March 2013 Newsletter

EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES 

1) Our really fun spring event – The Shoreline Shuffle!  Do put on your calendar Sunday, June 23, the date of our Shoreline Shuffle waterfront event.  Walkers, cyclers, wheel chairs, kayakers, canoers, boaters etc exploring the shoreline and the wonderful waterfront art installations that Su Sheedy is organizing.  We will all be going from Douglas R. Fluhrer Park to Lake Ontario Park. More details in the April update.

2) Kingston Field Naturalists’ River Ramble.  Tuesday, March 5.  Meet 9 am at Douglas R. Fluhrer Park just north of MetalCraft Marine. Participants will then drive together to a suitable parking location. Ramble, led by Anne Robertson, will explore nature in the Inner Harbour and will last most of the morning.  Visitors welcome.

3) Artist Su Sheedy’s upcoming April Event – I AM WATER for those interested in the arts and Kingston’s waterfront.  The exhibit brings together painters, video artists, photographers, boat builders, academics and musicians  to celebrate our right to clean water, to connect people emotionally to a resource we all take for granted and to help celebrate the Pump House Museum’s 40th anniversary this year.

Exhibition Dates:  April 2nd – May 2nd. Museum hours: Tues – Fri. 12-4 pm: Sat. 10- 5 pm: Closed Sundays and Mondays in April.

Opening Reception: Thursday, April 4th, 5-8 pm

Guest Speakers:

  • David McDonald, Saturday, April 13th, 3:30 pm  “Building a better public waterfront in Kingston”. 
  • Joe Calnan, Saturday April 20th, 2 pm “The Batteau Plat of the St. Lawrence River”. Contact:   Su Sheedy (613-484-6625) or sheedy@kingston.net, or Gordon Robinson at the Pump House Museum – grobinson2@cityofkingston.ca

4) Kingston Rowing Club Announcement: Now happening in our Inner Harbour waterfront! – a High School Competitive Development Program for all High Schools.  All grades welcome.  Program open for new or second year rowers looking to develop their skills further.  Registration open now.  Program starts April 2nd.  Full details available on the Kingston Rowing Club webpage.

5) Bike Summit The City of Kingston, in cooperation with the Share the Road Coalition is hosting a bike summit to discuss how Kingston can be more bike friendly. Tuesday, March 19 from 8 am to 4:30 pm at Wallace Hall, John Deutsch Centre, Queen’s University.  Items discussed will include: How other cities make themselves more bike friendly, City of Kingston projects, school initiatives, bicycle tourism etc.

6) Spring Clean-Up. Details forthcoming in April update

ISSUES

1) City’s proposed Parkland By-Law FYI:  This promises to reduce parkland requirements in the downtown in order to encourage development – and may have a profound effect on park space and park use in the Inner Harbour neighbourhood.   Vicki Smolka’s excellent critique is attached above for those interested in learning more. (Having trouble accessing any City report or any City info?  Contact the clerk’s office)

2) Casino Survey  We are curious as to how Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour members feel about the possibility of having a casino in Kingston. If you can find the time, please fill out this single question survey.  The more the City knows about how people feel, the better.  Knowledge is good.

3) Belle Park FYI:  The City has proposed closing the Belle Park golf course after this season and replacing part of the land with a solar farm.  A Public Information meeting was held recently to assess public opinion. Thanks so very much to all of you who came to speak about your concerns. The quality and diversity of contributions was truly inspiring.  Currently, the Friends of Belle Park, a group of avid golfers and citizens interested in the future of Belle Park, are trying to work out a pilot project to improve the course and see how it can be better managed.  They are working with Commissioner Hurdle of the City of Kingston to put together a working group like the one we had for our trail.  It will be proposed at the March 5 Council meeting.  We wish them well.

4) Cycling in the City FYI: City of Kingston: Petition Regarding Cycling Infrastructure in Williamsville

5) The Mayor’s Facebook Page:   Mark Gerretsen, Mayor of Kingston, Ontario.  On this Facebook page, Mark has recently started several interesting discussions including one on the future of Belle Park – wondering about the possibility of some sort of pilot study for retaining the golf course. An easy way to communicate with the mayor.  Great that he is so accessible in this way.

ONGOING INITIATIVES

1) Grant Applications:  With support from the Frontenac Heritage Foundation, we have submitted a grant application to the Community Foundation for Kingston and Area for an audio-tour and map/brochure of the Inner Harbour Heritage Trail for the section from the downtown Tourist Office to the Woolen Mill.  We have also applied to Service Canada for a summer student to help organize events.  Wish us luck!  And do get in touch if there is a specific event you would like to see happen in the Inner Harbour this summer.  Other possible sources for grants are being considered.  Suggestions welcome!

2) Charitable Status: still waiting to hear from the Charities Directorate in Ottawa.

3) Webpage for Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour accessible but still being refined.

4) Spring/summer tour schedule being formulated.

5) Summer events under consideration – including a possible yearly Inner Harbour Waterfront Celebration in partnership with other organizations.

6) 9 North Street Heritage Property behind Rideaucrest being considered for possible renovation and repurposing.

7) Retaining Wall behind Rideaucrest being considered for possible public art projects.

8) Visioning  Exercise for Douglas R. Fluhrer Park to be carried out by the City sometime in 2013.

9) Inner Harbour Heritage Trail:  First small section (at Sewage Pumping Plant) still scheduled for this spring/summer/fall.

10) Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network’s Paddling Trails Trail Head at Kingston Marina.  Although we have officially left this initiative in the hands of the Biosphere Network, we maintain an interest in the negotiations taking place between the FABN and Kingston Marina.  This trail head officially connects the City of Kingston with the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network, a UNESCO biosphere.  There are fewer than a dozen places on the planet that can boast being a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a UNESCO biosphere.  Should be great for marketing our fair city!

Spring is just around the corner.  Looking forward to seeing you in the park – on foot, on your bikes and in boats.

Favourite quote of the day:  “The park is an island of intelligence in a sea of stupidity” – Bruce Mau.

Cheers, Mary Farrar,

President, Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour