lonely no more program receives boost from Rotary
Rotary Club President Mike Strickland presented a cheque for $5,430 to Nancy Simpson, secretary of the Board of Directors of Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health (Gateway) on Aug. 13. (Submitted photo)
On Thursday, Aug. 13, Rotary Club President Mike Strickland presented a cheque for $5,430 to Nancy Simpson, secretary of the Board of Directors of Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health (Gateway).
The funds will be expended to provide equipment for the Lonely No More (LNM) program. The LNM program consists of weekly teleconference calls between isolated seniors, facilitated by trained community volunteers. This program creates three components of support: peer support, health coaching and system navigation. Taking loneliness out of the life of seniors helps to extend lifespan, reduce mental illness, improve physical health, and prevent dementia.
LNM was started five years ago by Sheila Schuehlein, Gateway board member and research chair.
“With this significant donation, Gateway can expand the reach and connectivity of this program and we look forward to serving our rural seniors again this fall,” said Gwen Devereaux, president of Gateway’s Board of Directors.
Strickland indicated that the Goderich Rotarians are willing to volunteer to assist with the program. Rotary is hosting a golf tournament at Sunset Golf Club on Sept. 25. It will be a major fundraiser in support of Gateway and LNM.
Turtle week activities move online during pandemic
In 2019, Painted Turtle hatchlings, like this one, were released back into the wild – back into their native waters – at the turtle release event while hundreds, upon hundreds, upon hundreds of people came to Morrison Dam Conservation Area (MDCA) to see it. In 2020, Turtle Week activities will take place online only. (Submitted photo)
Huron Stewardship Council (HSC), and community partners including Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA), are educating the public about turtles in a new way in 2020.
The fourth annual public education event to release turtle hatchlings back into the wild drew a record 1,500 people near Exeter in 2019. The popular event is not taking place in 2020. This is in response, to the current pandemic, protecting public health by reducing the number and size of events. Local conservation groups are finding new ways to educate about turtles by providing social media posts and activities people can do at home and have fun and learn while doing it.
Cristen Watt is Species at Risk Technician with Huron Stewardship Council. She said a 2020 turtle information campaign for the public will replace this year’s turtle release event. She encouraged people to read the social media posts each day and to take part, at home, in some of the turtle education activities.
“I want to thank everyone who is helping to save these species,” she said.
The turtle activities run from now to Aug. 31. The campaign began with a turtle coloring page contest. Randomly selected winners can win a turtle or wetland-themed face mask. Deadline for coloring pages is Aug. 31. The campaign will highlight the need for wetland protection for turtles. The posts on social media will also give people ways they can donate to support wetland habitat for turtles or support the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre. There will be ‘turtally awesome’ crafts and activities; videos of turtle releases; and photos of some of the local citizen champions protecting our important turtle species.
Ontario’s freshwater turtle species play an active role in our ecosystem.
“Turtles help to control aquatic vegetation and help to clean our creeks and wetlands by eating algae and dead and decaying fish and other organisms,” said Hope Brock, Healthy Watersheds technician with ABCA. “Turtles are vital to our wetlands, but without the protection of our wetlands, we risk losing turtle species.”
The public can help to protect turtles by helping them across the road, protecting and enhancing their habitat, and supporting community turtle monitoring programs.
Ontario’s native freshwater turtles face many threats. Road mortality (death by cars and other vehicles) and habitat loss are some of those threats. Hundreds of turtles in Ontario are hit by cars each year in the spring, summer, and autumn. These could be pregnant females looking for a place to lay eggs, or males and females looking for new ponds and mates. People can help turtles by creating nesting habitat on their properties, stopping to help turtles cross the road in the direction they are heading, and working with their local municipalities and communities to erect turtle crossing signs and build safe passages. People can stop for injured turtles and help arrange their transport to the turtle hospital.
To learn more about protecting turtles visit abca.ca and huronstewardship.ca or phone 519 235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610.
