The #ygkChallenge is an ongoing series where we dare you to be different, resolve to be better, and or do something awesome in support of our beloved community. Each week, Kingstonist establishes a new, ambitious or quirky goal, encouraging you to step out of your comfort zone and do something great, and hopefully a little out of the ordinary. By taking part in this community-wide initiative, we hope to make Kingston (and the world) a slightly better place to live, work and play.
This week’s #ygkChallenge encourages you to:
Share and care for your favourite place on Kingston’s shoreline. Kingstonians have a rich history of enjoying their waters. Swimming, paddling, kiteboarding, fishing, boating – the shoreline plays a big part in Kingston culture.
It’s a shame that waterfront access has slowly disappeared over the years. Kingston has 280 km of shoreline. But only 7.8 km remains publicly accessible. Kingstonians literally lost their connection to water. As a result, water quality deteriorated.
In the last decade, though, real efforts are being made to win back Kingston’s waterfront. Citizens report pollution and expect real improvement. The city more actively alerts neighbours of sewage spills and bypasses. Millions of dollars are being invested in infrastructure upgrades.
Much of this is citizen-led. The popularity of the Water Access Group’s shoreline events shows that Kingstonians want to get back to the water. In 2014, the City responded with a Waterfront Master Plan. Now they need your feedback to make it a success.
Kingston, Waterkeeper’s final challenge is for you to share your favourite place on Kingston’s shoreline. Tell us the name of the one place that means something special to you. Share it on Twitter with #YGKwaterfront. By documenting the many ways people use and love our shared shoreline, you’re helping protect it.
You can take it one step further and join the the discussion on Facebook. In the fall, be a true participant in shaping Kingston’s future. Attend the City’s public feedback meetings (2015’s Summer and Fall meetings have yet to be posted).
The shoreline is yours to care for. Don’t let history repeat itself. This is your opportunity to help design this central piece for your community. Hope you step up, YGK. Good luck and have a great summer!
Join us in completing this week’s #ygkchallenge by liking it on Facebook and/or re-Tweeting it on Twitter. By liking and sharing, you’re not only committing to doing something great, but you’re also helping us spread the word and hopefully encouraging others to participate.
Submitted to Kingstonist’s Community Soapbox by Ruby Pajares for Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. Find out more about Waterkeeper’s efforts to protect your Lake Ontario here. Photo Credit to Paul Wash.