puppet show now on film thanks to trillium grant
On Nov. 17, Judy Keightley, an Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) volunteer, and John McPhee, a representative from MPP Lisa Thompson’s office, presented Rural Response for Healthy Children's Project Coordinator Genelle Reid with a plaque highlighting a grant the organization received in the fall of 2016. (Submitted photo)
In October, Rural Response for Healthy Children (RRHC) introduced an enhanced child abuse prevention program to a class of Grade 3 students in Huron County. Kids On The Block is a long-standing program that educates children about their rights to personal safety and what to do if that boundary is crossed. The program aims to reach every Grade 3 student in Huron County each school year.
On Nov. 17, Judy Keightley, an Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) volunteer, and John McPhee, a representative from MPP Lisa Thompson’s office, met with the group to hear how a $36,700 seed grant made in late 2016 has made a difference. They viewed the organization’s new short film, learned about its newly created “Guide To Protecting All Children in Huron County” and congratulated the community-based, non-profit on its continued work to educate families to ensure children grow up in a safe community.
“The safety and well-being of our children is always paramount in our communities. No one should ever have to experience physical or mental harm, least of all kids. Through the development of Kids on the Block, RRHC has provided families and schools with a child-friendly, age-appropriate tool to teach children about personal space, and facilitate healthy conversations about a sensitive topic. I’m pleased to see the grant funding has been put to effective use,” said MPP for Huron Bruce Lisa Thompson.
Originally presented as a puppet show, the program was experiencing challenges finding puppeteers willing to present the sensitive content. OTF’s grant created the opportunity to professionally film the puppet show, and helped with staffing, workshops and supplies and materials. It also supported the development and production of a new Parent Guide that helps families further the discussion about personal safety at home. The Guide features age appropriate games and video links to help parents and caregivers talk with their children, be vigilant about the safety of all children in our community and be fearless when it comes to reporting suspected abuse to Huron Perth Children’s Aid Society.
“This investment by the Ontario Trillium Foundation to enhance children’s knowledge and provide them with strategies to keep safe, contributes to the overall well-being of families living in Huron County,” said Michael Russo, chair of RRHC’s Board of Directors. “This grant has allowed flexibility in delivering it to local schools and greatly enhanced the resources provided to families to support them in discussing a difficult topic at home.”
RRHC is committed to ongoing education at elementary schools and within our rural communities to ensure child safety. If you would like a presentation about personal safety for your group or event, please contact the Project Coordinator, Genelle Reid, at 1-800-479-0716 or firstname.lastname@example.org
An agency of the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is one of Canada’s largest granting foundations. With a budget of over $136 million, OTF awards grants to some 1,000 projects every year to build healthy and vibrant Ontario communities. www.otf.ca
Museum Exhibit reads between the lines of county newspapers
The Huron County Museum’s latest temporary exhibit, “Hot off the Press: Seen in the County Papers”, opened at the Museum in Goderich on Nov. 21 and will be on display until March 2018.
For almost 175 years, Huron County’s local newspapers have been an important part of the social and political life of our communities, and newspapers from the past now serve as an incredible historical resource. Since Huron’s historical newspapers are now available to search online from the comfort of home (via www.huroncountymuseum.ca/digitized-newspapers/), museum staff wanted to take a closer look at these papers’ point-of-view by peeking behind the headlines to the stories of the local editors, publishers, correspondents and machine operators who have made the news in Huron County over the past centuries.
Said Sinead Cox, the Museum’s curator of Engagement and Dialogue, “There’s a lot of discussion happening now around ‘fake news’ and how we see stories filtered through our personal ‘bubbles’ or ‘echo chambers.’ What’s fascinating is that every little town and village used to have both a conservative and a liberal paper competing for your subscription. Although the exhibit spotlights how much our news sources and publishing methods have changed, concerns about misreporting and perspective are nothing new.”
Focusing on changing technologies and journalism techniques, the lives and political leanings of the editors, and vintage advertising, the exhibit highlights selected artefacts and articles from newspapers printed in communities across the county including: Clinton, Goderich, Seaforth, Exeter, Wingham, Wroxeter, Brussels and Zurich. The seasonal display also features several interactives, including news madlibs and an opportunity to search the newspaper collection.
