Water First. The mission of Water First is "to help address water challenges in Indigenous communities in Canada through education, training and meaningful collaboration". Water First brings western science to work along side the traditional knowledge of the land held by Indigenous people. Their inherent philosophy "of work with" not "tell how" is so critical to Indigenous relationships and mirrors Rotary's own project criteria.
Water First developed a 15 month "Drinking Water Internship" training program for young indigenous men and women. It's a paid internship so the interns are able to participate and still fulfill their current commitments to their families. Interns who complete the program graduate with provincial accreditation such as the Operator in Training certificate (OIT), Entry Level Course for Drinking Water Operators (ELC), and Water Quality Analyst (WQA), all enabling them to be qualified water treatment professionals in their own communities.
The Water First Internship offers participants customized skills, training and tutoring to obtain certifications in drinking water treatment and environmental water quality monitoring. The certification that the interns will receive during the program also includes Wastewater Treatment Collection training even though this project is largely directed at drinking water management. Source water is also a large component of the training which helps interns understand where the water comes from in their community and allows the community to understand current water issues effecting their watershed.
The Internship is unique because it specifically and actively recruits young Indigenous adults to the field, with the vast majority of training and work experience happening within their home communities. The program offers classroom learning and valuable hands-on work experience.
The Water First Internship increases investment in youth employment, job creation and technical skills training among Indigenous Peoples in the fields of water treatment and environmental water science. The program also establishes water science mentoring networks for specifically First Nations youth. In this almost exclusively male-dominated field, the Water First Internship also increases female participation. Female water operators will be especially empowered within their communities, as women are known through the Indigenous teachings as "water keepers". Water is understood as a living force of "giving life" which must be protected and nurtured in all times. Imagine the emotional scarring of having these beliefs and living every day with unsafe and dirty water.
Closing the gap of access to water science education and supporting interested young Indigenous adults in their training is critical to sustainably solving the water challenges facing these or any communities suffering from a lack of clean water. Through participation in the Internship, the project strives to increase the number of young Indigenous, adults with provincially recognized certification (OIT, WQA); with work experience in a Water Treatment Plant; and with connections to professional networks. By connecting participants to professional networks and providing employment skills training, the Internship supports interns in securing future employment or on-going vocational.
Krysta then updated us on where the Indigenous youth we sponsored are now. The majority of them have become the primary water operators in their nations. Some even travel between reserves to help First Nations repair their water facilities as well as help other water operators in their work. 
The program has been extremely successful and has helped to give Indigenous nations control over their water management. The water operators that have gone through this program serve as role models for all youth, as they observe the productive and stable jobs that can result from skills training.
The health impacts of contaminated water have been reduced allowing understaffed Community Health Clinics to focus on other health issues. Access to safe water allows families to practice normal hygiene, which has become crucially important in the control of communicable diseases.
Thank you so much for the update Krysta! The work Water First does is so important to reconciliation and reconciliaction. 
ArtsEverywhere Festival
From May 2-5, 2024 the ArtsEverywhere Festival will take place in Guelph! 
As Marva explained in her announcement to the club last Friday, the ArtsEverywhere Festival is the place where conversations, ideas, and artistic experiments come alive in the community of Guelph. From May 2nd to May 5th join members of our community for lectures, conversations, music, artistic performances, circle gatherings, literary readings, exhibitions, and much more. The full festival program will be announced soon, so please subscribe to the ArtsEverwhere email list to receive upadtes. 

2023 marked the 20th edition of The Guelph Lecture—On Being, it was an exciting evening that confronted the urgencies of our time through the lens of art and ideas. By bringing together a diverse, informative, creative, and sometimes unlikely combination of people, the festival weekend offers programming that connects to the ongoing work and needs of many organizations and individuals who wish to make the world a better place.

