August 15, 2009
Members of the Waterloo chapter are bringing their talent, expertise and creativity to one of the area’s highest profile projects, the Rotary Dream Home.

Each year, the Kitchener-Conestoga Rotary Club and East Forest Homes build a home and sell lottery tickets. The club depends extensively on donated materials and services. In partnership with the Region of Waterloo, LO members became involved in designing, installing and maintaining the gardens of this dream home, located at 48 Woodbine (at Parkvale) in Kitchener. This project attracts thousands of visitors. All money raised from this event is used locally each year for Rotary Club projects.

The purpose of this initiative for Waterloo chapter members is to demonstrate, in a public and high profile way, exactly how the industry is uniquely qualified to actively address environmental issues such as water conservation. “This will allow us to market ourselves as the truly green industry,” says chapter president David Wright. “We believe that the need to address these issues is there in the minds of the public – they just want to be shown how to address them.”

LO members will incorporate some water friendly features, such as bioswales, permeable paving, rainwater harvesting systems, green roofs, and drought tolerant plantings. The anticipated retail value of the proposed landscape will be approximately $45,000.

The chapter’s environment committee, project organizers are looking for help with this project, including goods and/or services. Contact Don Prosser at 519-502-1909 with any questions, or to discuss participating in the project. A detailed list of materials and services will be forthcoming as the design is finalized, along with promotional details such as local media coverage and on-site signage/displays.

The Dream Home’s grand opening is in early September with the draw in December. This year’s recipients of the money raised includes the Sunnyside Home Foundation, a regional care facility for seniors that is looking to build an exercise/activity centre, and Health Care Med Ed Fund, a medical education group recruiting and training future community doctors. This will help attract much-needed doctors to the Kitchener/Waterloo area.