Don thanked our hosts and we left to brave the elements!
On Tuesday, January 24th Dr Galbraith, Head of Science at the Royal Botanical Gardens, spoke to us about the Cootes to Escarpment Eco Park project. Dr Galbraith described the rare and wonderful asset that we have right here in Dundas.
The Dundas Valley is a glacial re-entrant valley; in places over 600 feet of sediment is present.
- Uniquely, the Niagara Escarpment faces south in this area, creating a special ecosystem
- It is the only remaining Great Lakes coastal wetland connected to the escarpment
- It is biologically rich area of 10 square kilometres with over 1600 of all species
- Though rich diversity several of the species are “at risk” because of human activity.
- It has a rich history too; stone points of 8-1000 years ago and Woodland people’s pottery of 3000 years ago gives evidence of the long presence of humans in this area.
The area was celebrated for its natural beauty by early settlers but it was the actions of community leaders in the 1920’s (Thomas McQuestern, McMaster University, Hamilton Naturalists) that paved the way for its preservation from airports, roads and other development. More recently, the idea of the Eco Park came from collaboration of many agencies in Hamilton and Burlington, eventually resulting in a 2009 Strategic Plan proposal to create the Eco Park. You can learn more about the project at their website http://www.cootestoescarpmentpark.ca.
10 organizational partners continue to work together to develop 4,700 acres, acquire more land and protect the natural spaces in the Eco Park. The arrival of bald eagles in the park 3 years ago celebrates the areas ecology and proves that recovery of a damaged environment can be done.
- A project being planned by the Dundas Museum to install a historic Bertram Steam Hammer at the Museum. A Club project is proposed to prepare the concrete foundation with an application for a $2,000 matching District Grant made to assist with the cost. The Hamilton Spectator had a great article in 2013 that shows the steam hammer
- Bill Armstrong, Director of International Services, gave an overview of his committee's budget and listed a number of projects already funded this year. Three new projects were voted on including support for:
- The International Services Committee will be providing $500 to the Welland Rotary Club to support their major project in Candelaria, Philippines.
- The committee will also give $500 for medical supplies for Kurdistan. The supplies will go to Mosul, Iraq to support programs similar to this work by Doctors Without Borders as well as work by UNPO.
- Jessica Brennan talked about her upcoming year as President and the team that will be joining her. She is still looking for volunteers if anyone is interested.
On Tuesday, Jan 10 Art Sampson introduced the speaker Randy Hendriks (but not before he apologized for being late).
Randy has had an interesting career. He is presently Executive Director, Social Impact Enterprises at Innovation Factory where he provides “oversight and guidance to Social Impact Enterprises ongoing projects, organization team members, impactstore.ca, non-profits and social enterprise consulting clients, and grass-roots community groups seeking mentoring and guidance.”
Randy's path to this position has been interesting. He did Civil Engineering at Mohawk College before getting a Bachelor of Theology degree at the University of Ottawa and then a Doctorate in Theology at Acadia University. Along the way he was a campus chaplain and a pastor before working with Wells of Hope in Niagara. At Wells of Hope he often dealt with the Rotary Club of Niagara on the Lake.
Randy spoke to us about business models for Social Innovation where common good is a key component of a company's operations . Examples include the Gameen bank which makes micro loans to women and the local 541 Eatery & Exchange which uses a button system to allow customers to pay meals forward.
He spoke about new funding options for social enterprises including crowd funding and the SVX stock exchange. In the new models for successful innovation, enterprises need to be sustainable, have measureable goals, have partners and be fiscally prudent.
- Booth centre downtown Hamilton
- Community and Family Services
- Mountsberg and Meadowlands Adult Day Services
- Emergency Disaster Services
- Men's emergency shelter
- Case management
- Computer lab
- Transitional housing
- HOST Program
- Financial management
- Health clinic
- Food bank
- Day programs
- Baby song
- Adult day program