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April Newsletter 2019

2) Your Stories!
3) Belle Park Redesign:  Position Statement from the Belle Island Caretakers’ Council
4) Legal Wall ten month pilot project passed by Council – Yey!
5) Environmental Cuts – US and Ontario
6) Kingston’s Public Engagement Outreach
7) “Reconciliation in the Watershed” Workshop May 18 with KAIROS and Grandmother Dorothy.
What:  Family-student-and-volunteer-friendly 90 minute workshops conducted by Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre leaders to get us excited about turtles and what we might see this season. 
Come and see live Blandings, Painted and Snapping turtles and learn stuff you honestly didn’t know about the world’s most endangered species.   Wendy and Rachel from the OTCC are truly excellent and their presentations are flexibly geared to all levels. All welcome. Free!
: April 16, 1:30 pm + 6:30 pm; April 17,10:00 am + 1:30 pm
Where: H’Art Studios, 237 Wellington St. Kingston
REGISTRATION: If you would like to come (or possibly arrange for a small group to come) to one of the workshops please  contact Mary at  We will do our best to accommodate.
The Tuesday evening workshop still has spaces available. A few spots remain for the other time slots.
2) Your Stories!
What: The City of Kingston is inviting residents to be part of a series of conversations about local history that explore the stories and experiences that make our city so unique. Kingston, as a community, has evolved and changed over time and it is important we reflect that fact in how we tell local history.
“The City wants to be able to share the whole history of Kingston – one that represents as many perspectives as possible. To do that, we need to work together to gather different stories and experiences, to discover those themes that bring us together and to explore what makes Kingston such an interesting place to live and visit,” says Jennifer Campbell, manager, cultural heritage.
Kick-Off Event will feature five local residents sharing their stories and experiences and will also provide an opportunity for participants to reflect on why stories matter in relation to how we understand history. The event will have ASL interpretation as well as separate children’s programming that looks at the art of storytelling.
When: Tuesday, March 26, 7 pm
Where:   Royal Canadian Legion, 734 Montreal St.
Also: Get involved!
Share your stories, experiences and ideas online:
Participate in person at a community event:
As part of this process, the City will work with the community to identify a list of themes, issues and topics that could be used to develop future programming that includes exhibits, events and educational offerings on-site at Kingston City Hall as well as across other City-owned sites and through outreach programs.
More info?
And on a personal note, if you haven’t already read it, I really highly recommend “Trash” by Laurie Ann Hoover.  A truly wonderful survival story about growing up in the Swamp Ward in the 80s.
3) Belle Park Redesign: Position Statement from the Belle Island Caretakers’ Council recently submitted to the city.  In case you are not familiar with the Belle Island Caretakers’ Council this is a group of Indigenous citizens and allies who are working together in the interests of stewardship of Belle Island and its sacred burial site.
Statement from Belle Island Caretakers’ Council, March 23, 2019
Given that Belle Island is a sacred Indigenous burial ground;
Given that Belle Park provides the only land access to Belle Island;
Given that Belle Park, a former wetland, used for 20 years by the city of Kingston as a garbage dump, is now a unique site of downtown urban wildland;
Given that the City of Kingston has recently declared a Climate Emergency;
Given that trees have a key role in reducing the effects of climate change;
Given that research shows that the regeneration of natural sites in urban areas makes important contributions to biodiversity;
We, the Belle Island Caretakers’ Council, take the position that:
Belle Park is a unique site in the City of Kingston. The City must take responsibility for the environmental damage caused to what is now Belle Park. The park’s design and management should contribute to the fight against climate change and the promotion of biodiversity.
In order to honour the Belle Island Accord which obligates the City to share stewardship of this Indigenous sacred site, the City must care properly and respectfully for Belle Park, the key connecting space to the island.
Through its appropriate stewardship of Belle Park and Belle Island, the City can actively demonstrate its respect for the Indigenous residents of Kingston past, present, and future. This is an opportunity to move beyond reconciliation to reconciliACTION.
Therefore, we contend that for the health of land and community, Belle Park should be left as natural as possible. We must help Mother Earth to heal herself. Belle Park is not an appropriate site for sports and intensive recreation facilities.
4) Legal Wall ten month pilot project passed unanimously at Council March 19 – Yey!
We are truly delighted that the following motion passed unanimously.  It has been a ten year struggle to get this far – but with the ongoing cooperation and efforts of Colin Wiginton, Cultural Director and his staff, many bureaucratic hurdles have been overcome to date. Here is the follow-up communication from the City Clerk:
“Re:  Kingston City Council Meeting, March 19, 2019 – Implications Associated with Establishing a Legal Wall Adjacent to Douglas Fluhrer Park
I wish to take this opportunity to thank you for appearing as a delegation at the meeting of Council held on March 19, 2019, at which time you spoke to Council with respect to Clause 1 of Report Number 28: Received from the Arts, Recreation and Community Policies Committee.  At the same meeting, Council approved the following motion:
That Council grant an exemption to Section 4.17 of Property Standards By-Law Number 2005-100 in relation to the retaining wall on the Rideaucrest Property located adjacent to Douglas Fluhrer Park to allow staff to establish and manage a legal wall that features street art as a pilot project for ten months between July 1, 2019 and April 40, 2020, and
That Council direct staff to report back in Q2 2020 regarding the results of the legal wall pilot project, as well as future plans related to the potential development of an Integrated Street Art Plan as an appendix to the Public Art Master Plan, and the development of a Graffiti Management Strategy as a companion piece.
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact Colin Wiginton, Cultural Director.
Yours sincerely,
John Bolognone,
City Clerk”
5) Environmental Cuts – US and Ontario
Sadly these cuts will make it ever more difficult for us to conduct our citizen-science projects as the non-governmental funding sources  in both the US and Canada will be under ever more pressure.  At this point, we are totally dependent on the Community Foundation for Kingston and Area.
Trump’s Proposed 2020 Budget Includes Significant Cuts to the GLRI, EPA, and Research 
President Donald Trump recently announced his proposed budget for the 2020 fiscal year. The budget includes dramatic cuts to many dependable social programs like the SNAP Program, Housing and Urban Development, and Medicaid. Some of the most substantial cuts are to many critical environmental programs for toxic waste removal, EPA oversight, and most notably the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative(GLRI). Trump’s proposed budget would cut the GLRI fund down to 30 million from 300 million, a near 90% cut to Great Lakes restoration initiatives. The EPA’s funding is cut by 31%, this can lead to agency downsizing, and loss of necessary research, and community support grants. These cuts undermine the need for protecting our environment and natural resources. At a time where we face rapid changes in our climate, threats to our drinking water, and crumbling infrastructure, these cuts stand to harm Americans both in and outside the Great Lakes Region.
Unfortunately the Ford government in Ontario has also cut their Environmental grants – unless you are a farmer.  It would be wonderful if some of you might consider writing to the Ontario government with the brief message that wildlife and the planet actually matter. As always, Here is the link:.

6) Kingston’s Public Engagement Outreach
What: The City of Kingston is undertaking an evaluation of public engagement efforts and wants to hear from residents. It will invite input on the Public Engagement Framework, Get Involved Kingston – both have been in place since October 2017 – and the overall in-person and online public engagement experience.
“We want to find any gaps, challenges and opportunities that exist with public engagement, which is aimed at facilitating more informed and inclusive municipal decision making. Tell us about your experience with public engagement and any ideas you have,” says Debbi Miller, manager, communications and public engagement.
Complete the online survey at by April 15.
Or offer your input in person at one of the following two focus groups. Register by emailing with your preferred time:
Tues, April 9 – 6:30-8 p.m. at the INVISTA Centre, or
Tues, April 16 3-4:30 p.m. at the Central Branch of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library
Over the course of the coming weeks, the City will review existing public engagement policies, practices, and initiatives and make adaptations based on input received.
More info?

7) “Reconciliation in the Watershed” Workshop May 18 with KAIROS and Grandmother Dorothy.
What: KAIROS Peterborough will connect us with one another and help us explore our relationship with our local Cataraqui Watershed.  The workshop will be conducted by KAIROS staff in partnership with Grandmother Dorothy from the Curve Lake Reserve. Guaranteed to affect you profoundly.
When: Saturday, May 18, 10 am – 4 pm
Where: Frontenac Village Common Room.  To get there, go as far north as possible on King St. until you come to the cul-de-sac dad-end that is the entry to the parking garage.  Signs will be there showing the way on foot.  Wheelchair accessible.  Please notify if you need wheelchair access as the accessible route to the Common Room is different.
NOTESFree! Refreshments and light lunch included.  Donations welcome but not necessary.  Community members, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, are invited to come together.
Space is limited to 30 participants. A few spaces remain.
If interested, please contact Mary at
As always, thanks so very much for your continuing interest in Inner Harbour comings and goings.
Happy springtime,
Mary Farrar,
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour