Posts Tagged ‘OPIRG’

Speed River Clean Up, June 12 –  Volunteer Opportunities

For the past thirty one years, in June every year, members of the Guelph community have gathered to clean up the Speed River. The 2010 Speed River Clean Up will be held on Saturday, June 12 at 8.30 a.m. at Royal City Park (on Gordon Street, across from the Boathouse).

The Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) – Guelph is looking forward to another fun, successful event as a part of Canadian Rivers Day!

OPIRG would like to invite back all of the dedicated volunteers that have helped with the clean-up in the past, and also to roll out the welcome mat for all members of the local community to join in this worthwhile effort. 

After the clean-up there will be an open mic, to showcase some of our amazing local talent… and a 100 mile potluck at the McCrae House Museum on Water Street. All are encouraged to bring and share your favourite local and home-made dishes with your neighbours and community members.  All participants will be entered into a draw for The Woolwich Arrow and Creemore Springs Speed River Dinner!

If you would like to just help out with the actual clean-up (picking up grabage etc.), you don’t need to sign up before hand – just show up at 8.30 a.m. on the day in Royal City Park.

If you would like to sign up for specific volunteer opportunities (below) please contact OPIRG-Guelph by June 3 at 519-824-2091 or opirgguelphvolunteer@gmail.com.

Friday Set-Up Volunteers (2 people)
When: 2:00– 6:00pm
Load up the vehicles at the OPIRG office, last minute errands, start the set-up.

Morning Set-Up Volunteers (2 people)
When: 7:30–10:00am (free to help out in other areas after this)
Put up signs, organize hip waders, garbage bags, crew leader kits, free coffee and breakfast food, etc.

Morning Greeters (2 people)
When: 8:00–10:00am (free to help out in other areas after this)
Sit at the Registration table, assign participants to crews, and answer questions.

Crew Leaders (12 people)
When: 8:30am – 12:00/12:30pm (join us for the BBQ afterwards)
Walking with the “crews”(of up to 20 people) to a pre-arranged section of the river and supervising the picking up of garbage (as well as picking up garbage yourselves).  You are also responsible for writing down the names of the people in your group and recording interesting objects they retrieve from the river.  (Please note: Crew Leaders must be at least 19 years old.)  Please let staff know beforehand if you’d like to sign up for a particular river sector and it you will be bringing a vehicle that you’d like to use.  Nature interpretation skills are an asset, but definitely not necessary. OPIRG-Guelph will be holding a pre-clean-up tour to give you an orientation to the river, it’s ecology, history and health. 

Lunch Volunteers (2 People)
When: 10:30-2:00pm (you can do this as well as morning setup or greeter if you’d like)
Help set up lunch items, serve food, hand out door prize tickets and help with the take down after the event.

Afternoon Take-Down Volunteers (4 people)
When: 1:00-4:00pm
Help clean up and return supplies to OPIRG-Guelph.

Photography Volunteers
When: 8.30 a.m.-1.30 p.m.
Enjoy taking pictures? Why not take photos of Guelphites cleaning their community?

General Clean-Up Volunteers
When 8.30 – 11:30 a.m.
Remove garbage from the river and the riverbanks!  You can sign up before hand, or just show to register in Royal City Park on the day. You will also be able to enjoy a Community 100 mile Potluck Lunch afterwards in the grounds of the McCrae House Museum.

Local Performers
When:12.30 – 2.00 p.m.
Entertain the hard working clean-up volunteers while they snack and mingle!  We want you to jump up on our open stage and showcase the amazing talent that this city has to offer.  Anything goes!  Poetry, acoustic instruments, or whatever you do best is welcome!

Please contact OPIRG-Guelph by June 3 at 519-824-2091 or opirgguelphvolunteer@gmail.com to sign up for any of these positions.

For more information, please visit www.opirgguelph.org.

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Interested in activism and social change? Want to share your story?

