It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the world’s environmental problems and to feel you have no influence, or to even tune out the bad news altogether. But there are constructive actions we can take in our own homes and daily lives.
REAL’s formation was catalyzed by the inspiring talk of a well-known environmentalist, David Suzuki. In October 1989, Ron Stewart and Peter Au, both educators with the Lanark County Board of Education, were at a conference of science teachers in Ottawa. Suzuki’s talk was on the environment and how to “Think Globally and Act Locally”. The men were inspired to act and organized a meeting with ten other individuals to discuss forming a local action-oriented environmental organization, which became the Rideau Environmental Action League.
Through public awareness and small scale local projects, REAL encourages residents to make environmentally responsible decisions and provides opportunities for them to participate in environmental activities in their own community.
- What We Do
- Mission and Goals
- Board and Committees
- Annual Report
- Corporate Members
- Honorary Members
What We Do
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.
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.
- Raise public environmental awareness
- Encourage environmentally friendly practices
- Undertake achievable, small scale, local environment enhancement projects
- Network with other environmental groups and agencies
- Recognize local environmental achievements
- Raise funds for REAL’s work
- 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)
- Peter Au (Vice-President)
- Karen Schecter (Treasurer)
- Donna McKenna (Secretary)
- Lorraine Allen (Liaison from the Town of Smiths Falls)
- Keely Maddock
- Jason Takerer
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.
REAL produces a newsletter five times a year. Join our mailing list.
REAL is very grateful for the continued support of our corporate members:
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. Find out how you can become a member.
REAL holds memberships and reciprocal memberships with a number of local, provincial and federal organizations: