Guelph Rotary Club Gives The Gift Of Nature To GRCA
Nature Centre Will See Thousands Of Visitors Annuallyby Guelph Now! Local News - GRCA
May 04, 2012
Photo: Doug Brock (left), vice-chair of the Grand River Conservation Foundation, receives a $50,000 donation from Clare Rennie, chair of the Rotary Club of Guelph Charitable Foundation
Rotary Gives The Gift Of Nature
The Rotary Club of Guelph Charitable Foundation has given $50,000 to support the construction of a new Guelph Lake Nature Centre.
The Rotary Club donated the money to the Grand River Conservation Foundation, which is leading the effort to raise $3 million to build the new centre. The GRCF is the fund-raising arm of the Grand River Conservation Foundation.
The nature centre, on Conservation Road near Guelph Lake Conservation Area, annually provides more than 22,000 students with hands-on, curriculum based outdoor environmental education. The students come from public and separate schools in Guelph and Wellington County.
Clare Rennie, chair of the Rotary Club foundation, said support of the new nature centre is linked to the club’s 13-year project to develop a 40-hectare (100 acre) Guelph Rotary Forest on a one-time farm field near the nature centre.
“The new forest will serve as a living classroom for students visiting the nature centre for many decades to come,” said Rennie.
Sara Wilbur, executive director of the GRCF said “With the donation from the Guelph Rotary Charitable Foundation we are one step closer to building the new centre.”
“Support from organizations such as Rotary and that of many private donors will ensure that future generations will experience the exceptional outdoor education that happens at Guelph Lake Nature Centre,” added Wilbur.
The existing nature centre is a former house that was acquired by the GRCA when it constructed the Guelph Dam and reservoir in 1976. The house is showing signs of wear and tear caused by its use as an education centre that has seen more than 500,000 students pass through it during its lifetime.
The proposed nature centre will be a 9,400 square foot building with classrooms, office space and a large meeting room that can also be used for public and community events. The new centre will include sustainable design principles to reduce its heating and cooling costs. Rainwater will be captured and used for non-drinking water uses.
Overlooking the Guelph Lake reservoir and dam, and surrounded by a variety of habitats including lake, river, wetland, meadow and forest, the nature centre is in an ideal location for active, experiential learning in the outdoors.
The fund-raising campaign is still in its early stages and the Rotary Club donation is one of the first major commitments to the project. The GRCA will begin construction on the centre when fund-raising reaches 75 per cent of the cost.
The Rotary Club of Guelph established a charitable foundation in 1988 thanks to an initial donation by the late T.T. Skov of Guelph, a former Rotarian and local businessman. The gift was placed in an endowment fund and has grown significantly over time. The mission of the foundation is to support worthwhile projects which enhance the quality of life, primarily in the Guelph area.
For more information on the new centre visit www.grcf.ca/GLNC
Photo: Doug Brock (left), vice-chair of the Grand River Conservation Foundation, receives a $50,000 donation from Clare Rennie, chair of the Rotary Club of Guelph Charitable Foundation, toward the cost of a new Guelph Lake Nature Centre. The photo was taken at the Rotary Earth Day event at Guelph Lake on April 21.