Paint Ontario Art Show to open early september
Paint Ontario is set to open on Wednesday, Sept. 2, with all appropriate COVID-19 precautions and adjustments in place to ensure physical distancing and the full safety of visitors, volunteers and staff at all times.
Show hours are Wednesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, with evening extensions to 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays; closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
The judges assure Grand Bend Art Centre organisers that artists’ work in the 2020 show will delight and inspire visitors, and art collectors will enjoy a wide variety of subjects and styles from which to choose.
Artists’ demonstrations and workshops have been pre-recorded and will be played on a rotating basis during the run of the show as well as being available online. Additionally, look out for live outdoor demonstrations that will add a new element to the Paint Ontario visitor experience this year.
Thursday evenings promise to be a special time for viewers and purchasers who have busy weekday schedules, with a bonus of outdoor performances by popular local musician Tom Taylor. People are asked to bring their own deck chair.
While there’s no opening gala this year, everything else that the public expect at Paint Ontario will be there, and more.
Paint Ontario, including its show-within-a-show “Faces of Ontario”, continues to be Ontario’s largest Show and Sale of original artwork, a unique opportunity for emerging artists to showcase their work and an unmatched opportunity for buyers to view and acquire it.
Information about how to purchase a timed entry ticket will be available soon at www.heritagemuseum.ca. People can also call 519 243-2600 for information on buying tickets to the event.
huron residents asked to take survey about covid-19 impacts
COVID-19 has had serious and potentially long-lasting impacts on communities. While the recovery will be long and difficult for everyone, small and rural communities face particular challenges. A partnership between the University of Guelph (U of G), United Way Perth-Huron’s Social Research and Planning Council (SRPC), the County of Huron, the Huron Arts and Heritage Network and the Listowel Salvation Army aims to ensure rural voices are heard.
“Fifteen per cent of Ontarians live in small communities and rural environments and these areas have a unique voice,” said Leith Deacon, assistant professor at the University of Guelph’s School of Environmental Design and Rural Development. “We want to make sure that voice is heard. We’re looking forward to working in Perth and Huron Counties to learn about the concerns and anxieties of local people as communities look for ways to recover from the pandemic.”
The U of G survey aims to determine not only what planning is required to best support ongoing recovery in Perth and Huron but also how to best increase resilience and well-being over the longer term. Researchers aim to identify vulnerable populations, determine priority programs including mental health, income and food security, and education specifically to support those populations during and after COVID-19, explore opportunities for the non-profit sector and identify emergent mental health and economic concerns. The project is funded through Mitacs, a non-profit research organization that, through partnerships with Canadian academia, private industry and government, operates research and training in fields related to social and industrial innovation.
The research team is encouraging all residents over the age of 18 to complete the survey in an effort to capture the most accurate data that reflects the experiences of people from across Huron and Perth Counties. The survey takes roughly half an hour to complete and is now open to people in Huron. Residents can visit linktr.ee/RURAL_RESPONSE to complete the online version of the survey. All households within Huron County will receive a paper copy in the mail in the coming days, including a prepaid return envelope. For Perth residents, the survey will be available beginning Sept. 1.
“We’re looking forward to the results of this important survey,” said SRPC Director of Planning, Susanna Reid. “This research will form the basis of our future research and planning efforts in Perth and Huron Counties. Everyone’s voice is important. What we learn from this research will help shape programs and policies that will be tailored to local needs.”
The SRPC is operated by United Way Perth-Huron and is comprised of volunteer community representatives dedicated to the collection, analysis and distribution of information relating to local social trends. Research enables United Way to discover and understand the root causes of issues affecting Perth-Huron and in turn mobilize the community.
demonstrate hope: plant a tree
Brody Schoelier, of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation tree planting crew, helps to improve local forest conditions by planting trees in this 2020 image. (Submitted photo)
The year 2020 hasn’t turned out the way anyone expected. The pandemic changed the way people behave and think and has changed perspectives about what is important. Despite the tough times communities and families have been through, they are looking to the future with hope: Hope that they can get together with family and friends soon. Hope that they will be back in their work places. Hope that the markets will recover. Hope that they can make up for lost revenue and business opportunities.
