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May Update 2019

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
First of all, thanks so much to Hilbert Buist for this amazing pic of carp spawning in the Inner Harbour this past week.

1) Unexpected Sad News
2) Hatching turtles!
3) Turtle Protection Covers – Partnership with Limestone Board
4) Magical Video of Tannery shoreline last year at this time
5) DIY Viking Garden Box Workshop – Sat, May 11
6) Last Call: Turtle Volunteer Training – Sun, May 12 + Mon, May 13
7) Serious Concerns about Local Commercial Fishery
and Lethal Turtle By-Catch
8) Drop Bikes
9) Reconciliation in the Watershed Workshop – Sat, May 18
10) Plant Swap at your Public Library – Sat, May 18
11) Extinction of one millions species -UN Report
12) New City Webcams to share beauty of waterfront
13) Backyard composters  $20 while supplies last
14) Third Crossing Bat Houses
15) North King’s Town Cultural Heritage Report now available for review
16) Weekly talks on Wolfe Island about Indigenous Issues
17) Province’s Omnibus Bill 108 – Disastrous for Environment
18) Belle Park Driving Range and Pickleball Courts now open
19) Make your voice heard about downtown building issues
20) City Council’s New Strategic Priorities
21) City wins Electric Vehicle Award
22) Fun Promotional Drone Video of Kingston
23) Scary stuff about Power Lines
24) Last but not least thanks so much to all the volunteers who came out for Pitch-In + what to do about illegal dumping!
1) Unexpected Sad News

The Greeks have a saying “A man’s character is his fate.”  Quite so!  So, although I have many strengths, I also have many weaknesses – specifically I am not good at writing grant applications and I hate organizing fund-raising events.  Despite the fact that there are close to 1000 people on our mailing list, I have not been able to inspire any one to help with grant applications or organizing fund-raising events.  What’s more – we don’t have the money to hire someone full time to write these applications. So the sad news is that we were not successful in getting the Community Foundation grant we were depending on to increase the breadth of our citizen-science turtle protection program as well as to reach out to at-risk Indigenous youth to re-connect them with Nature as well as to try to figure out a way to establish long-term funding for the turtle project.  SO – this will be the last year of our turtle program.  I will be paying $10,000 out-of-pocket for the two student/consultants that I had already hired – hoping for the grant.  Nobody is to blame.  Provincial grants have dried up under Doug Ford and competition for what remains is fierce.  It is just sad that Indigenous youth and turtles will lose.  We can be grateful for what we have accomplished so far in terms of protecting Kingston’s most endangered species.  The future will be what it will be.  But I simply cannot continue to hemorrhage money at this rate.  If you feel inclined to help out, I would personally truly appreciate donations to the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour. 
You can either go to our webpage – and press the DONATE button to donate through Canada Helps, or you can send a cheque to Friends of KIngston Inner Harbourat 1 Place d’Armes, Unit 83, Kingston, ON, K7K6S6.  Whatever you can spare would be greatly appreciated. 

2) Hatching turtles!
Sunday, May 5 was the first day Lesley actually saw young hatchlings emerging from their long winter under the ground in their nests.  So if you are wandering in Doug Fluhrer Park these days, do have a look at the nest protection boxes.  You might be lucky enough to see hatchlings.  BUT PLEASE DON’T TOUCH!!!  Lesley is checking every morning and every evening, recording what is happening, and making sure the young hatchings reach the water safely.  Leave it to her.  Yey Lesleyl

3) Turtle Protection Covers – Partnership with Limestone Board
We are most grateful to Tom Bruce, shop teacher at Amherstview Public School, Tom Richards, Grade 5/6 teacher, student interviewer Kirsten Korkola, as well as Dan Hendry, Cedric Pepelea and Jane Douglas-Charanduk of the Limestone Board for helping organize students in the Grade 5/6 class at Amherstview Public School to construct 40 turtle nest covers for us.  Well done!  Thanks too to Kenny Ruelland of for bringing along his live turtle for the students to see. If you would like to purchase one, we will be selling a limited number them for $10 each. Most will become part of our citizen-science turtle protection project.
Have a look at the great YouTube video about this great partnership project –

4) Magical Video of Tannery Shoreline at this time last year
Thanks so very much to John Thomas for this really magical video of the old Davis Tannery shoreline taken last May.   Perhaps it will inspire you to get out in a kayak and explore for yourself.
At the last Council meeting, Councillor Lisa Osanic proposed a motion to have a peer review done of the Environmental Impact Statement provided by Patry Inc to try and show that there is no wildlife worth worrying about on this site.  This video certainly proves otherwise.  Her motion passed unanimously.

5) DIY Viking Garden Box Workshop – Sat, May 11
What: Learn how Vikings conquered wood rot and decay using this ancient natural wood protection + Finish two of your own garden boxes to take home.
When: Sat, May 11, 11 am til 2 pm
Where: Living Rooms, 12 Cataraqui St.
Cost: $95

6) Last Call: Turtle Volunteer Training – Sun, May 12 or Mon, May 13
If you are interested e-mail to register.
Sunday, May 12 at 5 pm or Monday, May 13 at 6 pm in Doug Fluhrer Park – south end.
More info?

7) Serious Concerns about Local Commercial Fishery
and Lethal Turtle By-Catch

Last year we were extremely upset by the half dozen dead pregnant turtles left as by-catch by commercial fishers where John Counter Blvd. meets the Great Cataraqui River.  Mabyn Armstrong of Turtles Kingston Facebook page contacted the Fisheries department and a fruitful meeting was held at their office that included representatives from the Commercial Fishers.  It was agreed by all present that jug nets would be required for the commercial fishers to insert in their hoop nets to allow captured turtles the opportunity to breathe rather than drown.  This is now law as of May 1, 2019.  However it appears that nets have now been placed along the north shore of Belle Island with no jug nets.  If you are out and about walking in that vicinity please take photos and send them to and/or notify Mabyn at her Turtles Kingston Facebook page.  We need to inform the powers that be of any illegal activity we see that endangers the lives of turtles.

8) Drop Bikes
Dropbike Inc., the provider of a community bike-share program in Kingston, has set up their white and orange bikes in more than 50 bike haven locations around the city. “We understand the benefits to active transportation and fighting climate change when people use bicycles instead of cars. Community bike sharing offers this affordable service in cities around the world,” says Paul MacLatchy, the City’s environment director.
The bikes can be rented for short-term use for a small fee through the use of Dropbike’s mobile app. Users can pick up a Dropbike in one location and leave it at one of many “Dropbike havens” when finished. To use the Dropbike service, visit or download the mobile app (search Drop Mobility in your preferred mobile app store).

Launch Event – May 24 (specific time TBA)
The Dropbike app is now easier to use. Dropbike is licensed by the City to provide the bike-share program through 2019 and 2020. A number of upgrades have been made to the bikes and the program since it was piloted in 2017, including:
Gears have been added to the Dropbikes
The Dropbikes are now compatible with the bike racks on Kingston Transit to make it easy for users to Rack & Roll.
Dropbike has improved the locking technology on the bikes.

9) Reconciliation in the Watershed Workshop – Sat, May 18
Amelia Berot-Burns of KAIROS Peterborough in partnership with Grandmother Dorothy from the Curve Lake Reserve will help us explore our relationships with water and the Great Cataraqui River watershed.  This workshop is fully subscribed at the moment.  It is limited to 25 participants. If you want to be put on the wait list contact Mary at

10) Plant Swap at Your Public Library
What: “Did you buy or start too many seedlings for your garden this year? Perhaps you have more seeds than you can use or houseplants running wild. Why not consider trading your surplus for some new varieties? Kingston Frontenac Public Library is holding its first-ever Plant Swap… Drop in to share your extras and your knowledge with gardeners of all kinds and skill levels. They will also have a selection of gardening books and DVDs for you to borrow. Please bring your trades-ins inside plastic bags, or in pots inside a plastic bag, carton or cardboard box. Labelling your trades-ins with their species and/or variety name would be a big help for whoever might be taking them home. Do you have a mystery plant or seed you’d like to identify? Bring it along and maybe someone will be able to tell you what it is.  
The Plant Swap…is open to adults and teens.
When: Saturday, May 18, 2pm
Where: Kingston Frontenac Public Library, Isabel Turner Branch, 935 Gardiners Road, Kingston
NOTES: This is a drop-in event, open to everyone free of charge and with no registration required to attend, but if you’d like to reserve some table space to display your trade-ins, you may do so at or by phoning (613) 549-8888” anytime after 9am, Saturday, May 4. 
More info?

11) Extinction of one millions species – UN Report
Wake up World!

12) New City webcams to share beauty of waterfront
The City of Kingston has installed two new webcams – one at Confederation Park and one at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour – to help celebrate and share the beauty of Kingston’s waterfront.
“These new webcams showcase two exciting public waterfront spaces.  They will help us show potential visitors what Kingston has to offer in the way of views and facilities – but we know the webcams will also be well used by those just daydreaming of sitting down by the shore,” says Luke Follwell, director of recreation and leisure services. 
The City already has popular webcams that overlook Springer Market Square and Breakwater Park. You can find links to all of the City’s webcams at:
Celebrating and promoting Kingston waterfront is a guiding principle of the City’s Waterfront Master Plan, which won a Canadian Society of Landscape Architect’s National Award of Excellence in 2017.
Find out more about the Waterfront Master Plan.

13) Backyard Composters – $20 while supplies last
The City of Kingston is now offering backyard composters for sale for just $20 while supplies last – that’s less than half the price the City usually charges!
Pick one up at the Kingston Area Recycling Centre, 196 Lappan’s Lane, open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
“Why buy compost when you can make your own? Composting in your backyard is a great way to capture the nutrients in organic waste for use in your garden,” says Heather Roberts, manager, solid waste.
It costs $90 a tonne for the City to process organic waste collected in the green bin, so backyard composting can also save municipal dollars and the greenhouse gas emissions related to the collection vehicles.
There are a number of items – like bones, dairy products, fats and oils – that can go in the green bin, but should not go in backyard composter. For details, see
Have ideas for strategies the City can implement to divert more household waste? Offer them now at

14) Third Crossing Bat Houses
The city states:  “Protecting wildlife and their habitat is a key part of conserving Kingston’s biodiversity. As the Third Crossing progresses the project team is working hard to protect the rich variety of life and ecosystem near the future bridge. Experts have and will continue to conduct surveys of plants and wildlife around the Third Crossing project area. 
As part of our work with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry four bat houses were installed on April 30, 2019 on the east shore of the Cataraqui River. Areas of installation were carefully selected so that the bat houses have the best chance of attracting native bats. The mix of standard and nursery bat houses were installed in the north side of the meadow on the Pittsburgh Library property in accordance with the Bat House Builder’s Handbook published by Bat Conservation International. 
A future 18 bat houses are also planned to offset the removal of the 35 snag trees within the east bridge approach.  The location of these future bat houses will be developed as part of the landscaping plans for the Third Crossing and may also include other locations in the Kingston area. The bat houses are planned on a replacement ratio of 10 bat houses per hectare of impacted woodlands.”

15) North King’s Town Cultural Heritage Report now available for review
The City of Kingston has posted the draft Cultural Heritage Study for the North King’s Town area. Members of the public are invited to review the document and offer their comments until May 22, 2019 at 4:30 p.m.
The report, prepared for the City by Bray Heritage and DIALOG, provides the cultural heritage analysis and recommendations for the North King’s Town Secondary Plan and includes an inventory of the area’s existing and potential cultural heritage resources.
“This report will help direct future conservation and development strategies in the North King’s Town Area. It details recommendations to help conserve, adapt and celebrate both tangible and intangible heritage resources in the area,” says Sonya Bolton, senior planner. The study also includes a historic chronology, drafted by project historian Jennifer McKendry.
The Cultural Heritage Study is one of five reports, which the City will be releasing over the coming months as part of the North King’s Town Secondary Plan consultation.

16) Weekly talks on Wolfe Island about Indigenous Issues
Akoka:ra (her story) The Wolfe Island Community Garden is hosting 6 weekly talks in a series on Indigenous issues.
Talk 1 – May 9 – Introduction & Terminology, 
Talk 2 – May 16 – Indigenous Worldview,
Talk 3 – May 23 – Historical Experience,
Talk 4 – May 30 – Current Experience,
Talk 5 – June 6 – Truth and Reconciliation,
Talk 6 – June13 – Celebrating Indigeneity. 

