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Wyebridge Park rink to be naturalized thanks to $3,750 grant

Tiny CAO praises recreation director ‘who put together a great submission along with the SSEA’ for pollinator garden naturalization project
Executive director Julie Cayley and chair Steffen Walma of the Severn Sound Environmental Association, as seen in this 2022 photo.

Tiny Township received a $3,750 grant through this years Wege Small Cities Sustainability Best Practices Award, presented at the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Cities Initiative conference in Chicago.

Accepting the award on behalf of Tiny was Severn Sound Environmental Association executive director Julie Cayley, who was representing the eight joint-municipality membership for the organization.

A request to fund Cayley’s travel expenses was brought to the recent regular meeting of Tiny council, which was approved unanimously.

Previously, Tiny had approved funding the SSEA as their experts for water-related issues within the municipality. Due to the 2023 conference being held in the United States however, staff felt it was too costly to send a council representative and relied on the SSEA for support in that manner.

“We decided it was in the best interest of the eight municipalities to send Julie and accept the award on our behalf,” Mayor Dave Evans explained to council. 

Drawing from the council conference budget, the $1,500 request was quickly approved.

CAO Robert Lamb described the award, its $3,750 grant, and how Tiny had been victorious.

“We’re proud to have received a Wege (pronounced ‘wedgie’) –” said Lamb with a slight pause where amused sounds could be heard, “– which is the award that we’ve won thanks to our director of recreation (Bonita Desroches) who put together a great submission along with the SSEA.”

Through the volunteer-driven ‘Asphalt to Food’ project, the decommissioned rink at Wyebridge Park is to have its pavement removed along with the installation of naturalization projects and pollinator habitat.

“Normally there is a single municipality that wins,” Lamb added. “In this case, we are co-winners with the city of Belleville.”

Cayley accepted the Wege award on behalf of Tiny on Thursday.

Archives of council meetings are available to view on Tiny Township’s YouTube channel.

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Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Derek Howard covers Midland and Penetanguishene area civic issues under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada.
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