Guest Blog: Engaging the Community – Restoring the Harbour

This guest blog is from the Bay Area Restoration Council.  We have been pleased to support BARC’s efforts to raise awareness about the importance of the environment to a vibrant, inclusive city.  

 2015 marks a 17-year relationship between the Hamilton Community Foundation and the Bay Area Restoration Council (BARC) – a relationship that has supported the growth of BARC and the restoration of Hamilton Harbour.  


The Harbour’s watershed covers more than 500 square kilometres. The cities of Hamilton and Burlington, with a population of 650,000 people, are located within and around the watershed area.

 Since 1991, following a restoration strategy created by the community called the Remedial Action Plan (RAP),  BARC has been assessing and promoting clean-up projects in Hamilton Harbour and its watershed.  We work with all levels of government and the private sector to keep harbour restoration issues at the forefront of community discussions and decision-making. We deliver school programs, community events and workshops, resource materials, e-blasts, volunteer programs and coordinate popular community planting events. Engaging the community and enhancing public awareness and understanding of the environmental status of the harbour and its watershed is vital to securing the protection and increasing the appreciation of our natural lands. 

The most recent partnership between HCF and BARC supports our Communications and Learning Project.  It marks the adaptation and innovation of our traditional communications role and outreach activities. HCF funding will enhance BARC’s website – the Digital Community Forum – designed to communicate up-to-date, information-rich resources to more and more citizens and organizations, with numerous new ways for educating about water-related problems and participating their collective solutions. The project will also further develop and sustain comprehensive and effective volunteer outreach initiatives – Bay Area Ambassadors and Citizen Scientists – designed to reach new audiences and substantiate those relationships through online features and collaboration. Time restraints or physical limitations that may have once prevented individuals from participating in BARC initiatives have been eliminated; our Project offers opportunities for learning and participation though digital contributions such as blogs, website features, photos and video. Individuals and/or groups will be able to choose the degree to which they wish to lend their efforts and expertise.

 On behalf BARC and the harbour community, thank you for your very generous and continued support.