Storytelling For Social Change, a Guelph student group, have a special event, “Roots of Change” taking place on April 1 from 6 – 11 p.m. in the Ed Video Gallery, 40 Baker St, Downtown Guelph.

Four local activists from the campus and local community will share their stories of change and activism, followed by a discussion period.

Opening the event will be acoustic guitarist/singer-songwriter David Scott. During his set he will be performing “Red and White on Rope”, a song he wrote as a creative response to reading Dr. Anne-Marie Zadjlik’s journals regarding the Bracelet of Hope campaign.

The evening is free by donation to support the “Roots of Change” project. Complimentary beverages and food will be provided.

There will also be an open mic portion of the program for people to share their own stories of activism through creative expression.

The event will be recorded for broadcast on CFRU93.3fm.

RSVP to this event via Facebook here.

Come to open your mind, open your hearts, establish new connections, and see a new light or perhaps find something you think is worth fighting for… bring your ideas and positivism and together we will learn from each others stories and make a difference in our community.

Catch the organisers of Roots of Change on CFRU 93.3fm’s Royal City Rag on March 27 between 7-8 a.m.

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Bob Gordon Web

Bob Gordon

Farbridge Past And Present
Bob Gordon, Freelance Journalist/Royal City Rag Contributor
Guelph Mercury, September 21 2009

Mayor Karen Farbridge’s credentials as an environmentalist are impeccable. She has an MSc and PhD in biology from the University of Guelph. She was an Associate Professor at the University of Guelph and taught courses in environmental policy.

Most importantly, in terms of environmental activism she was the Director of the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) at U of Guelph for a decade. OPIRG Guelph’s website identifies its mandate as recognizing “that there are many ways to initiate and support grassroots radical change, and that our strength as an organization lies in the diversity of our experiences, approaches and tactics…. we operate without hierarchy and uphold the core values of anti-oppression and consensus. We mobilize through a wide variety of methods such as research, creating awareness, lobbying, media, training, protest, and direct action.”

As director of OPIRG Guelph, Karen Farbridge defended that approach articulately and frequently. In the summer issue of Alternatives Journal in 1998 she spoke glowing of the importance of the consensus approach to decision making and environmental activism: “consensus decision making is synonymous with the PIRG experience.”

(Take a look at “PIRG Power, Public Interest Research Groups in Canada celebrate 25 years of student activism by: Karen Farbridge and Peter Cameron” here)

Describing a PIRG organized occuption of a nuclear facility she wrote approvingly of the practical importance of consensus decision making, “When the police tried to arrest the ‘leaders’, hoping to undermine the occupation, they found that it did not dissolve in confusion because everyone was a ‘leader’.”

In a OPIRG Guelph newsletter she authored an article announcing the launch of the Speed River Land Trust Association stating, “Natural areas in the watershed provide habitat and nourishment…. These rivers, their riverlands and the wider watershed define our local communities and are our tangible link to the global environment.”

In an article published in The Guelph Tribune in the early nineties she noted, “our wetlands still face the pressure of urban sprawl—tragically with less protection now than a year ago.”

In her January 2008 Annual Address to Council she continued to speak of vision and high ideals, of doing things differently, “I feel fortunate to be Mayor of a City where the Council, City staff, and community at large have embraced the idea of making a difference. When we included this vision in our Strategic Plan, we knew we were setting the bar high. We did so deliberately, because there was a feeling in the community that if you don’t strive for great things, you have no hope of achieving them.”

Madame Mayor, where has this vision gone?

Bulldozing the Hanlon Creek Business Park forward is not ‘radical change’. Charging seven individuals and ‘Jane and John Doe’ (the community-at-large?) for events surrounding occupation of the site flies in the face of your own assertion that ‘everyone is a leader.’

Have you forgotten “Natural areas in the watershed provide habitat and nourishment…. These rivers, their riverlands and the wider watershed define our local communities and are our tangible link to the global environment”?

Have you forgotten “our wetlands still face the pressure of urban sprawl” and that sprawl is sprawl whether it occurs within or beyond municipal boundaries?

I remind you Madame Mayor of a document you authored in 1993, entitled Overview of the Hanlon Creek Watershed Study. In it you wrote, “The City has shown intent to develop industrial land in the watershed…. If cold-water trout streams are damaged both the City as a corporation and individual councillors will be liable under the Fisheries Act.”

Madame Mayor in 1999 you e-mailed city staffer Andrew Goldie stating, “If I can find enough money I would love to put a solar powered composting toilet in one of the parks.”

What we have is embarassingly ugly, dysfunctional pissoirs in downtown parking lots.

Madame Mayor, you spoke glowingly of the importance of wetlands and what we have is the Hanlon Creek Business Park.

Bob Gordon

For more on this and other community issues, tune into Royal City Rag, Saturdays 7-9 a.m. on CFRU 93.3fm.

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Ecological and Heritage Walking Tours of the Speed River

Journey with us along the Speed River and back through time!

Knowledgeable and experienced tour leaders will share the ecological facts and heritage of Guelph’s magnificent and integral river system. 

Attendees will discover why Guelph was settled around the river and how human settlement has affected the health of the river and why we need to turn back the clock to re-vitalize the river ecosystem.

The final tours of the season take place on Sunday August 9 from 2.00 – 4.00 p.m. and Wednesday August 12 from 6.30 – 8.30 p.m.

All tours meet and finish at the Boathouse, 116 Gordon Street.  Suggested $5 donation per person (ice cream at the Boathouse included)!  Children under 12 are free (ice cream not included).

For more general information or information relating to accessibility please contact: opirgguelphevents@gmail.com or call 519-824-2091 or visit www.opirgguelph.org

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0UNBOTTLEIT.ADThe Unbottle It! Tour: Water as a Human Right

Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and United Nations Advisor on Water, will be back in Guelph at Norfolk United Church on Wednesday January 14 2009 to talk about water as a right and not a commodity and why we should dump bottled water. She will be accompanied by Sid Ryan, President of CUPE Ontario.

The goal of this visit is to build on local successes at banning bottled water from schools and municipalities, promote new bans, work toward a provincial ban, and help link bottled water to the commoditization of water in people’s minds.

According to the National Office of the Council of Canadians:

 “there are numerous reasons to hate bottled water, including environmental and health concerns, but we’re going on tour to focus on the importance of public water and seeing water as part of the commons, not a commodity. And of course we’ll talk about the need for strong provincial and federal policies to protect water and ensure access to clean water for all Canadians.”

Beginning at 5:30 p.m., there will be a Water Information Fair featuring representatives from CoC-Guelph, CUPE, Wellington Water Watchers, OPIRG Speed River Project, Transition Guelph, Kairos, TapIn, OXFAM and others. There will also be hot chili (vegetarian or con carne), buns, and coffee or tea.

The evening presentations will start at 6.45 p.m.

The Unbottle It! Tour: Water as a Human Right
Who: Maude Barlow and Sid Ryan
When: Wednesday January 14 at 6.45 p.m. (Water Information Fair at 5.30 p.m.)
Admission: FREE
Presented by The Council of Canadians and CUPE Ontario

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A busy week in the UC Courtyard…

How Do Farmers Feed Cities?

Sponsored by Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG-Guelph), “How Do Farmers Feed Cities?” is an event featuring Prof. Ann Clark, U of G Plant Agriculture, discussing genetic modification, Henry Stevens, a local farmer, and a musical performance by Sheesham & Lotus.

The event is free and everyone is welcome.

Time: 6 p.m.
Location: UC Courtyard

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This sounds a great way to decrease your environmental impact and have fun at the same time.

Guelph Urban Wilderness Weekend
Reduce your carbon footprint this May long-weekend and adventure locally!

Four local groups collaborate to bring you the first ever Guelph Urban Wilderness Weekend.  This three day nature lover’s dream is specially geared to beginner paddlers, birders and hikers, but promises something interesting for everyone.

Hike: 9:30 a.m. May 17th
Join the Guelph Hiking Trail Club for an engaging hike featuring the best of Guelph’s riverside cultural and natural heritage.

Paddle: 9:30 a.m. May 18th
Join OPIRG-Guelph’s Speed River Project and Waterloo-Wellington Canoe Club for a guided paddle down the Eramosa River; from Eden Mills to the Covered Bridge.

Bird Watching: 7:30 a.m. May 19th
Enjoy a guided bird watching hike along urban stretches of the Speed River and learn about seasonal, migrating bird species with the Guelph Field Naturalists.

You must register in advance for all events; however, the May 17th and 19th hikes are free of charge.

The OPIRG Paddle costs $20 per person (children 12 years and under participate for free) and you must rent, or bring your own boat. All proceeds from the OPIRG Paddle will support OPIRG’s Speed River Project. Register in person (cash or cheque only) at the OPIRG office, 1 Trent Lane on the University of Guelph Campus. Late registration of $40 will be accepted on May 15th and May 16th. Office hours: Monday – Thursday, 11am-5pm.

Registration information:
Visit www.opirgguelph.org or call (519) 824-2091.  

Guelph Urban Wilderness Weekend Partners:

Guelph Field Naturalists: www.guelphfieldnaturalists.org

Guelph Hiking Trail: www.guelphhiking.com

OPIRG Guelph: www.opirgguelph.org

Waterloo-Wellington Canoe Club: www.waterloowellingtoncanoeclub.ca

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I received this from OPIRG. Tune in next Wednesday to hear Erin Harkins from the OPIRG-Guelph Speed River Project live on Royal City Rag.

Tree Planting – Saturday, May 10th at Riverside Park! Rain or Shine!

Extreme weather date: Sunday, May 11th

Join your neighbours and OPIRG’s Speed River Project for a morning of planting trees and wildflowers and general cleanup; fun for the whole family!  This is our last planting event of the season. Planting will take place from 9 a.m. -1 p.m.  Wear long pants, closed-toe footwear, sun gear and bring water and an extra shovel if you have one. Access Riverside Park from Woodlawn Rd. or Riverview Dr.  Look for signage. We encourage you to walk, bus or cycle.  Parking available in the parking lot off of Woodlawn Rd. and along Riverview Dr. Thank-you to EcoAction Community Funding Program, our major sponsor; and to the City of Guelph Operations Department for providing assistance in-kind. Through neighbourhood-based naturalization projects we can diversify and rehabilitate degraded urban river banks one neighbourhood at a time.

Visit www.opirgguelph.org or call for more information (519) 824-2091.

Office hours: Monday – Thursday, 11 a.m. -5 p.m.

Contact opirg@uoguelph.ca re: Volunteer Opportunities. 

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I received this rom OPIRG. More tree-planting this coming weekend.

Join your neighbours and OPIRG’s Speed River Project for an afternoon of planting trees and wildflowers and general cleanup; fun for the whole family!  Planting Guides needed, please contact us for details. Planting will take place from 9am-1pm.  Wear long pants, closed-toe footwear, sun gear and bring water and an extra shovel if you have one.

Access Wolfond Park on Arthur St. N., just off of the Eramosa Rd. Look for signage. We encourage you to walk or cycle.  Parking available on Arthur St. N.

Thank-you to EcoAction Community Funding Program, our major sponsor; and to the City of Guelph Operations Department for providing assistance in-kind.

The final planting event of the season will be held at Riverside Park, Sat., May 10th.

Through neighbourhood-based naturalization projects we can diversify and rehabilitate degraded urban river banks one neighbourhood at a time

Visit www.opirgguelph.org or call for more information (519) 824-2091.

Email opirg@uoguelph.ca re: Volunteer Opportunities. 

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