April 11, 2013 l Kitchener Citizen - West Edition l Page 13
Rain Barrel Blitz raises funds for community groups and helps to manage local rainwater and runoff by Helen Hall Ten local community groups have found a way to raise funds by selling an item that is good for the environment. With assistance from REEP (Residential Energy Efficiency Project) Green Solutions, the groups are taking orders for recycled rain barrels until April 22 - Earth Day. The barrels sell for $50 and the community group gets $10 for each barrel it sells. The Region of Waterloo used to sell rain barrels at cost but has discontinued that practice. “We saw a gap,” said Sharmalene Mendis-Mil lard of REEP. Last year, REEP held its own rain barrel sale and easily sold 130 barrels. They decided to share their knowledge with community groups to have them use it as a fundraiser. This fits into “the bigger goal of the RAIN program,” said Mendis-Millard. The RAIN program is run by REEP and its purpose is to teach residents more about managing their rainwater and helping to protect our drinking water. “Our goal is to have 1,000 new rain barrels (in Waterloo Region),” said Mendis-Millard. The rain barrels themselves are even recycled. They are former pickle or vinegar barrels. They come from an online sales company called Rainbarrel.ca. Ten community groups signed up for the fundraising program. They received training from REEP on the distribution of the rain barrels and the parts, such as spigots and hoses. The rain barrel sales company provides a webpage for online sales for the groups working with REEP at www.rainbarrel.ca/blitz. This webpage lists the ten Waterloo Region community groups selling rain barrels and what they plan to do with the funds they raise. Online shoppers can read over the groups’ plans and choose who they would like to buy from.
April 27th Downtown Kitchener from City Hall to Bobby O’Brien’s 8am-4pm Shop the market of handmade goods + vintage treasures
Visit our craft tents to make recycled art
Trade the old for new Hear live music from local artists at the clothing swap tent *cost $5 + bag of clothing
@remakeable on twitter
Ed Hunter of Forest Hill School Tree Regeneration, right, and Tommy Kyle of the 1st Ayr Scouts learn about rain barrel distribution at a training session. The groups include the 1st Ayr Scouts, Ayr Public School, Central Frederick Community Garden, Century 21 for Easter Seals, First Mennonite Church, Forest Hill School Tree Regeneration, MacGregor Public School, Stirling Mennonite Church, Victoria Park Neighbourhood Association and Westheights Senior Public School. Laurie Hunter, a member of the Forest Hill School Tree Regeneration group said at last check, her group has sold 40 rain barrels. Forest Hill Public School is located on Westmount Road in Kitchener. “Our plan is to get more shade in the school yard,” she said. The group has already planted eight trees and put some sitting rocks on the property. The school board has also planted some trees following renovations at the school to add a gym and provide wheelchair access. “It looks so much nicer than it was,” Hunter said. “It was a barren wasteland before.”
HOSTED BY KW HYDRO
Chance to win $250 Energy Efficient Shopping Spree
You could win a $250 Energy Efficient Shopping Spree by visiting upcoming Spring Coupon Events hosted by Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro at Home Depot and Home Hardware locations in the Kitchener in April. The Spring Coupon Events are in partnership with the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), and are geared toward helping residential customers discover new ways to save energy in their homes. Customers will be able to save instantly on products sold in-store, learn more about
Donate e-waste to the GREENTEC THINK RECYCLE tent
energy-saving tips and tricks, and win prizes including a chance for a $250 Energy-Efficient Shopping Spree. Locations and dates for the Spring events include: • April 20th & 21st – Home Depot at 100 Gateway Park • April 27th & 28th – Swanson’s Home Hardware at 166 Park Street & Home Depot at 1450 Ottawa Street South
WHEN IT DOESN'T BELONG IT STANDS OUT. Tim Hortons wants to get together with you to clean up our neighbourhood and put litter in its place. Because it’s not just any community, it’s our community. So come out and join us on Saturday, April 20, 2013 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at McLennan Park in Kitchener and Waterloo Park in Waterloo for our Annual Community Clean Up.
© Tim Hortons, 2010
Page 14 l Kitchener Citizen - West Edition l April 11, 2013
Bike sharing programs getting ready to roll in both Kitchener and Waterloo Community Transportation, explained to interested onlookers exactly how bike sharing works and who needs it. “I think because Waterloo has so many university students this would be a great system for students to use,” she explained. Community members can buy a membership for up to a year, or as little as 24 hours. Once purchased, they have access to branded cycles that can be driven from station to station, where they are docked after use. It’s a system that has become popular throughout Europe and is making headway
H. G. Watson aterloo Region may soon be home to not just one, but two bicycle-sharing programs. Both Grand River Public Bike Sharing (GRPBS) and the Working Centre are in the midst of rolling out systems that would allow residents of Waterloo and Kitchener, respectively, to rent bikes from docking stations for as long as the rider needs. At the Sustainability Fair at University of Waterloo last week, Bianca Popescu, a volunteer with Active
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also encourage demand for better cycling infrastructure in the region. “[The two] kind of tag team each other.” The GRPBS program will be similar to Bixi’s. However, The Working Centre’s plan will see the bikes operating on a different type of docking system. “The way that we generally designed the system is that the station will have a bike rack and it’ll also have somewhere where the keys are stored,” said Adrian Underhill, who leads the bike-sharing program for the centre. While the two systems aren’t integrated due to the different technology that they use, Underhill did say that he is in talks with GRPBS to determine how the two programs could work together. Bike sharing programs have come under fire for being a financial burden to municipalities. In 2011, Montreal’s city council approved a $108 million bailout to Bixi after the service found itself deep in debt. Unlike the programs in other Canadian cities, GRPBS plans on being 100 per cent self-funded. “We don’t want to rely on tax dollars,” says Prasad Samarakoon, one of the founders of GRPBS. “We want to build a sustainable model.” GRPBS needs to wait to get funding from sponsorships and from people signing up for memberships ahead of the launch. “We need to meet a minimum of 800 members before the launch.” They’re also waiting for additional final approvals from the Region of Waterloo and the City of Waterloo before they can set
Photo by HG Watson
the date for their official launch. The Working Centre was granted $15,000 for its program from the Community Environmental Fund, according to James Lapointe, a transportation demand manager and planner with the Region of Waterloo. However, the Working Centre notes on its website that it plans to cut costs by about two thirds by not using the same technology as Bixi sharing systems. They expect to have their stations operational sometime between May and June. Underhill hopes that a yearly membership to the Working Centre’s program will cost $40. A regular annual fee for GRPBS will cost $78 ($70 for students). However, GRPBS has also reduced yearly fees in hopes of reaching their 800 member goal by the end of the month. Cycling enthusiasts are hopeful that the two systems can integrate to provide complete service to residents. Mike Boos is a member of the Cycling Advisory Committee in Kitchener and an advocate with TriTAG. “I would say in TriTAG’s perspective we would really like to see good cooperation between the two providers,” he noted. “It would be great if they could operate on the same technology and be entirely interoperable.” The benefits for the region of both bike sharing programs could be a positive boost to cycling culture in the region. “It’s eco-friendly, healthier and very a economical mode of transportation,” said Samarakoon.
April 11, 2013 l Kitchener Citizen - West Edition l Page 15
Separate yard waste collection has begun in Waterloo Region
eparate collection of yard waste has begun across the Region. Yard waste is collected every second week on residents’ garbage collection day. In Kitchener, yard waste collection began the week of April 1. The collection schedule can be found online at www.regionofwaterloo.ca/ waste.
Yard waste includes grass clippings, tree branches, pine cones, garden material and other compostable yard waste. To ensure yard waste is collected, residents should: • Place yard waste out to the curb by 7 a.m. on collection day. • Use only kraft paper bags or garbage
cans with a brightly coloured ribbon or yard waste sticker. • Set bags or cans apart from garbage and recycling. • Bundle brush together no longer than 92 cm (3 ft.) in length. • Ensure all bags, bundles or reusable containers weigh less than 23 kg (50 lbs.).
Yard waste is not collected in plastic bags or in blue boxes. Information about yard waste collection or any other Region of Waterloo waste management program can be found on its website at www. regionofwaterloo.ca/waste, or by calling its customer service line at 519883-5100.
Reading the newspaper is a greener choice than you might think. We in the newspaper industry are committed to reducing our impact on the environment. We take our responsibility seriously, and our production processes are now more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. We recognize the importance of preserving and protecting Canada’s forests, and we only use newsprint from responsible producers that embrace 5 widely accepted sustainability principles in their forestry operations. For Canadians, this means that the forest industry plants more trees than it takes and it has successfully reduced gas emissions by 10 times what is required under Kyoto! And then, of course, there are your efforts. You’ve helped make newspapers a recycling success story by recycling over 80% of all newsprint in Canada. Thank you for your waste reduction efforts. We will continue to do our part to reduce our carbon footprint. There is more to do, and together, we can work toward sustainability.
BLOOMIN EARTH FESTIVAL RETURNS
The Bloomin Earth Festival will be held in front of Kitchener City Hall on April 27. The festival celebrates the green way of thinking by selling used and recycled items, hosting a clothing exchange, and collecting electronic waste for proper disposal. This vendor from 2012 made ribbons out of paper from magazines and newspapers.
Because sustainability isn’t just another story to us. It’s how we’re shaping our future.
Page 16 l Kitchener Citizen - West Edition l April 11, 2013
REGION OF WATERLOO
Over $160,000 in 2013 environmental grants awarded to community groups in February
he Region of Waterloo approved over $160,000 in grants from its Community Environmental Fund on February 26, 2013. wenty-four groups shared $111,036 in Environmental Stewardship Grants and seven organizations split $50,000 in Sustainability Grants.
• Saginaw Public School Greening Project $3,000 • Elmira District Secondary School Snyder Street Greening Project - $3,000 • Cambridge City Green/City of Cambridge, Cambridge Stewardship - $5,401 • Hillcrest Public School Graduation Forest $2,500 • Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate Institute Sports Field Restoration - $3,000 • Woolwich Environmental Enhancement Committee Tree Nursery Project, Elmira - $1,978 • University of Waterloo Ecoregional Restoration Research - $500 • House of Friendship Eby Village Urban Greening Project - $8,422 • St. Teresa of Avila Elementary School Creative Outdoor Play Project - $3,000 • Waterloo Stewardship Council Restoration of Tallgrass Prairie - $3,452 • Coronation Public School Outdoor Classroom - $3,000 • Crestview Public School Greenspace Enhancement - $3,000 • FutureWatch Environment Development/ Education Green Diversity Project - $10,000 • Edna Staebler Public School Junior Grove
Project - $2,486 • Wilfrid Laurier University Wetland Seed Collection - $5,000 • Matthew & Donna Monteyne Naturalization of 248 Woolwich - $1,000 • Bluevale Collegiate Institute School Ground Greening Project - $2,000 • Southridge Public School Southridge Naturalized Garden - $2,000 • City of Waterloo Environmental Reserve Project - $16,430 • rare ECO Centre Heritage Garden - $5,200 • rare Ecological Landscape Restoration $12,200 • 10,000 Trees Project Inc. City Shade Strategy - $9,472 • St. Peter Catholic School Ground Greening Initiative - $1,995 • Baden Community Association Foundry Greensway Project - $3,000
• The Working Centre Bikesharing Network - $15,000 • Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate Institute Rain Water Harvesting - $10,000 • Conrad Grebel Electric Vehicle Charging Station - $5,000 • Transition KW Climate Change Adaptation Toolkit - $5,000 • Alternatives Journal Environmental Excellence Film Festival - $5,000 • THE MUSEUM Kids Inspiring Change $5,000 • My Sustainable Canada Informed Energy Star Purchases - $5,000
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April 11, 2013 l Kitchener Citizen - West Edition l Page 17
Kitchener wins Water Stewardship award
o mark World Water Day, the Council of the Federation (COF) announced the recipients of the Excellence in Water Stewardship Award, and the City of Kitchener was recognized for its impervious-area-based stormwater utility and credit program. “We are thrilled to be among the first-ever recipients of this honour,” said Mayor Carl Zehr. “It’s never easy to break new ground, to look at things in a different way. It’s rewarding to not only benefit our community through improved water management, but to lay the groundwork for other communities to achieve those benefits as well.” The stormwater utility was implemented in January 2011 to dedicate funds specifically to stormwater management, a service consistently underfunded through the tax base. A credit program introduced in 2012 allows residential and non-residential property owners to reduce their stormwater rate through best practices like rain barrels, infiltration galleries, salt management programs and oil and grit separators for managing stormwater on their properties. “Through this funding model, we’ve already been able to complete a significant project in the Victoria Park lake clean-up,” said Nick Gollan, manager of the city’s stormwater utility. “That’s just one example of the many projects that Kitchener will now be able to tackle by having a
dedicated funding source.” To learn more about stormwater management or the city’s utility and credit program, visit www.kitchener.ca/stormwater. On December 5, 2003, the Council of the Federation was formed as a mechanism to promote collaborative intergovernmental relations. In August 2010, provincial premiers endorsed the Council of the Federation’s Water Charter recognizing the collective obligation of Canadians and their governments to be responsible water stewards. In 2011, the Council of the Federation established the Water Stewardship Council (WSC), whose purpose is to: Provide information and strategic advice to premiers on key trends, issues and opportunities related to Canada’s water resources; and Promote, and, where appropriate, implement the commitments of the 2010 Council of the Federation Water Charter. In January 2013, the Excellence in Water Stewardship Awards were created to recognize outstanding achievement, innovative practice and leadership in the area of water stewardship. This award is presented to just one organization, partnership, business, institution, or community group in each province and territory across Canada. To learn more about the award recipients, visit www.councilofthefederation.ca/
Community groups, schools can apply for GRCA grants for environmental projects
pplications are now being accepted from community groups and schools for Community Conservation Grants given out by the Grand River Conservation Foundation and the Grand River Conservation Authority. Grants of up to $1,000 are awarded to qualified groups (i.e. registered charities), or up to $750 for elementary schools, undertaking conservation projects in communities throughout the Grand River watershed. Eligible projects must be tangible and available for the use or benefit of
the entire community. The deadline for receipt of grant applications is May 31. The award recipients will be selected this summer, with the cheque presentation taking place this fall. A final report may be requested of grant recipients within one year, or upon the successful completion of the project. Applications can be downloaded from www. grcf.ca or by contacting the foundation in Cambridge at (519) 621-2763 ext. 2372 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
GRCA is looking for ‘watershed heroes’
o you know a watershed hero? They’re the individuals, families, groups and businesses that put their time, energy and sometimes money into improving the environment in the Grand River watershed. Many do it without recognition, satisfied with the legacy they leave for future generations. Well, the Grand River Conservation Authority
thinks they deserve to be acknowledged, so is looking for nominations for its annual Watershed Awards. The GRCA has presented the awards since 1976. There are two categories of awards: • Watershed Awards for outstanding examples of conservation and environmental work • Honour Roll Awards for a sustained record of
achievement over an extended period of time. Nominations can come from anyone in the watershed. The deadline for nominations is May 31, 2013. More information on the program, including short biographies of past winners and a nomination form, can be found in the “Watershed Awards” section of the GRCA website at www.grandriver.ca The winners will be honoured at a special event in the fall.
Kitchener Natural Areas Program (KNAP)
EARTH DAY CELEBRATION Saturday, April 20 from 1 to 4 p.m. Huron Natural Area,801 Trillium Drive This family celebration includes building a KNAP bird box (available to the first 100 families), kids’KNAP bird silhouettes,planting a tree,nature walks and displays. Featuring the Canadian Raptor Conservancy with live birds of prey shows at 1,2 & 3 p.m. FOR MORE INFORMATION: Call: 519-741-2600 ext 4177 Email: email@example.com Visit: www.kitchener.ca/earthday