It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the world’s environmental problems and to feel you no influence, or even tune out the bad news altogether. But there are constructive actions we can take in own homes and daily lives.
REAL’s formation was catalyzed by an inspiring talk of environmentalist, David Suzuki. In October 1989, Ron Stewart and Peter Au, educators with the Lanark County Board of Education, were at conference of sciences teachers in Ottawa. Suzuki spoke on how to “Think Globally and Act Locally”. The men were inspired to act and organized a meeting with other individuals to discuss forming a local action-oriented environmental organization, which became the Rideau Environmental Action League.
From public awareness to small scale local projects, REAL encourages residents to make environmentally responsible decisions and provides opportunities 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
The Rideau Environmental Action League conducts community-wide environmental projects and promotes environmental improvements within the Town of Smiths Falls and Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Counties.
REAL was incorporated not-for-profit community organization in 1989. It formed charity, the Rideau Environment Trust, in 1990.
In 1998, REAL 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 impact on energy use, water, shorelines and land. It’s projects are now considered direct projects of REAL. Evergreen Avenue is living memorial to veterans and peacekeepers from the area and a community beautification project that features native vegetation.
In 2010 REAL at registered Canadian charity, and the Rideau Environment Trust was dissolved in 2011.
REAL works with it volunteers, members, donors, friends and supporters, and with schools, municipalities, agencies, businesses, and government ministries to achieve is Mission and Goals.
We created bookmark in 2020 to summarize REAL. You can pick one up at store!
This first video below was produced on occasion of REAL’s 30th anniversary explains REAL’s beginnings and introduces some of involved in REAL today. The second is Peter Au and Ron Stewart, founding members of REAL, talking about REAL before our 2019 Local Foods Dinner.
See a video produced in honour of our 25th anniversary by Arranel Studios.
To educate, inspire and provide opportunities for people to protect, preserve and restore our environment.
- 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
REAL has been working on a updated version of its bylaw which was presented and approved at members meeting March 11, 2019.Read Bylaw
- 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 evaluation process on activities/projects
Directors (September 2023)
- Katie Hoffman (President)
- Karen Schecter (Vice President)
- Dave Thornley (Treasurer)
- Barb Hicks (Secretary)
- Peter Au (Founding Member)
- Donna McKenna
Liaison the Town of Smiths Falls: Dawn Quinn
REAL has four standing committees established in bylaw: Executive, Finance and Fundraising, Membership and Volunteers, and Communications. But many other committees exist to manage other activities. Each committee has Board member assigned to it, who is responsible for reporting progress at monthly Board meetings.
These other committees are: Journey to Sustainability (J2S), Municipal, REAL Deal Committee, Monarch Garden, Community Garden, Pitch In, Evergreen Avenue and Local Foods Dinner. Two other projects not have full committee, but have board members responsible for Radon Meter Lending and the Face Mask Project.
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 at number of local, provincial and federal organizations: