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Environmental Service Committee

Annual Report 2018-2019


Environmental Committee
The Environmental Services Committee (ESC) of the Rotary Club of Toronto continued to follow the guidelines established in the 2016-2017 Rotary year for environmental projects we would fund, i.e.
The focus for the ESC continued to be the following:
  • Water and the Great Lakes
  • Urban Environmental Issues
  • Increasing/Preserving biodiversity in Toronto or
  • Promotion of nature in the city
The qualities of desirable projects continued to be:
  • Projects where our funds make a difference or investment would be strategic (i.e. gaps where traditional funders are not active)
  • Projects that also benefit other worthy issues such as children, indigenous people, food security, people experiencing homelessness, seniors, etc.  Innovative projects
Members of the ESC for 2018-2019 were the following:
  • Lorna Johnson (Chair)
  • Alanna Scott
  • Kurt Kroesen (Vice Chair)
  • Kevin Power
  • Neil Phillips
  • Danielle Massicotte
  • Tiana Piva (Rotaract Club of Toronto, non-voting)
  • Lauriane Le Berre (Rotaract Club of Toronto, non-voting)
  • John Joseph Mastandrea (“Friend of the Committee”, non-voting)
The Secretary was a revolving role and was appointed for each meeting. The Board Liaison Director was Alanna Scott. Several of the ESC members were also members of the Rotary International Environmental Sustainability Rotarian Action Group (ESRAG).
Projects funded by the ESC during the 2018-2019 Rotary year were:
  • Sistering ($1,250) o Pilot project for a seniors Environmental walk jointly funded by the
ESC and the Senors Committee which each provided $1,250 o https://www.sistering.org/
  • Urban Forest Associates Inc. (UFORA) ($3,000) o Rotary Ecosystem grant was given to UFORA for a project that the club has participated in for over 29 years along with 5 other local Rotary Clubs in the district. This grant supports the purchase of native trees that grade school students take a few hours out of the classroom to plant in the Don River Valley while learning about their environment.
  • High Park Nature Centre ($3,700) o Contribution toward Wild Bee Club and Buzz Talks to help in the preservation of wild bees in Toronto (total budget estimated at $4,700 
(see proposal) o The club aims to explore native bees, their role in pollination and how habitats support native bees in the OURSpace learning garden and other areas of High Park, observing them as they emerge, create new nests, and interact with flowering plants in the vicinity. As well, a monthly lecture by various academic members of bee labs in Toronto. These events will connect Toronto residents to our shared local ecology through scientists explaining their research and its implications.
  • Repair Café Toronto ($2000) o Funding for New Fixer Toolkits (see proposal)
o The tool kits provide a more complete set of tools to be used by more participants at the same time and having training materials such as toolkits will also help the Repair Cafe to recruit more trainers since they will have a ready-made program kit for them to use.
  • Not Far From the Tree (NFFTT, Tides Canada)  ($5,000) o Funding for updated equipment to enable NFFTT to
    • Pick and share even more fruit across a wider area using a new pick scheduling technology
    • Expand the partner agency workshop programming by bringing more picks and preserving workshops to the clients of their 35 social service agency partners, including Regent Park
Community Food Centre and Scadding Court Community Centre
  • Train their volunteers to be tree stewards in addition to fruit pickers, in order to ensure the lasting health of Toronto's urban orchard.
The ESC hosted the Earth Day Speaker, for the Friday Luncheon held on April 12, 2019, Derek Zavislake, Co-Founder and CEO, Merchants of Green Coffee. Kurt Kroesen introduced Derek on the day. The ESC also reserved a table and members provided lunch tickets for representatives of the organizations that the ESC had funded in the past. In conjunction with Earth Day, Lauriane Leberre wrote an article which was published in the RCT Voice newsletter (See Voice, April 12, 2019).
Chair, Lorna Johnson