- Who We Are
- Mission and Goals
- Board of Directors
- Board and Staff Bios
- Annual Report
- Business Plan
- Corporate Members
- Honorary Members
REAL was incorporated as a not-for-profit community organization in 1989. It formed a charity, the Rideau Environment Trust, in 1990.
In 1998, REAL formed the Lanark & Leeds Green Community (LL Green) and in 2000 Evergreen Avenue, as projects of REAL. LL Green engaged homeowners in specific actions to reduce their impact on energy use, water, shorelines and land. It’s projects are now considered direct projects of REAL. Evergreen Avenue is both a living memorial to veterans and peacekeepers from the area and a community beautification project that features native vegetation.
In 2010 REAL became a registered Canadian charity, and the Rideau Environment Trust was dissolved in 2011.
REAL works with its volunteers, members, donors, friends and supporters, and with schools, municipalities, agencies, businesses, and government ministries to achieve its Mission and Goals.
See a PDF of our REAL brochure.
See a video produced in honour of our 25th anniversary by Arranel Studios.
Our mission: To protect, preserve and enhance our environment for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations through advocacy, education, recognition and projects within Eastern Ontario.
a. To organize or participate in environmental projects designed to:
• preserve and protect flora and fauna;
• preserve, protect and restore rivers; or
• improve the urban environment.
b. To educate and increase the public’s understanding of the environment and its importance by offering courses, seminars, conferences and meetings and by collecting and disseminating information on that topic.
c. To develop and provide programs promoting the protection and preservation of the environment through re-use, reduction, recycling and recovery of waste and to educate institutions, industries, businesses and individuals about efficient waste management systems.
d. To conduct research relating to the environment and to disseminate the results of such research.
- Determines outcomes
- Sets long term goals, clarifies issues and voices problems
- Develops and implements the strategic plan
- Sets budgets
- Defines policies and monitors implementation
- Carries out an evaluation process on activities/projects
- Barb Hicks (President)
- Jason Takerer (Vice-President)
- Karen Schecter (Treasurer)
- Donna McKenna (Secretary)
- Peter Au
- Keely Maddock
- Manager, Environmental Projects and Executive Director, REAL Deal: Susan Brandum
- Advisor from Town of Smiths Falls: Lorraine Allen
REAL has a number of standing committees: Executive, Finance and Fundraising, Membership, Communications, and the Municipal Team. Major fundraisers usually have a committee associated with them as well. Each other activity has a Board member assigned to it, who is responsible for reporting its progress at the monthly Board meetings. Funded environmental projects are the responsibility of Susan Brandum.
- 2016 Annual Report
- 2015 Annual Report
- 2014 Annual Report
- 2013 Annual Report
- 2012 Annual Report
- 2011 Annual Report
- 2010 Annual Report
- 2009 Annual Report
- 2009 in Review
- 2008 In Review
Take a listen to REAL’s Sue Brandum and Lake 88’s Kassina Ryder discuss REAL, the Rideau Mississippi Take it Back Recyclopedia and REAL’s plans for an Environment Centre on our site on In Focus, November 7, 2012.
June 11, 2013: Sue Brandum and Ian Sutton discuss Environment Week, the REAL Deal, energy audits and well water.
Click on In Focus, or on the appropriate month in the side bar to find the interview.
The REAL Board of Directors is guided by a Business Plan that lays out the values that drive us as an organization, the issues we face, our vision, the key areas and projects that we plan to focus on, the results we want to achieve.
The Business Plan grew out of a Strategic Planning exercise and the community consultation we held in September 2002, called “Stopping the Slide”.
Key Result Areas of REAL’s Business Plan
1. REAL’s capacity built
Objective: To ensure that REAL has sufficient human and financial resources to achieve its mission and goals.
2. Resources conserved
Objective: To encourage the conservation of resources , including but not limited to materials, energy, water, and soil.
3. Watersheds protected
Objective: To ensure there is sufficient clean ground and surface water for all human and non-human species, that natural water-cleaning and quantity-balancing systems are maintained and that our citizens conserve water and become wise water users.
4. Climate change addressed
Objective: To protect air quality, contribute to the reversal in the growth of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and promote and facilitate adaptations to climate change.
5. Public educated
Objective: To have a public that is cognizant of, committed to, and actively promotes the best of world-wide trends in environmental solutions on a local level.
More specific goals are listed under each objective. If you would like to see a complete PDF version of the Business Plan, please contact us.
REAL holds memberships and reciprocal memberships with a number of local, provincial and federal organizations:
- Centre for Sustainable Watersheds
- Friends of the Tay
- Friends of the Rideau
- Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network
- Green Communities Canada
- Ontario Environmental Network
- Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition
- Ontario Nonprofit Network
- Rideau Roundtable
- Smiths Falls Chamber of Commerce
- Smiths Falls Horticultural Society
- Switch (network for Sustainable Energy in southeastern Ontario)
REAL is very grateful for the continued support of our corporate members:
- Andress Independent Grocer
- Arranel Studios
- Smiths Falls Civitan Club
- Cogeco Cable Inc.
- Denny K’s Car Care
- Township of Elizabethtown-Kitley
- The Garden Market
- Healey Transportation Ltd.
- Kilmarnock Enterprise
- OT Ontario EastRenewable Energy of Plum Hollow
- Rideau Home Hardware Building Centre
- Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
- Rotary Club of Smiths Falls
- Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 95
- Royal LePage Advantage Real Estate
- Scotia Bank Smiths Falls
- Smiths Falls Lions Club
- Smiths Falls Optometrists
- Tim Hortons of Smiths Falls
- Top Drawer Temporary Services
- Town of Smiths Falls
REAL awards Honorary Memberships to acknowledge a person’s longterm commitment to REAL and exemplary volunteer contributions. These members were influential in the development of REAL and continue to be an integral part of our organization. Current honorary members are shown below.