SOUL – How To Get Involved
A grass roots environmental action group.
Is your cottage or rural residential area interested in forming a local SOUL group, which will concentrate on helping to save the problems of Lake Winnipeg and its watershed? While this sounds like a lofty mission, it is up to individuals to work together to make a difference.
The original SOUL group started in 2006 at the AGM of the Grindstone Cottage Owners Associations’ annual meeting. A Board member presented a motion to the membership:
- That the G.C.O.A. make a donation of $500 to the LWRC to further scientific study and education on Lake Winnipeg and….
- To issue a Challenge to other communities around the lake to match or beat our amount.
Within minutes three ladies offered and the SOUL group was born.
It was “just that easy”!
This small group of 3 subsequently met and discussed, more often by email, in what areas of action we would concentrate and how the task of the Challenge should be handled. We wanted to be practical and effective in all our actions.
Within the first summer season we had communicated with all the RMs., communities and cottage associations that we could reach around the south basin of Lake Winnipeg, asking them to discuss our Challenge with their residents. At our annual “Grindstone Days” festival, $600 more was raised by putting out a labeled Donations jar! Cottagers, Friends and visitors were very supportive.
We have now entered our 5th season and continue to receive good support from the majority of our cottager residents and all of our Board. The Grindstone Cottage Owners Association is a proud member of the Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium and is now represented on their Board of Directors.
Any small but dedicated group of people can achieve success like us by working together for a common cause.
It is not only satisfying to work on “Saving The Lake” with personal, positive, individual daily actions, but also to be able to encourage others to do likewise by distributing environmental information to fellow cottagers and other groups.
Listed below are some of the action areas that we have covered in our 4 years of action:
- Compilation of sources of Phosphate free cleaning products commercial and homegrown
- Green gardening information; fertilizers and pesticides
- A Drawing and /or a Story Writing Contest to encourage youngsters to become involved.
- Several Quiz’s on knowledge of the Lake
- A screen showing of an environmental film
- A display board with a variety of topics on environmental information
- Shoreline protection and construction information
- General information on the MV Namao and the work of the LWRC
- Presentation at the AGM by a LWRC scientist
- A Water Survey to test for environmental knowledge of water usage and disposal so that guidance for better water stewardship is given.
- A Green Guide to action by individuals.
- On site information on well maintenance, testing etc.
The ideas for a SOUL group can be limitless depending on your creativity and on what type of actions you want to study and encourage in your particular area. A list of material sources is listed below.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for any further queries.
‘Everything is possible if we work towards a common goal’.
The Grindstone Association SOUL group.
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