From the desk of: Larry McGratton
On the 21st of May 1999 I received letter from Revenue Canada, informing us that Friends of the Grand River had received its charitable status. This process took over four years to complete, and the people involved were numerous. The boards of the organization from the start of Friends of the Grand River in January, 1995 to present day are to be thanked.
The membership through their volunteer efforts needs to be thanked for all the work. They are truly the thread that keeps us bound together.
John Dadds & Doug Ratz for putting the document and application together"Thanks, guys," for all the long hours of scrutinizing the documents to get it just right.
What does this all mean?
As a registered charity Friends of the Grand River can now issue an official tax receipt for donations it receives. The donation must comply with the following conditions:
(a) there is a transfer of property (usually cash) to the charity;
(b) the property is given voluntarily; and
(c) the donor receives no benefits in return.
This truly is a happy day and a wonderful opportunity for Friends of the Grand River
To each and every one of you congratulations and thank you for your support.
Heading Access Areas
At the present time four access points are partially completed. The Trestle Bridge access is completed. So if you drive by on Wellington Rd. #18 between Fergus and Elora be sure to stop and look at the example of the interpretation sign.
We are still waiting for our signs to be completed and hopefully by the end of the summer we will be able to erect them.
If you have any free afternoons or early evenings we could sure use some help finishing the access areas (wood chipping paths, erecting signs).
If you are able to help please contact Lorraine Norminton at 519-846-8396 (days) or 519 843-3590 (nights)
Although there seems to be more anglers on stream this year, violation are minimal and for the most part things are quite. Yes there are more gear fisherman in the no-kill areas, but these people are respecting the rules of the special regulations and this may work in our favor.
Those who generally practice catch and release in one area of a river, usually see the benefit and soon start to practice it all the time, no matter if they are restricted by special regulation or not.
If you do see someone violating the special regulations, let them know that they are in regulated area and what those regulations are. If they do not comply, report the individual as well as the license plate number if possible to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources 1-519-826-4955. Take our word for it: we get excellent co-operation from OMNR in these situations.
FOGR Event Reports
The fish-stocking program was completed on May 3, 1999. Eighteen-thousand brown trout were stocked in the upper Grand River below the Shand Dam with three-thousand seven-hundred trout being stocked from the Shand Dam at Belwood to the low level bridge in the Elora Gorge Conservation Area and fourteen-thousand three-hundred being stocked between the low level bridge and the Highway # 86 bridge. The weather and river flows & temperatures were favorable for a successful stocking. Three transfer trucks along with the hatchery truck were used to distribute the fish. As always Friends of the Grand River volunteers showed a keen interest in the stocking program
Larry McGratton was responsible for contacting the volunteers for the stocking program, supplying a stocking tank, full oxygen tank, hose, pails, and aeration stone for FOGRs stocking truck. Thirty volunteers participated in the stocking of the brown trout. These dedicated people deserve a lot of credit. Tank, hose and aeration stone was donated for the day by Tom Taylor of Fish Farm Supply Co. 54 Center Street, Elmira, Ontario (519) 669-1069. Fergus Welding & Machine Shop Ltd. 285 Beatty Line North, Fergus, Ontario (519) 843-3722 donated the oxygen tank for the day. A Pick-up truck was supplied by FOGR member Steve May and the pails for stocking were donated by FOGR member Vaughn Norris.
On Saturday May 1st, Cubs and Scouts of Wellington County planted around 7,000 trees in the Belwood area. The children were very interested in what was happening on the day and through their effort they earned their forestry badges.
FOGR held a barbecue after the trees were planted for the starving cubs and scouts (all 350 of them).
After lunch a demonstration on fly-casting was put on by members of Friends of the Grand River. Thanks to all who volunteer to help out with this event.
On May the 7th, the students of Centre Wellington District High School planted trees along Carroll Creek. Dan OGormans Class has been planting trees with FOGR since the program started. Their help is very much appreciated
On May the 8th, FOGR members and other volunteers planted the remainder of trees for the 1999 program in and around Wilsons Flats. To anyone who helped get this task completed:
Adopt a Road Clean-up
If you were driving along Wellington Rd. 18 or South River Rd. on Sunday May 2nd or July 11th , you could not help but notice the dedicated volunteers of the adopt a road program. These same individuals turn up time & time again to pick-up the litter of those who are less considered of the harm they are doing to their environment. The report from Art Patterson the chair of this very worth while project was that they cleaned both roads in about three hours of work and picked up about a pick-up truck full of garbage. Great Job!
Adopt a Road CleanUp Dates
Next clean-up dates are July 11th, 8.00 a.m. and September 19th, at 8.00 a.m.. Please meet at the Fergus Arena.
River Bank Clean-up
On Saturday April the 17th, Lorraine Norminton with the help of the 1st Fergus Cubs.
Pack and the 1st Fergus Girl Guides and their parents cleaned up the banks of the Grand River between Angelica Street and Can Robert Street. FOGR presented the children with a certificate for a job well done.
On Sunday May the 2nd, Fraser Hale with a group of children from Elora-Fergus Unitarian Church, cleaned up the banks of the river in the Elora and Fergus downtown area. FOGR also presented a certificate to these youngsters for a job well done.
The membership of FOGR also did a river clean up, we had hoped to do an in stream clean up from the Tower street bridge in Fergus to the bissel dam in Elora. However due to the lack of help the project was down scaled to cleaning up behind the sewage treatment plant in Fergus. In this area alone a pick-up truck of rubbish was removed from the river. To all who made it out, Thank you.
Elora Trout Fest
If Trout Fest 99 was a success only to be measured by the smiles of the childrens that had fun and enjoyed themselves, it was worth it. But it was more; we heard comments that ranged from " "It reminds me of the old town summer picnic," to "this is the type of event that every community should have."
FOGR members set up a booth an volunteers through out the day were there to help with fly-casting, nail-driving, buck-saw log cutting as well as answer any question about FOGR.
The support for FOGR was shown by the results of the day. Through Fraser Hale's efforts with the used equipment sale and silent auction $2300.00 was raised. Terry Ryckman and his helpers helped put $350.00 in the coffers from the barbecue, after expenses.
Thanks to Fraser Hale for taken it upon himself to run this event for FOGR.
Fraser (alias Sandy Hale) came to the executive with the suggestion and the willingness to do the grunt work.
Fly Fishing Shows
April 10th, and 11th, Larry McGratton and Terry Ryckman attended the Izaak Walton Fly Fishing Forum. Throughout the two days numerous volunteers dropped by to help out at the booth.
The whole ideal behind attending the show is to raise the public awareness to who FOGR is and the projects that FOGR undertakes.
We have to face facts: most of our membership tend to be fly fishers.
The Izaak Walton is one place where we can target a large number of fly fishers and try to turn them into Friends of the Grand River.
What Friends of the Grand River is Made of!
By Larry R. McGratton
Friends of the Grand River is made of volunteers, volunteers and more volunteers.
When I first sat on the board of FOGR, I was interested in what could I do help. The question was, "Larry, would you like to be the secretary and membership chairman for FOGR?" In about 30 seconds, I was nominated and elected, and in the last five years, I have watched FOGR grow in the area of membership as well as membership involvement in the projects.
Anytime a project needs volunteer help, all I need to do is pick up the phone and call, and the membership responds.
FOGR is not about a board that over sees the day to day running of this organization, but you, the membership. All the awards that Friends of the Grand River has won are because of your efforts.
This spring started with the Sports Shows, River Watch, Garbage Kiosk and stream work. Then came stream bank clean-ups, Adopt a Road, Trout Fest, Grand Opportunities, Fish Stocking, Tree Planting, River Access. All done, by you the volunteers of Friends of the Grand River.
It was amazing how many children helped out this year, from teenagers to my own three-year-old daughter and five-year-old son. The kids of the Portage Program, the Cubs, Scouts and Guides of Wellington County, the children of The Elora-Fergus Unitarian Church and your own children.
Not everybody in this organization is able to take part in every project. It would be nice if they could, but this is the real world we live in. If you do not feel that you have volunteered for anything and are not part of this, you can be assured by me that you are, just by filling out your voluntarily membership to Friends of the Grand River.
It truly is a grand day when you look back and say we are educating our children through the examples that we are setting and always remember,
"Preserve todays resources for tomorrow."
Environmental Sustainability Award
By John Dadds
Encouraged by Deryk Smith of the Elora-Cataract Trailway Association, back in early May, we sent in a nomination to some environmental awards being offered by the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce.
With Deryk nominating FOGR, we put a package together describing the work that we do each year.
Ian Martin, our VP, and I attended the awards ceremony, held in the rotunda of Kitchener City Hall.
With an on-air personality from CKCO-TV, an informative script and a simultaneous slide show, it was like the Oscars.
FOGR was nominated in two categories. In the natural heritage category, we got a nice certificate proving we were nominated, but in the volunteer category, we scooped it.
These awards were open to anyone within the Grand River watershed, not just K-W, so its a prize to treasure.
Our appreciation goes to Deryk for nominating us, and for Barb Veale at Grand River Conservation Authority who brought this one to our attention and suggested we try for it.
Sometimes, blowing your horn works!
Food For Thought!
This is a recent on-stream conversation between two piscatorially afflicted, fly fishing addicted, verbally challenged fishermen:
Fishman #1: Hiyamac!
Fish man #2: Lobuddy.
And who said conversation was a dying art.
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