One of the best ways for people to demonstrate hope is to plant a tree. It exhibits hope for the future and it will add a feature to people’s property that can be enjoyed for decades to come. People have been enjoying shade trees throughout this summer during their stay-cations.
Springtime is the traditional time for tree planting but COVID-19 changed those plans for many people. Autumn is an ideal time to plant larger conifer and hardwood trees.
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) is now taking fall orders. Species include a variety of Cedar, Spruce, Pine, Maple, Oak, and Tulip Tree. They range in size from 18 inches to five feet tall and are $17 to $25.
The ABCA purchases the trees in bulk from nurseries and then sells to local landowners for projects that benefit water quality, soil health, and habitat for all living things. The trees are best suited for field windbreaks, shelterbelts around buildings, and buffers along streams and rivers. Plantings that prevent soil erosion and improve water quality could qualify for grants to help reduce the costs.
Landowners can pick up the trees at the ABCA office east of Exeter around Thanksgiving or they can arrange, with ABCA, for staff to plant the trees.
People making tree orders can submit email, mail, and faxed orders until Sept. 18. Orders accompanied by payment are accepted until Sept. 30.
To find out more visit the abca.ca website at this webpage link: www.abca.ca/forestry/treeorders/
Anyone interested may also phone 519 235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 to find out more.
The Huron Perth Public Health website is updated regularly with confirmed case counts received.
“Our online case reporting is not a real-time tool but is meant to keep the community informed on trends we are seeing,” explains Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Miriam Klassen.
For the latest statistics on COVID-19 cases in Huron and Perth Counties please visit: www.hpph.ca/en/health-matters/covid-19-in-huron-and-perth.asp
Huron Hospice Board of Directors at their AGM in September of 2019. (Submitted photo)
Huron Hospice is currently seeking people to join their highly talented and dedicated volunteer Board of Directors. Potential members must demonstrate a passion for providing quality hospice palliative care and dedication to the best interest of Huron Hospice and of the people of the community. The Board of Directors meets monthly with additional participation in committee meetings and working groups. The Board abides by existing governance regulations for not‐for‐profit organizations.
Huron Hospice welcomes all applications and is specifically seeking to add people to their team with experience in project management, construction, the hospice palliative care system, legal and/or HR expertise. Huron Hospice is committed to diversity and inclusivity and welcomes applications from qualified individuals of diverse backgrounds including persons of every age, ancestry, color, race, citizenship, ethnic origin, place of origin, creed, disability, family status, marital status, gender identity, gender expression, receipt of public assistance, sex and sexual orientation. Interested candidates should apply by sending a letter of interest, along with a current CV or resume, to Board Chair Jay McFarlan, at firstname.lastname@example.org by Aug. 28.
Huron Hospice is a registered charity that provides quality hospice palliative care in area rural communities. For 25 years, Huron Hospice has supported individuals with life‐limiting illness from time of diagnosis, through death and bereavement support. In 2018, Huron Hospice opened the doors on their four-bed residential hospice in the heart of Huron County. For additional information visit their website at www.huronhospice.ca
WEST NILE VIRUS
Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) is reminding residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites following confirmation that mosquitoes collected from a trap in Mitchell tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). This is the first positive mosquito finding of the season for Perth County.
“It’s not surprising to see positive mosquito pools in the month of August,” said Public Health Inspector, Kaitlyn Kelly. “In the late summer months, people are at greatest risk of contracting West Nile Virus, so it is important to protect yourself while outdoors when mosquitoes are most active.”
The Health Unit has been trapping and testing mosquitoes in locations across Huron and Perth since June 8. To reduce the risk of potential WNV transmission, larvicide is applied to roadside catch basins in Stratford, St. Marys, Listowel and Mitchell this summer to help reduce mosquito breeding.