On Feb. 24 at 2 p.m., the museum will welcome long-time editor Keith Roulston as a special guest speaker. Roulston will join staff for a lively question and answere to discuss insights from his long and varied career in local news as an apprentice, writer, editor and publisher: from using ‘hot type’ with manual flatbed presses in the 1970s, to digital publication and everything in between. This rare chance to hear the scoop on Huron’s newspaper history will be included with regular museum admission and free to Huron County Library cardholders.
People can see Hot off the Press at the museum (110 North St., Goderich) until the end of March. Check www.huroncountymuseum.ca for the museum’s seasonal hours and other upcoming programming and events happening in conjunction with the exhibit.
Two new members selected for source protection committee
Mary Ellen Foran, of Auburn, and Bert Dykstra, of Clinton, are the two newest members of the Ausable Bayfield Maitland Valley Drinking Water Source Protection Committee (ABMVDWSPC). In the photo above, at the November 22 meeting, committee Chair Matt Pearson (in centre of photo), welcomed the two newest members, who join sitting member Keith Black as the three designated Economic – Agriculture representatives on the ABMVDWSPC. The Chair said their knowledge and experience will be valuable as the committee continues to implement source protection plans that are reducing risk to local municipal drinking water sources, as the committee updates technical work, and as it considers amendments in the future. (Submitted photos)
A committee to protect local municipal drinking water sources has announced that Mary Ellen Foran, of the Auburn area, and Bert Dykstra, of the Clinton area, are the two newest members of the committee. They have filled the two vacant seats from the Economic – Agriculture sector on the Ausable Bayfield Maitland Valley Drinking Water Source Protection Committee (ABMVDWSPC).
“We are pleased to welcome Mary Ellen and Bert to the committee,” said Matt Pearson, ABMVDWSPC Chair. “The knowledge and experience they bring will be valuable as we update and review technical work, continue to implement policies to protect municipal drinking water sources, and – going forward – as we begin to consider any desired amendments to approved assessment reports and source protection plans.”
Foran was born and raised in West Wawanosh Township and is now a partner in a mixed farming operation there. On the farm, she adopts practices and projects that improve the land and add protection to water. She has a Bachelor of Science, with a major in soil science, from the University of Guelph and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Western Ontario. She is an instructor for Integrated Pest Management for Corn and Soybeans, University of Guelph Ridgetown College, and an online literacy practitioner with the Avon Maitland District School Board. Prior to her current education roles, she completed contract work with the Huron County Soil and Crop Improvement Association, delivering Environmental Farm Plan workshops, plus contract work with local conservation authorities, working with landowners to find grant sources and practical solutions to reduce environmental impacts. She is a volunteer Huron County 4-H leader and director and serves in other volunteer roles in her community. Three of her five children are involved in agriculture-related careers. As an ABMVDWSPC member she looks forward to bringing an agricultural perspective to the table and to offer local knowledge and practical approaches to protection of municipal drinking water sources.
Dykstra runs a cash crop and broiler chicken operation. He has farmed in the Clinton area his entire working life. The native of Clinton supports a strong agricultural sector and he feels good water quality is an important resource for all sectors. The Municipality of Central Huron resident served as a municipal councillor for almost two decades. He served as a Warden of Huron County (2010) and as a Chairman of the Huron County Water Protection Steering Committee for three years. He also served for six years on the board of the Clinton Hospital Foundation as well as on other committees and in other civic service. He looks forward to serving on the drinking water source protection committee as someone with years of experience in agriculture and as a champion of practical and workable approaches to preserve water quality and protect local water resources.
The ABMVDWSPA accepted applications for the two vacant agriculture seats between Aug. 15 and Oct. 16. The local source protection authorities selected the two members after a review of all candidates. The two newest agriculture representatives attended their first meeting on Nov. 22. The other agriculture representative is Keith Black, who has served on the committee since its start in 2007.
After a decade of service as one of the agriculture sector representatives on the Ausable Bayfield Maitland Valley Drinking Water Source Protection Committee (ABMVDWSPC), Rowena Wallace has retired from the committee. At the Nov. 22 committee meeting, ABMVDWSPC Chair Matt Pearson thanked her for her ten years of dedicated service and for her contributions to the work which has taken place to complete locally developed and provincially approved plans that add protection to municipal drinking water sources. He praised her “passion for agriculture and protecting its place in our society.” The Chair said she has played an important role helping to set the policies that are reducing risk to drinking water today, and he said he learned a great deal from her. In appreciation of her work, the Chair presented Wallace with a copy of “Agriculture Today: A Portrait of Family Farms in Ontario” by local authors and photographers Telfer Wegg, Bonnie Hogarth Sitter, and Fred Helwig.
After ten years of service on the committee as an agriculture representative, Rowena Wallace has retired from the committee. The source protection committee thanked her, at the Nov. 22 committee meeting, for her decade of dedicated service. In appreciation of her contributions, Chair Matt Pearson presented her with a copy of “Agriculture Today: A Portrait of Family Farms in Ontario” by local authors and photographers Telfer Wegg, Bonnie Hogarth Sitter, and Fred Helwig.
The make-up of the ABMVDWSPC is shaped by the source protection committee regulation (Ontario Regulation 288/07) and by a local process that took place to decide how to include diverse voices at the committee table. One third of the committee is from municipalities. One third (five members) comes from economic sectors. Locally, three of those five economic member seats are from agriculture and the other two are from industry and commerce (including tourism). The other third of the committee represents other – environmental, health, and other interests of the public (including property owner association representation; public reps from the two source protection areas; and environmental sector representatives).
“The diverse voices at the table help the committee to find practical and effective ways to keep our local drinking water safe and clean, starting at the source,” said Pearson. “We have a talented group of people to help us as we implement, monitor, and update policies that reduce risk to municipal drinking water in this region.”
Other former agriculture reps on the committee included Mike Strang, who served on the committee in 2007 and 2008, and John Vander Burgt, who served as an agriculture rep from 2008 to 2016. John Vander Burgt passed away in 2016.
The ABMVDWSPC is a 15-member committee in addition to the Chair. The committee was Ontario’s first SPC. The members have worked with the public since 2007 to create local terms of reference, assessment reports, and source protection plans. The Ontario Clean Water Act of 2006 makes this work possible.
The Province of Ontario approved the locally developed source protection plans on Jan. 19, 2015. The plans took effect on Apr. 1, 2015. Plan policies address 21 activities (such as fuel or chemical storage; among others) that can pose a significant threat to municipal drinking water sources in certain circumstances (for example, in certain quantities and in the most vulnerable locations such as municipal wellhead protection areas).
There are four types of vulnerable areas. They are wellhead protection areas (zones of protection around municipal wells, to protect groundwater); surface water intake protection zones (in this region, around Lake Huron intakes); significant groundwater recharge areas; and highly vulnerable aquifers. Activities in vulnerable areas are assessed as low, moderate or significant threats to municipal drinking water sources. In this region, significant threats to drinking water are only found in wellhead protection area zones A, B, and C. Plan policies in those relatively small areas reduce risk by using tools ranging from education and outreach, to risk management plans, to restricted land uses, or prohibition of some activities in some cases. Visit sourcewaterinfo.on.ca and ontario.ca to find out more.
Cutlines: Mary Ellen Foran, of the Auburn area, and Bert Dykstra, of the Clinton area, are the two newest members of the Ausable Bayfield Maitland Valley Drinking Water Source Protection Committee (SPC). In photo above, at the November 22, 2017 SPC meeting, committee Chair Matt Pearson (in centre of photo), welcomes the two newest members, who join sitting member Keith Black as the three designated Economic – Agriculture representatives on the SPC. The Chair said their knowledge and experience will be valuable as the committee continues to implement source protection plans that are reducing risk to local municipal drinking water sources, as the committee updates technical work, and as it considers amendments in the future.
After a decade of service as one of the agriculture sector representatives on the Ausable Bayfield Maitland Valley Drinking Water Source Protection Committee (SPC), Rowena Wallace has retired from the committee. At the November 22, 2017 committee meeting, SPC Chair Matt Pearson thanked her for her ten years of dedicated service and for her contributions to the work which has taken place to complete locally developed and provincially approved plans that add protection to municipal drinking water sources. He praised her “passion for agriculture and protecting its place in our society.” The Chair said she has played an important role helping to set the policies that are reducing risk to drinking water today, and he said he learned a great deal from her. In appreciation of her work, the Chair presented Rowena Wallace with a copy of Agriculture Today: A Portrait of Family Farms in Ontario by local authors and photographers Telfer Wegg, Bonnie Hogarth Sitter, and Fred Helwig.
The Bluewater Communities in Bloom Committee invites individuals from the community to assist with planning and presenting the annual program.
The Communities in Bloom Committee (CIB) seeks enthusiastic persons to join the planning committee. This committee of volunteers plans and presents participation in the provincial Communities in Bloom program on behalf of the Municipality of Bluewater. CIB aka Bluewater Blooms currently has six members and wishes to increase the complement by three for a total of nine committee members.
Each year, Bluewater Blooms determines what aspects of the community to highlight that fit the criteria of the program evaluation. The criteria include Tidiness, Environmental Action, Heritage Conservation, Urban Forestry & Trails, Landscape, and Floral Displays. These aspects are combined into a community profile book and a two-day evaluation. Bluewater invites two professional judges to evaluate the accomplishments of the entire community (municipal, private, corporate, institutional and citizens) in July or August. The committee and the provincial judges are always astounded with the volume of positive achievements of the citizens and municipality.
“The judges tour was well planned and executed,” said 2016 judges Betty Lamont and Kathy Smyth. “There were so many highlights that it is impossible to mention them, although the sun going down to a full bagpipe band playing Amazing Grace is a memory that will never be forgotten…We urge the Municipality to consider entering Communities in Bloom at the National level.”
Blooms ratings are awarded to all participating communities across Ontario. Bluewater has won the top award, Five Blooms, for four consecutive years!
The Municipality of Bluewater joined Communities in Bloom Ontario in 2010 to celebrate and recognize the bringing together of five communities (Bayfield, Hensall, Zurich and the townships of Hay and Stanley). Communities in Bloom Ontario is the provincial edition of the national program, a Canadian non-profit organization committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification.
Please fill out the Bluewater Committee Application Form to communicate your interest in joining the Bluewater Communities in Bloom Committee. Persons must be appointed to the Committee by Council.
To find out more about the Bluewater Communities in Bloom Committee, the community profile book and access the application form, please visit the municipal website www.municipalityofbluewater.ca and select Municipal Services/Council/Committees. You may also call Nellie Evans, Secretary, at 519 236-4351 Ext 236 or email email@example.com
The Huron County Health Unit, with support from the Regional HIV/AIDS Connection (RHAC), will bring the Red Scarf Project to Clinton on Friday, Dec. 1, World AIDS Day.
World AIDS Day reminds us how important education and services are for people living with HIV/AIDS and their caregivers. The red scarves of the Red Scarf Project are enlarged versions of the red ribbon, the international symbol of AIDS awareness.
At 9 a.m. on Dec. 1, volunteers and staff of Huron County, the Health Unit and the Huron County HIV/AIDS Network (HCHAN) will hang red scarves on lamp and sign posts lining Albert Street downtown. They will also hand out scarves and ribbons to community members downtown as part of a conversation about HIV/AIDS services and supports in Huron County.
Over a dozen volunteers knitted and crocheted the red scarves, using a donation of yarn from Sugar Bush in Listowel. Scarves hung downtown are free for the taking.
RHAC is a community-inspired organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for individuals and diverse communities living with, at-risk for or affected by the challenges associated with HIV/AIDS. For more information, please visit www.hivaidsconnection.ca/
HCHAN was established in 1991. Volunteers wanting to help those living with HIV/AIDS, whether infected, affected, or at risk organized it. Since then, HCHAN has been actively supporting and strengthening the lives of people in Huron County through education and awareness programs, advocacy and agency referrals and personal support. To learn more, visit huroncountyhiv.ca.
HC SOIL AND CROP IMPROVEMENT AGM
The author of “Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life”, Dr. David R. Montgomery, is a guest speaker at the Huron County Soil and Crop Improvement Association (HCSCIA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday, Dec. 13.
The AGM event will take place at Libro Community Hall in Clinton at 239 Bill Fleming Drive. Doors open at 5 p.m. HCSCIA business will take place at around 5:30 p.m. Dinner starts at about 6:30 p.m. Speakers will present starting at about 7:15 p.m. The evening will finish at around 9:30 p.m.
Tickets are $20 each. Continuing education unit (CEU) credits are available for participants. To buy tickets, contact HCSCIA Secretary Sharon Devine at 519 868-8946. Registration for tickets can also be made online at the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) Wild Apricot web page at this link: https://oscia.wildapricot.org/event-2726369. Please register by Dec. 4. To find out more about the AGM visit huronsoilcrop.org.
Blyth Festival singers
Out of the darkness of a winter’s night comes the light that is love. And where is that Christmas love better exemplified than in hearth and home?
The Blyth Festival Singers invite everyone in to celebrate Christmas in all its most poignant and hilarious splendour. “Home is a Special Kind of Feeling” will be presented on Sunday, Dec. 3, in the intimate and beautiful setting of St. George’s Anglican Church, on North Street in Goderich starting at 3 p.m.
The repertoire will range from Samuel Barber’s beautiful, “Sure on this Shining Night” to contemporary pieces by Rutter, Nickel and Gordon Lightfoot - with some comical and Christmas pops thrown in for fun. Enjoy the laughter and nostalgia as Gil Garratt, Artistic director of the Blyth Festival, shares a reading of “Dave Cooks the Turkey”.
Come for fellowship and Christmas treats with the Singers at a cozy reception to follow.
A portion of the event’s profits will be donated to the Huron County Food Bank Distribution Centre to make the holidays happier for families in need.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $6 for children aged six to 12. Contact the Blyth Festival Box Office at 519 523-9300 or 1-877-862-5984 or go online at www.blythfestival.com/events to obtain tickets. Members of the Blyth Festival Singers or the Huron County Museum in Goderich also have tickets available.
Spend a winter’s afternoon with the choir and find the light, warmth and friendship amid the winter’s snows.
The Blyth Festival Singers is a county-wide community choir under the professional direction of Sharon Poelstra and accompanied by Julia Pennington.
The choir, averaging between 40 -50 members, performs primarily in Huron County and has endeavred to present a high standard of choral singing since its inception in 1980.
GIRL GUIDE COOKIES
Looking for a sweet stocking stuffer or hostess gift? Look no further than Bayfield Guiding. Members are now selling the Chocolatey Mint Girl Guide Cookies for $5 a box.
They can be purchased from members, by calling Melody Falconer-Pounder at 519 525-3830, or from The Pink Flamingo Bakery and Boutique on Bayfield’s Main Street.
The girls will also be selling cookies at the Walmart in Goderich on Saturday, Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Profits from sales help with program activities and field trips.
COFFEE & CONVERSATION
The Friends of the Bayfield Library (FOBL) would like to invite all in the community to join them in some inclusive, neutral conversation over a cup of a hot brew.
“Coffee & Conversation” will be held at the Bayfield Public Library every Wednesday until March from 2-3:30 p.m.
This is a great opportunity for people to meet their neighbors, learn about the village and share their know how with others.
The Home4Good Info Hub operates on Monday afternoons at the Bayfield Public Library from 1-3 p.m.
The Hub helps seniors in the Bayfield area find local community services, resources and supports. Volunteers will assist in finding relevant information for daily living, overall health and wellbeing. To learn more visit: www.home4goodbayfield.ca.
November is National Radon Action Month, and the Health Unit encourages residents to think about testing their homes for radon.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas in the ground. It can’t be seen, smelled or tasted. Radon released from the ground into the air is not a concern, but in enclosed areas radon levels can build up and be harmful to health. Long-term exposure to elevated levels of radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.
Radon can be found all over Ontario. According to Health Canada, 11 per cent of randomly selected homes in Huron County tested above the Canadian Guideline for radon in 2012.
“The only way to know the radon level in your home is to test for it,” said Public Health Inspector Chris Boyes. “Radon test kits are available at most major home renovation stores, or can be purchased on-line. Taking appropriate measures to reduce radon levels from your home could greatly benefit your health.”
Health Canada recommends homeowners do a long-term radon test, for a minimum of three months, during the fall or winter months. To get the most accurate results, the radon detector should be placed in the lowest level of the home where homeowners spend a minimum of four hours per day.
For more information on radon and radon testing, call the Huron County Health Unit at 1-877-837-6143 or visit huronhealthunit.ca.