Falling for Fall

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TLTI Welcomes Cooler Weather, Expands Volunteer Base and Promotes Outdoor Recreation

Submitted by the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands
Photos Stephen Wild

 

Celebrate the Change of Seasons in TLTI

As the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands (TLTI) welcomes the cooler weather of fall, it dares Old Man Winter to label this as “The Off Season!”

Our communities thrive throughout the fall and winter with economic growth, service delivery and active programming. Our businesses are open and welcoming year-round. For example, 1000 Islands Helicopters will fly any season of the year.

“Fall colour tours offer amazing sites, and great deals,” explains Amy Webb, economic development and marketing officer.

And, if taking to the air isn’t your thing, why not experience the change of season by bike? 1000 Islands Bicycle Company offers cycling tours along eastern Ontario’s portion of the Great Waterfront Trail, which stretches from Ajax to the Quebec border. The trail passes through TLTI along the Thousand Islands Parkway.

Connecting With the Environment through the Trails System

The Township is proud of its natural environment. And, there is no better way to connect with the environment than through our amazing trails. To this end, TLTI will host the third annual Economic Development Summit with a focus on trails.

This year, the theme is Discover Direction: The Business of Trails.

“Come, join us November 1, when we will host area businesses and showcase many of the hidden gems within our Township that support experiential tourism. Whether it be hiking, cycling, paddling, or snowshoeing on trails, or arts and culture tours, or motorized adventures,” says Amy. “There is so much to discover here, and many of our trails go beyond formal borders.”

The summit will have a guest speaker from North Hastings to discuss their trail strategy success story, a focus on upgrading marketing models that cater to trail users with Trish Manning Consulting, and understanding how partnering with the Ontario Trails Council can build capacity.

“By helping our business community recognize the opportunities around them and developing organizational and marketing skills, we will be better prepared to host tourists, no matter what time of year,” Amy says.

Outdoor Fun

“It’s not all work and no play around here, though,” says Kim Goodman, manager of recreation and community partnerships. “We definitely know how to have some fun, too!”

The annual Parkway Challenge, hosted on the National Day of Fitness, encourages participants to run, walk, wheel or cycle the route.

“We also hosted The Great Waterfront Trail Adventure this year with an afternoon stop in Rockport,” says Amy. “The group of 160 cyclists enjoyed a well-earned break in the beautiful village, perusing galleries, filling restaurants and enjoying a Heart of the Islands boat ride from Rockport Cruises.”

The day was a success; many said they would like to come back again, especially in the fall.

The Autumn Equinox sparks quite a few outdoor activities, but none more attended or enjoyed as the Seniors’ Picnic and Walk through Charleston Lake Provincial Park.

The Friends of the Park work with the Township to partner with three senior groups and two retirement living homes in an active living exercise.

“Since these groups are spread out across the Township, we organize busing, including an accessible vehicle,” shares Kim. “It is important that all members of our community have equal opportunities to enjoy the beautiful wonders here.”

The group organizes multiple walks with varying degrees of difficulty, and the Ontario Parks staff are available to share details on the surroundings by describing the setting, including the sights and sounds.

“All hearts were full after this venture,” says Kim.

As the cold snowy weather approaches, this community isn’t slowing down. On the contrary, they are just gearing up to play away the winter blues.

The Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands is fortunate to touch on two major Canadian waterways: The Rideau Canal and the St. Lawrence River. The communities of Seeley’s Bay and Rockport, which kiss the shores of these mighty mammoths, celebrate their wonder in winter, too.

Each of these villages have winter festivals to embrace the ice and snow. From ice skating to curling, wagon rides to making bannock, sledding to enjoying custom-made penguin chocolates, the villages welcome visitors to join in.

Volunteers: The Heart of a Community

Volunteers are key to the community. In rural locations, they are sometimes the glue that binds it all together. This holds especially true in Leeds and the Thousand Islands.

“Our volunteers give their time, knowledge, and expertise in so many different ways, and each plays a part in this healthy, vibrant place,” says Amy.

This year, feedback suggested more support is needed in recruiting volunteer forces. “We took the leap as the first municipality to join the membership of the St. Lawrence-Rideau Volunteer Centre,” says Amy.

This organization, over the last 35 years, has played a vital role in building community capacity by providing leadership opportunities, training and placement for volunteers in non-profit organizations and creating a sense of belonging and inclusion in the community for volunteers.

Non-profit agencies and organizations have been served through the promotion of volunteerism, the recruitment and referral of volunteers, and education and networking support to agencies and individuals.

“We understand how volunteerism is changing and want to work with our citizens to embrace new ways to ask for help and look at engaging younger participants,” says Amy.

In partnership with the St. Lawrence-Rideau Volunteer Centre, the Township will offer a series of workshops on recruiting, micro-volunteerism, risk management, incorporation and grant writing skills.

“Our plan is to help build capacity, knowledge, and supply tools and resources to allow our non-profit groups to flourish,” says Amy.

The success of our community events is due to the many volunteers and local businesses that contribute.

“Please allow us to extend our heartfelt gratitude,” says Kim. “We couldn’t pull it off without the amazing volunteers, business and participants here!”

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Almost one half of Canadians volunteer
  • Raising money and hosting events are the two most common activities that volunteers engage in
  • 1.1 million full-time equivalent jobs are represented by volunteering annually
  • 87 per cent of the Canadian population views volunteering as vital to societal and economic well-being

Source: www.150statscan.gc.ca

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Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands

1233 Prince St. P.O. Box 280, Lansdowne

1-866-220-2327

leeds1000islands.ca

 

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