In Ontario, no probable or confirmed human cases of WNV have been reported. Not everyone who is bitten by an infected mosquito will show symptoms of the virus. Of those who do show symptoms, most will experience mild illness, including fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting and rash on chest, stomach or back. About 1 in 150 people infected will get seriously ill, with symptoms like high fever, muscle weakness, vision loss and coma. WNV can lead to death.
Symptoms usually develop between two and 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People older than 50 are most at risk for WNV infection as are those with weakened immune systems.
People can protect themselves from mosquito bites by using an insect repellent when outdoors containing DEET or Icaridin. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions. They can also cover up with light-colored clothes, long sleeves and pants when outdoors or in areas where mosquito activity is high. They can take extra protectionary measures at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active and remove standing water around the home at least once a week to reduce mosquito breeding grounds.
For more information call the Health Line at 1-888-221-2133 Ext. 3267 or visit www.hpph.ca.
drive-in movie for Alzheimers of huron
Joaquin Phoenix and Reece Witherspoon starred in "Walk the Line" released in 2004 and soon to once again grace the big screen, at the Starlite Drive-in, in support of the Alzheimers Society of Huron County. (Photo by Mark Seliger/Corbis Outline)
Please note event cancelled.
On Thursday, Sept. 3, the Alzheimer Society of Huron County and the Starlite Drive-In Movie Theatre located in Shipka, ON, look forward to sharing the story of Johnny Cash on the big screen.
The Starlite Drive-In has long been touted as a nostalgic movie experience, dating back to 1958. Based on two autobiographies by singer-songwriter, Johnny Cash, “Walk the Line” follows Cash's early life, his romance with June Carter, and his ascent to fame in the country music scene.
There are limited tickets available for only $10 per car. Concessions and washrooms will be available, participants may also choose to pack their own snacks to enjoy.
To avoid disappointment, people are encouraged to purchase their advance tickets now at www.eventbrite.ca/e/drive-in-movie-night-tickets-116937835213. Service fees apply.
For more information, contact the Alzheimer Society of Huron County 519 482-1482 or 1-800-561-5012 or email email@example.com.
In consultation with local municipalities and community partners, the County of Huron Economic Development department has produced a business signage package related to the COVID-19 pandemic for consistent entryway signage to businesses and establishments that do not have consistent signage programs in their communities already.
A series of consistent, clear and welcoming signage options have been developed that kindly ask visitors to self-screen prior to entry, wear face coverings or masks, and practice physical distancing. Friendly signage options also remind visitors of customer limits within the store and hand hygiene expectations. Each sign recognizes the County of Huron, local Municipality and BIA in each area, as well as Huron Perth Public Health as supporters.
“It is important that our business community is using consistent signage that allows for easy recognition of expectations and public health messages, while being friendly and welcoming,” said Huron County Warden, Jim Ginn. “By using consistent signage, it signals a strong commitment from businesses and the community in working together to help keep everyone safe.”
The idea for consistent signage was inspired by an initiative undertaken by Doug Kuyvenhoven, chair of the Wingham BIA. Kuyvenhoven personally provided signage, hand sanitizing stations and plexiglass shields to businesses in Wingham. Central Huron and Bluewater have also initiated signage programs.
To access the signage, owners and operators are invited to reach out to their local Municipality, Business Improvement Area (BIA) or Chamber of Commerce.
Alternatively, digital versions of the signs can be downloaded directly from the County of Huron Economic Development webpage: www.huroncounty.ca/economic-development.
BAYFIELD BEER AND FOOD FESTIVAL
Back in April, the Bayfield Beer and Food Festival, originally scheduled for May 9, was delayed due to the COVID-19 crisis until Sept. 12. Organizers have now decided that they cannot proceed with the festival on that new date and have postponed it until May 15, 2021.
Organizers note that the original tickets will still be valid for the 2021 festival, however, if anyone would prefer a cash refund an opportunity to obtain one will be held on Refund Day, Saturday, Sept. 12 at the Bayfield Arena from 9-11 a.m.