Kingston Rotary Centennial Projects
Rotary Clubs in Kingston are thrilled to be working with community partners to launch Kingston Rotary Centennial Projects during our centenary year. Please click on any of the project links for more information:
Rotary Facilitator of Alumni Relations (F.A.R.) Project
Launched September 2020
The F.A.R. Project builds on the success of the Pathways to Education (P2E) program, which works in communities across Canada to reduce high school dropout rates in low-income areas. This Kingston Rotary Centennial Project provides and coordinate services for P2E alumni in post secondary studies for 3 days per week for 3 years to include mentoring and support by Rotarian leaders.
Pathways to Education offers tutoring, group and career mentoring, transit and lunch vouchers, and one-on-one support to enrolled secondary students. Alumni in the first graduating cohort in Kingston in 2014 wanted to continue their education at the post-secondary level, however, 70% of those who did register had dropped out early on. In response, P2E Kingston secured temporary funding for a counsellor (F.A.R.) for 1 day per week to identify and help alumni address difficulties. The intervention increased post-secondary retention rate to Ontario standards or higher.
The transition to a post secondary environment can be extremely difficult in the face of parental inexperience, indifference, and even hostility. The F.A.R. Project ensures that Pathways alumni have the supports in place to navigate what can be a complicated process of multiple applications, grants, bursaries, loans, scholarships, course selection, school policies, transportation, and part time work.
Rotary Centennial Monarch Butterfly Garden
Launched September 2020 - Planting May 2021
The Rotary Centennial Monarch Butterfly Garden at Rotary Park in Kingston provides a space to attract Monarch Butterflies and encourage the butterfly population to increase. The 156 sq. ft. garden is located close to the pavilion. It was constructed in September and the planting took place in May.
Butterflies are important pollinators and impact the whole environment. Their welfare is increasingly compromised by loss of habitat due to deforestation and pesticide use, and changes in climate and weather. Butterfly gardens help us conserve butterflies as well as other native insects and help preserve native plant species.
Loughborough School Greenhouse & Teaching Kitchen Project
Building a greenhouse and a teaching kitchen open the opportunity for more students to experience food from seed to plate and focus on food literacy. This Rotary Centennial project includes building a greenhouse in the school yard with raised beds, water, and power. It will provide a working indoor garden space for classes from all grades to grow produce for the teaching kitchen and food programs. Extra food will be donated to the local food bank and community centre. The teaching kitchen will be designed within an existing empty classroom to a standard whereby healthy food can be safely prepared for consumption and sale. It will be a space for hands-on cooking and nutrition classes. The students will also develop business skills operating a food stand in the community - the sales will help to sustain the program.
Supporting Students at St. Lawrence College
The Kingston Frontenac Rotary Club and the Cataraqui Kingston Rotary Club have been supporting scholarships at St. Lawrence College for a number of years providing opportunities for young people in financial need. This project will see increases of $10,000 to each of two existing scholarships sponsored by these clubs. In addition, the Frontenac Kingston Club has pledged an additional $20,000 toward the new student centre focused on student learning spaces. These efforts by Kingston Rotarians are part of a long-standing practice of promoting learning opportunities for young people.
Supporting Hospice Kingston
Hospice Kingston was established in 1985 and for over 30 years has provided comfort, support, and companionship to people with a life-limiting illness, their caregivers and families, and those who are affected by grief or loss. They offer a variety of services and programs such as In-home Care, Day Wellness, Caregiver Support, and Grief & Bereavement Support. Hospice Kingston and its partners are committed to enhancing healthcare in our community and improving access to end-of-life care by building a Palliative Care Centre of Excellence. The Frontenac Kingston Rotary club, as part of the centennial celebrations, has contributed $100,000 over three years toward this 10-bed Hospice Residence & Palliative Care Centre for Kingston, to help create a place of compassion and care.
Centennial Community Outreach Grants
Kingston and area is home to many small organizations doing terrific work for our community. While these organizations have strong volunteer bases and wonderful commitment to assisting local people in need, they have very limited fundraising capabilities. The Rotary Club of Kingston will host a special Centennial grant awarding ceremony at which we will give out $30,000 in grants to some 15 – 20 deserving organizations. These organizations will complete an application in January and these applications will be reviewed by the Community Outreach Grants committee. Award winners will attend a cheque presentation ceremony at our regular meeting on the last Thursday of the month.
Rotary Centennial SNC (Supporting Newcomers) Project
Rotarians from all four Kingston Rotary Clubs and both local Rotaract Clubs have joined together to support Newcomers to our community to continue the Rotary tradition of fellowship and vocational development.
Working closely with KEYS Job Centre, which provides Kingston and communities in Eastern Ontario with a variety of dynamic employment programs and services, Rotarians are linking with Newcomers for three distinct programs: 1) Professional Intercultural Collaborations; 2) Fun, Food, and Fellowship networking events; and 3) 1:1 Professional Dialogue.
This project is intended to welcome and support Newcomers, while helping expand the horizons and internationalize the perspectives of Kingstonians in the interests of harmony, fellowship and professional development of all involved.
Rotary Classroom at Reg Shadbolt Learning Centre
Rotarians have been strong supporters of the Boys and Girls Club in Kingston since its inception. Although not the only Rotarian to support them, Reg Shadbolt, former Director of Education for the Limestone District School Board, has been one of its greatest champions. In honour of his contributions, the Boys and Girls Club established the Reg Shadbolt Learning Centre. The Centennial committee, on behalf of Kingston Rotarians, will donate $20,000 as a further tribute to Reg and as a way to enhance programming at the centre.
Developing Cultural Awareness at No. 9 Gardens
No. 9 Gardens, north of the city, is Canada’s first cultural centre for sustainability and reconciliation. The Rotary Club of Cataraqui – Kingston has established as one of its priorities reconciliation and cultural awareness of First Nations peoples. The goals of this project are providing education and skills training in food security, sustainability, and reconciliation. On June 15, 2021, 80 fruit bearing trees (sponsored by Rotary) will be planted by Rotarians and friends in the gardens. This program will include both First Nation and non-First Nation students working with Focus Forward to benefit Indigenous Youth. In conjunction with our environmental project, we will plant 100 trees to commemorate our centennial year.
Restoration of the Fire Pit at Camp Merrywood
Another long-standing partner of the Rotary clubs in Kingston is the local chapter of Easter Seals. Rotarians have been sponsoring students to attend the camp for many years and we are annually involved in the Easter Seals campaign. Easter Seals Camp Merrywood, which opened in 1948, is located on a beautiful peninsula stretching out into Big Rideau Lake. The camp sits on 30 acres of property between Smiths Falls and Perth in Eastern Ontario. The fire pit at the camp has been replaced by a beautiful new, accessible one for all campers and staff to enjoy for many years to come.
Refurbishment of the Waterfront at RKY Camp
The Rotary Clubs of Kingston, along with Kiwanis and the YMCA, founded RKY camp back in 1930. RKY Camp provides traditional overnight summer camp experience and outdoor education each year to over 3,000 children and youth from all over Eastern Ontario. In honour of this 90-year partnership, Rotarians have agreed to enhance the waterfront at the camp by replacing the dock facilities. This will enable campers to enjoy waterfront programs safely.
Panic, Anxiety and Stress Support (PASS) Kits
Youth mental health is a great concern particularly in the midst of a pandemic. In partnership with the Algonquin Lakeshore Catholic District School Board (ALCDSB), the Limestone District School Board (LDSB), the Maltby Centre, and Kingston Lennox Addington Public Health (KLAPH), the Rotary Clubs of Kingston have distributed 300 Panic, Anxiety and Stress Support (PASS) kits along with journals, personal hygiene products, and treats to secondary students at our 12 area schools. Thanks to the Anna and Edward C. Churchill Foundation, Empire Life, Bell Lets Talk, and Days Road Dental, Cataraqui Woods Dental, and local nurses for supporting this initiative.
Great Lakes & Watershed Cleanup
NEW DATE: May & June, 2021
Over its 116 years of service, Rotary International has focused on six worldwide areas: Peace and conflict resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, and economic and community development. This year, officially launching in July, it is adding a seventh: The environment.
Rotary Clubs in Kingston are embracing this focus in our Centennial year by joining hands with other Rotary clubs in Canada and the USA (bordering on the Great lakes and all waters feeding into the Lakes) with the April 24 Great Lakes Watershed Cleanup initiative! As a way of celebrating the 51st anniversary of Earth Day, April 22, Rotary clubs neighbouring the five Great Lakes partner with well-established environmental groups, invite the public and schools, and broadly promote this project to raise public awareness and to recruit as many volunteers as possible to participate.
To be COVID safe, our volunteers will spread out and bring their own equipment like gloves, buckets and bags. Once volunteers have registered they will get instructions by email to the exact location (address) of the cleanup site and any other instructions. There will be no mass gatherings. Volunteer registration will be open soon for Kingston and Loyalist; everyone is encouraged to pick an option close to home. We are working with our municipalities to weigh the trash collected on that day.
Our goal is that this will become an annual project for Rotary clubs around the Great Lakes Watershed
The Great Lakes account for more than 20 percent of the world’s surface fresh water. They are the largest group of freshwater lakes on earth by total area and second largest by total volume. All are connected by a variety of lakes and rivers (the watershed).
The total surface area of the lakes is 94,250 square miles and they are the primary water source for more than 40 million people. Fair warning to Great Lakes Watershed rivers, lakes, and water sources --- Rotary clubs and their partners in eight states (USA) and two Canadian provinces are coming for you on May 29 (rescheduled from April 24)!
Rotary International Service
2021 & Beyond!
The Rotary Clubs in Kingston have supported international projects around the world. The photos showcase some of the projects members of our clubs contributed to in a recent visit to Nepal. Here, our clubs, partnering with others have a long history of supporting local initiatives. We built a school in 1998 (and repaired it after the devastating earthquake in 2015), and from the very beginning, provided scholarships allowing the top boy and girl to continue their education as far as they wished. We also contributed to the construction of water harvesting ponds to conserve water and allow farmers to produce food during the dry season, improving nutrition and quality of life. We distributed locally produced water filters to help provide clean drinking water. Additionally, we contributed funds for the purchase of an ambulance for the National Kidney Centre in Kathmandu. This year we are helping develop a fruit and nut tree project to allow local farmers to diversify their crops and produce additional products for market. We also assisted local schools with supplies and financial education.
The work we do in the Rotary Clubs of Kingston is truly international. In the past few years, we have also contributed to projects in such countries as Tanzania, Kenya, India, Guatemala, Uganda, Pakistan, and South Africa. We continue to have an impact in improving the lives of people throughout the world.
Planting 21Trees at Rotary Park
September 22, 2021 (National Tree Day)
Service to the environment has long been a favoured cause of Rotary in Kingston. This year, Rotary International has added the environment as the 7th Area of Focus as Rotarians strive to raise awareness about environmental issues and promote environmental sustainability programs.
25 years ago - in honour of our 75th anniversary - 2000 trees were planted in Kingston Township. It seems fitting that one of the Kingston Rotary Centennial Projects involves planting trees in Rotary Park.
Planting 21 Native Trees in Rotary Park promotes environmental sustainability in one of the busiest parks in Kingston. We will plant larger 12-14 feet tall trees, as recommended by the City of Kingston: Red Oaks (Quercus rubra), Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus), Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum), Hachberry (Celtis occidentalis, and Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa).
Many invasive species have been planted either intentionally or accidentally; their presence disrupts the local ecology and impacts species diversity and species richness by competing heavily for resources such as light, moisture, and soil nutrients. These changes in species composition affect wildlife that are adapted to native plant communities. Ultimately, invasive plants affect the intricate linkages that make ecosystems strong and resilient. By replacing these invasive species with local trees, we can return the environment to its original form and thereby increase the health of all the native species that rely upon the trees.
Part of the planned tree cover will be to enclose a large open space. This open air 'cathedral space' would instill a sense of majesty in the location and can be used for meetings, picnics, family gatherings, weddings, etc.
Rotary Park - developed by Rotarians in the 1980s - is a popular destination waterfront park that is accessible and offers a playground, informal ball diamond, dog park, washrooms, and picnicking. A new public dock and paddling club has been recently established. Adjacent to Lemoine Point Conservation Area, this area is a regional destination for walking and bicycling and attracts hundreds of visitors of all ages on summer days.