Talks are led by Kelly Maracle, Indigenous Student Support & Engagement at Limestone District School Board. Katarokwi Learning Centre. 
NOTES:  Admission Free.  It is recommended that participants attend all 6 talks as topics and issues are intertwined.  Discussion geared to adults but students Grade 7 and above welcome.
REGISTRATION? Sign in a google form at: email with answers to following questions: (1) What is your current knowledge?, (2) What do you want to know? *Any questions are welcome! They will be discussed in sessions as anonymous questions. [copied and reformatted from their FB event page]
When: Thursdays, May 9-June 13, 6:30-8pm
Where:  Community Hall (behind Town Hall), Wolfe Island
More info?

17) Province’s Omnibus Bill 108 – Disastrous for Environment.
Queen’s Park, Ontario – Bill 108, the omnibus bill tabled by the Government of Ontario on May 2, reflects neither the values nor the long-term interests of Ontarians who understand the importance of a healthy environment. Pandering to influential developers, the government is prepared to undermine environmental protections set out in several key pieces of legislation including Ontario’s Endangered Species Act (ESA). It has grossly misled the public, pretending that proposed changes to the ESA would improve outcomes for species at risk. In fact, Schedule 5 of Bill 108, if passed, would delay, limit and/or remove protections for most Ontario’s threatened and endangered species and their habitats.
“Schedule 5 would be better named the Extinction Schedule,” says Caroline Schultz, Executive Director of Ontario Nature. “It’s all about pushing aside our most vulnerable plants and animals to make room for sprawling development and unchecked industrial activity. The government is greasing the wheels of destruction.”
Sign the letter to Minister Phillips:
More info? John Hassell, Ontario Nature,, 416-786-2171

18) Belle Park Driving Range and Pickleball Courts Now Open
What: Belle Park Driving Range and Waterfront Park opened for the outdoor sports season. The park features a 200+ yard driving range with 18 stalls, a clubhouse with vending machines and washrooms, Pickleball courts, two Level 2 EV charging stations and access to the K&P Trail.
Where: On the shores of the Cataraqui River at 731 Montreal St.,
When: Open daily, from 8 a.m. to dusk.
Costs: Small bucket of golf balls –  $7.50,Large bucket –  $10
Monthly membership – $64, Half season membership – $155
Season membership –  $240
Residents with City individual FitPass memberships to recreational facilities get five large buckets of golf balls per year. Ask about your FitPass bucket at the clubhouse.
More info? Call the clubhouse: 613-546-4291, ext. 1350 or search “Belle Park Driving Range” at

19) Make your voice heard about downtown building issues
The city is reaching out for your opinion on what Kingston mid-rise and high-rise buildings should look like.  Personally, I think low-rise should also be included as part of a broader discussion and that we should be considering the larger neighbourhood environment when we are considering the appropriateness of any one design or any one building.  I’m also questioning why podium style buildings are the only option under discussion!!!
This city initiative is entitled Density by Design.  Have a look

20) City Council’s New Strategic Priorities
Council’s priorities are:
Increase housing affordability
Improve walkability, roads and transportation
Demonstrate leadership on climate action
Strengthen economic development opportunities
Foster healthy citizens and vibrant spaces
Each of the priorities, initiatives and measurables is outlined in Addendum 3 attached to the May 7 agenda for the 2019-2022 Strategic Planning meeting and will be approved at the May 21 Council meeting.

“There are five important strategic priorities we are going to be working on, and we are going to work to reduce the annual property tax increase,” states Mayor Paterson. “There is lots of work to be done, but we’re moving in the right direction.”

Council endorsed projected tax rate increases of 1.5 per cent in 2020, 1.4 per cent in 2021, 1.4 per cent in 2022 and 1.3 per cent in 2023 to support the city’s annual operating budget.
Council also supported its continued investment in infrastructure, with an annual 1% tax increase dedicated to capital infrastructure projects.

Council agreed to defer $57 million in forecasted capital work to refocus investment on strategic priorities, including housing affordability, improving walkability and transportation and climate action investments.
Deferred projects, which have plans and budgets associated with them, remain on City staff work plans beyond this term of Council. Staff have committed to exploring partnership and grant funding opportunities, and will bring these forward to Council as they become available.ame site you can find “Waste Strategies” where you can state how you think the city’s recycling program could be improved.

21) City wins Electric Vehicle Award
The City of Kingston has won Electric Mobility Canada’s inaugural Municipal Electric Champion Award based on its work to install electric vehicle (EV) charging stations around Kingston and incorporation of EVs into its municipal light duty fleet.
“This award recognizes Kingston as a leading city in this area. When combined with our investments in active transportation and public transit, electric vehicles are an important component of reducing our city’s carbon footprint and improving local air quality. We want to encourage more people to consider switching to an electric vehicle and establishing a network of EV charging stations makes doing so more viable,” says Paul MacLatchy, director, environment. MacLatchy received the award earlier this afternoon on behalf of the municipality.
The City won in its size category (population 50,000 to 200,000) and was joined by the City of Montreal, Quebec (population 200,000+) and the City of Plessisville, Quebec (population of fewer than 50,000) in accepting the award at the EV2019VÉ Conference and Trade Show today in Quebec City.
With cheaper fuel, no need for oil or filter changes and significantly less moving parts, electric vehicles can also be more than 60 per cent less expensive to operate than gasoline vehicles which create more than 30 per cent of Kingston’s carbon footprint.
The City is installing 50 public EV charging stations in 21 locations to make it easier than ever to be an EV driver in Kingston. Find out where they are and how to use the charging stations at

22) Fun Promotional Drone Video of Kingston

23) Scary Stuff about Power Lines
Utilities Kingston’s reminders on how to stay safe around powerlines – and downed powerlines – during Powerline Safety Week, May 13-19.

“Knowing what to do in an electrical emergency such as downed powerlines could save your life. Even getting too close to a powerline can kill you or cause serious injury.  To mark Powerline Safety Week, please take a few moments to share and discuss these safety tips with your loved ones,” says Jim Keech, President and CEO of Utilities Kingston.

Did you know you don’t need to touch a powerline to get hurt?  Electricity can jump to you or your tools if you get too close! You and your tools should always be at least three metres (10 feet) away from powerlines.  If you absolutely have to work near a powerline, you can contact Utilities Kingston at 613-546-0000 to have it temporarily de-energized.

Stay Away From Downed Powerlines
Downed powerlines can be deadly! If you see one, assume it still has electricity flowing through it, even if it isn’t sparking.  Stay at least 10 metres (the length of a school bus) away and immediately call 9-1-1 or Utilities Kingston’s emergency line at 613-546-1181. This line is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If a downed powerline falls on your car, do not leave the vehicle.  The ground around it may be electrified and you could be killed if you get out. Stay inside until utility workers tell you it’s safe to get out. Tell everyone to stay back 10 metres or 33 feet.
Don’t Interfere With Powerlines Or Equipment

Below are some other powerline safety tips to help you stay safe as you work around your home and play outdoors.

Working around the home:

  • Check for powerlines before cleaning eavestroughs or pruning trees.
  • Carry ladders horizontally, never vertically – and look up and look out for overhead powerlines before putting them up.
  • When digging, whether in your garden or for fence posts or deck supports, call Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255 to get a free locate of underground utility equipment.
  • Plant the right tree in the right place with information at

Playing outdoors:

  • Look up before flying kites or climbing trees. Never fly a kite or climb a tree near powerlines. Look for open areas instead.
  • Never play on utility equipment, including the ‘green boxes’ you see on your street. Children should be reminded: if you see equipment with open doors or other issues, tell your mom and dad, and have them report it to Utilities Kingston by calling our emergency line at 613-546-1181. This line is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

24) Last but not least thanks so veru much to all the volunteers who came out for Pitch-In + what to do about Illegal dumping
Amazing!  For the first time ever our loyal group of park and trail cleaner-uppers led by Kendra and Harriet did not have to go out this year in an organized event kind of way.
Wow!  Thanks so much to the growing number of community members and businesses who made this possible!  In an ongoing way it is a really good idea to take a garbage bag when you go on the trail to help on a daily basis. 
I have contacted Troy Stubinski at the city’s Public Works department and he has agreed that trash cans are necessary there.  “We are working to reinstate all of our summer trash cans but with the wet weather have been slowed.”
Do feel free to report any messy yards, illegal dumping, or any garbage concerns directly to the city’s Property Standards and Municipal Law Enforcement Officers via e-mail at The Officers will be able to review and follow up with these types of concerns.

Busy May!
Hope to see you in the park soon with the turtles.
Mary Farrar,
President, Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour