Sitting on the Woolwich Healthy Communities (WHC) coordinating committee has been a great experience. This volunteer group made up of community members and stakeholder group representatives has grown in scope and influence since its early days in 1989.
Born out of the discovery of NDMA in Elmira's water system, Waterloo Region Government appointed the Woolwich Community Health Committee to respond the health concerns of the residents of Elmira and St. Jacobs, whose water was supplied from Elmira. Grace Sudden and Clint Rohr (then the executive director of WCHC) planned a "visioning day" in 1991 - the result of which is Woolwich Healthy Communities. An exercise in formulating guiding principals led to the creation of 3 subgroups: Clean Waterways Group, Woolwich Trails Group and Sustainable Development Group.
Fast forward to 2018. WHC has five subcommittee groups: Woolwich Clean Waterways, Woolwich Trails Group, Township of Woolwich Environmental Enhancement Committee, Trees for Woolwich and the Woolwich On-Road Cycling group. The Coordinating group meets to discuss the work of groups and helps in planning, coordinating volunteers, financing and promoting healthy living initiatives. There is always plenty of work being done — an amazing example of volunteer action in our community.
The Taste of Woolwich event just finished its 12th event and planning for the next one starts almost immediately. The focus is to promote local sustainable food by connecting residents to local farmers and food suppliers. Healthy Community Month is a busy time of year as the group hosts a dozen or so events, trail walks, and educational experiences.
I have enjoyed participating with members of the coordinating committee and providing updates about the happenings on Council. What a great bunch of people too!
There's room for more members on the coordinating committee and always volunteer opportunities on one of the five subcommittees. It's a great way to connect to community members and give a little something back. It's honestly a win-win!
To find out more about WHC I invite you to visit their website at: https://healthywoolwich.org/