If you are interested in attending, please follow this link for more info: 

Centennial Project Groundbreaking
Rotary Club of Guelph Charitable Foundation Chair Marty Fairburn, Rotary Club of Guelph President Nanita Mohan, and Rotary Guelph Centennial Committee Co-Chair Carolyn Weatherson breaking ground on the new Guelph Lake Nature Centre!
This amazing project supports education for youth and will be a great space for the entire community! In 2016, the Rotary Club of Guelph's board mandated the formation of a Centennial Committee to find a meaningful project to celebrate our 100 years of service above self. The Centennial Committee, co-chaired also by Jim Mackenzie, settled on a project after consulting with the community and all club members, that supported all the service committees of the Club at the time: Youth, Environment, Community Outreach, and Seniors. The accessible trails and education components support everyone without exception in our community.
Breaking ground on the new Guelph Lake Nature Centre is a great day for our region and a proud day for our Club!
Tree Planting with Rotary
Join us to plant a new forest in Guelph and enjoy an Environmental Fair near Earth Day. Rain or Shine!
Saturday, April 27th, 2024, between 9 am and 2 pm. Come when you can, for as long as you like.


Parking (including for bikes), Site Access, and Environmental Fair at 335 Laird Road

Plant trees and enjoy the environmental fair with a variety of booths, entertainment, and food.
Trees, shovels, mulch, pails, and planting instruction provided.
Wear boots and gloves for your comfort.  Remember: There is no bad weather, just bad clothing.

Stay hydrated while you plant thanks to the City of Guelph's Water Wagon; bring your refillable water bottle and help reduce plastic waste.

As the forest matures, it will help clean our air and water, and sequester significant amounts of carbon each year.
This site will become part of a future pollinator flyway as we are adding a native wildflower section this year.

Trees such as native oaks, sugar maples, and shrubs like serviceberries are popular with pollinators and are well suited to restoring our natural heritage system. While native trees and shrubs are critical to the survival of many pollinator species (e.g. bees, butterflies, wasps, moths, some flies and beetles and hummingbirds), other species rely on different plants such as wildflowers and even some native grasses for food and habitat.  Adding these plants to the site will enhance biodiversity and species richness, benefiting the entire site. Attracting more pollinators to the site will also support other species up the food chain, such as birds, amphibians, spiders and others that prey on pollinators as larvae and as adults.

Recognizing this, in addition to the 1,400 woody plants for this year, over 400 - 2" X 2" X 5" plugs of native Ontario wildflowers and grasses will be planted in clusters along the edge of the site.  Subject to availability, the wildflower species planted will include: Pale Purple Coneflower, New England Aster, Fox Glove Beardtongue, Joe-Pye Weed, False Sunflower, Virginia Mountain Mint, Heath Aster and others.  Grass species that could be planted include: Big Blue Stem, Indian Grass, Switch Grass and Little Blue Stem Grass.
These plantings will complement other established pollinator-friendly plantings nearby - including one site previously supported by TD FEF - creating a "stepping stone" effect of "pollinator patches" that facilitate the movement of pollinators across an urban landscape.

This new forest will help clean our air and water, and become a home for nesting birds and other animals. As the forest becomes mature, it will sequester significant amounts of carbon every year.  The trees you plant will benefit generations to come. 
This 4.2 hectare site at 213 Clair Rd W will form a critical but fragile link between two large important natural areas.
It is a pinch point between the wetlands and forests of the Hanlon Creek and the natural areas of the Paris Galt Morraine.  It has been highlighted as an ecological linkage and restoration area in the Natural Heritage System of Guelph’s Official Plan because species and ecosystems can only thrive through large, interconnected networks. 
The thousands of native trees and shrubs we plant over the coming years will create a native forest community on the site.  This will improve the habitat and provide additional cover and refuge for travelling wildlife.
Located within the Hanlon Creek Subwatershed - a coldwater creek with the last remaining known brook trout population in the city. 
The site is protected as part of the City's Natural Heritage System in the Guelph Official Plan a part of an Ecological Linkage that also extends south of Clair Rd. 

The site provides the northern portion of the Ecological Linkage by connecting to the largest remaining natural area in Guelph. This natural area is comprised of Provincially Significant Wetlands, Significant Woodland, Significant Valleyland, Significant Wildlife Habitat, and several headwater reaches of Hanlon Creek including those with brook trout. 

South of Clair Rd, the Ecological Linkage connects to another large natural area comprised of Significant Landform associated with the Paris-Galt Moraine, Provincially Significant Wetlands, Significant Wildlife Habitat and Significant Woodlands. This portion of the Natural Heritage System extends through the Hanlon Creek Subwatershed and into the Mill Creek Subwatershed. The Ecological Linkage provides the only connection between the northern portion of the Hanlon Creek Subwatershed and the Mill Creek Subwatershed in the City and therefore is important for the movement of wildlife and the spread of plants and genetics.

Clair Rd at the south end of the site is identified in the Official Plan as a Wildlife Crossing Opportunity which means that in conjunction with public infrastructure improvements, the City will implement species-specific mitigative measures to minimize human-wildlife conflicts.

The site is currently classified as Cultural Savannah meaning it is a sparse woodland that has originated through anthropogenic influences. The creation of a native forest community on the site will increase habitat potential and provide additional cover and refuge for travelling wildlife.
Smile Cookies 2024 - Service Above Self opportunity
Rotarians and friends - could you perhaps volunteer for an hour or two next week, May 1-7, 2023, decorating a few dozen Smile Cookies to help the Children's Foundation raise much-needed funds? Details are below, and the sign-up sheet can be accessed HERE.
Smile Cookie Week at Tim Hortons will return this spring from April 29-May 5, 2024! The iconic chocolate chunk cookies topped with pink and blue icing will be available at every participating Tim Hortons restaurant across the country.
🍪 About Smile Cookie Week in Guelph and Wellington
  • 100% of local Smile Cookie proceeds are donated to the Children's Foundation Food & Friends Program which provides nutritious food for local students through breakfast, snack and lunch programs. The Children’s Foundation is partnered with Tim’s locations in Arthur, Elora, Fergus, Guelph, Harriston, Mount Forest, and Puslinch. Food & Friends has been a proud recipient of Smile Cookie funds for over 20 years and has received over $1,317,000 from local Tim Hortons locations over these years!
  • Make sure to stop by participating locations between April 29 and May 5, grab a cookie, and spread some smiles! 
Without volunteers, some locations would not be able to keep up with the demand and sell out of Smile Cookies. Volunteers are needed to help decorate cookies during Smile Cookie Week April 29-May 5. There are numerous shifts available throughout Smile Cookie Week at different Tim's locations through Guelph and Wellington. If you’re interested in volunteering:
🍪 Smile Cookie Decorating Sign-Up Link
·       Volunteers must be a minimum of 16 years old.
·       If you have any questions, please email Jodi Carreiro, Volunteer & Events Coordinator,
Feel free to share info with family, friends, or co-workers.
Bulletin Editor
Aidan Harris
May 03, 2024
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Upcoming Events
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
May 04, 2024
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May 10, 2024
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April 11
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April 22
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April 23
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April 27
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April 29
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May 10
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May 11
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May 16
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May 21
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May 24
Join Date
Dan Vitale
April 4, 2008
16 years
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April 6, 2018
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April 8, 2022
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April 9, 1999
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Gunter Thase
April 15, 2011
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Ruth Thatcher
April 22, 2005
19 years
Kerry Johnson
April 29, 1988
36 years
Gisella Gazzola
May 8, 2020
4 years
Rosemary Clark
May 13, 1994
30 years
Irene Szabo
May 17, 2019
5 years
Dianne Dance
May 19, 2017
7 years
Brett Reichert
May 22, 2015
9 years
Faz Ashkar
May 22, 2020
4 years
Eleni Bakopoulos
May 29, 2020
4 years
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