bayfield breeze issue

The Bayfield BreezeIssue 768 Week 14 Vol 15

March 27, 2024


Issue 768 Week 14 Vol 15
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Work on the sidewalk which runs from the corner of Cameron Street at Hwy 21 to the shopping plaza began on March 6 and was completed on March 15 – two months ahead of schedule. (Photo by Jack Pal)

In 2021, the Bayfield Lions Club embarked on a mission to commemorate their 75th Anniversary by identifying a spectrum of projects aimed at enhancing the community’s infrastructure and safety. Among these initiatives was the ambitious “Sidewalk to Somewhere” project, aimed at providing a safe accessible pedestrian pathway along Hwy 21 to the Foodland Plaza.

With an allocation of $10,000 for the sidewalk, the Bayfield Lions Club’s dedication and collaborative spirit has brought this vision to fruition. Thanks to the concerted efforts of all involved, the sidewalk construction has been completed two months earlier than anticipated, eliciting joy and relief throughout the community.

Initially planning for a stone dust pathway along private property, the Lions Club encountered challenges that prompted them to explore an alternative route. Upon engaging with the Ministry of Transportation and the Municipality of Bluewater, a new vision for the project began to take shape. Collaborating closely with Municipal staff, fresh plans were developed for the “Sidewalk to Somewhere,” culminating in its inclusion as a 2022 Capital Works project.

Realizing the need for additional resources to fully realize their vision, the Lions Club sought support from various partners. Skyline Retail Real Estate, the Property owners of Foodland, generously contributed $5,000, and a pro-bono donation was provided by B.M. Ross and Associates Ltd. (BM Ross).  Bluewater applied for and was awarded a federal grant further reducing the capital funds needed by the Municipality to complete the $63,000 project.

“The success of the ‘Sidewalk to Somewhere’ project stands as a testament to the power of collaboration and community spirit,” remarked Ian Matthew, president of the Bayfield Lions Club. “We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our partners  whose unwavering dedication made this endeavor possible. This sidewalk not only enhances pedestrian safety but also fosters connectivity within our community.”

When the ribbon is cut and the “Sidewalk to Somewhere” officially opens, the Bayfield Lions Club and the Municipality of Bluewater invite the community to join them in celebrating this monumental achievement. Together, they stride towards a safer, more vibrant future for Bayfield and its residents.


This coming Sunday, March 31 is the date for the Bayfield Optimist Club’s Easter Egg Hunt in Clan Gregor Square. Hopefully the weather forecast will be as nice as it was in this photo taken at the hunt in 2023. (Photo by Melody Falconer-Pounder)

Chocolate loving youngsters need to circle Sunday, March 31st on their adult’s day planners as that is the date for the Easter Egg Hunt hosted by the Bayfield Optimist Club!

Approximately four thousand molded, chocolate Easter eggs, will be tossed on the lawn in Clan Gregor Square for the annual event. Children will be invited to scramble for the eggs starting precisely at 1 p.m.

Those youngsters who participate in the event are reminded to bring a container to collect their chocolate treasures in and remember the hunt happens very quickly so be sure to be on time.


Warm Maple syrup provided by Rick and Rusty Schilbe was ladled on the hot fluffy pancakes and sausage by volunteers at the food table during the event held in 2023. (Photo by Melody Falconer-Pounder)

On Saturday, Apr. 6, it will be pancake breakfast time!

Volunteers with, and friends of, Trinity St James Anglican Church, are joining together to host The 12th Pancake ‘N Sausage Brunch and Schilbe Sugar Bush Tour will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at Pine Lake Campground.

On the menu for brunch will be genuine Maple syrup poured over hot pancakes and sausage accompanied by coffee, tea and juice.

For those who can’t get enough of the sweet stuff Rick and Rusty Schilbe’s Maple Syrup will be available for purchase. Folks will also be able to purchase a box or two of Classic Girl Guide Cookies as members of Bayfield Guiding will be in attendance as well.

Before or after partaking in the brunch served in the Campground’s Recreation Hall, people can hop on a wagon for a short tractor ride from the campground through Rick and Rusty Schilbe’s Sugar Bush to the shanty. Once at their destination they will see first hand how Maple Syrup is produced.

Tickets will be sold at the door: $12 for adults, $6 for children under 12; and preschoolers free.

The Pancake Brunch is the first fundraiser for the Community Committee in the support of the soon to be renamed Parish Hall at Trinity St. James Anglican Church in Bayfield. All proceeds will be used to support the TSJ Hall and the work of the operating committee.

Pine Lake Campground is located at 77794 Orchard Line, Bayfield.


The third annual Candlelight Memorial Walk supporting Huron Hospice brings to light not just candles in memory of loved ones, but also the tremendous contribution of local volunteers with their gifts and talents.

“Every aspect of this year’s Candlelight Walk pays homage to the talents and offerings so many volunteers provide to the Huron Hospice to brighten the experience for residents and their families,” said event organizer Roger Mather.

“One element is the gift of music. This year we welcome the Solace Choir, who regularly visit the Hospice by invitation of guests. The Solace Choir describes itself as a group of ordinary people who love to sing and bring the gift of song and harmony to the bedside of those who are palliative, along with their friends and family. During the Candlelight Walk, the Solace Choir will be present on the trail offering their harmonies. We are also honored to have members of the Clinton Legion Pipe Band lead the procession and are thankful for their visits to Huron Hospice. They set the tone for the evening as we reflect on the memories of loved ones.”

Like the Solace Choir and the Clinton Legion Pipe Band, other volunteer contributions are felt first-hand at the bedside. Maddie Graham, both an event and hospice volunteer, acknowledges her interest is founded upon both her academic studies in health and ageing, as well as a passion for non-profits.

“The end of life is a difficult time for both individuals and their families. Being there to support them in any way is crucial. The most rewarding aspect is knowing that every contribution, no matter how big or small, goes towards making residents more comfortable during their time at Bender House,” said Graham.

For Sharon Jerome, a visit to a Huron Hospice booth at a local event drew her interest as a volunteer.

“I have always had a passion for helping others. Following the death of family members, the option to have them in a home setting was much more appealing than a clinical setting,” shared Jerome. “When I leave at the end of a shift, it’s rewarding to know that I have helped even one resident or family member have an opportunity to share what they hold dear to them. It’s an honor to be accepted into their lives and to be trusted with their sacred sharing.”

Both Maddie and Sharon echo a common observation. They both see up close the effect of the caring and compassionate connections between hospice staff and residents and their families. It’s more than providing medical care. It’s about taking a holistic approach and providing comfort to each individual that comes to Bender House.

Huron Hospice invites families and friends to remember loved ones who have passed by donating to light a memorial candle that will line the Taylor Trail by Varna’s Community Centre. Individuals may donate at 2024 Candlelight Memorial Walk — Huron Hospice online. Funds raised will be directed to Huron Hospice’s capital campaign to expand to a six-bed hospice facility.

The event will take place on Saturday, Apr. 6, at 7 p.m. at the Taylor Trail at 38572 Mill Road, Varna. In case of inclement weather, the event will occur on Sunday, Apr. 7.


Nikki Andrew and Jen Pate took part in the Bayfield Beach Hike for World Water Day on March 23.

The Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA) hosted a Bayfield Beach Hike on Saturday, March 23 and the day proved to be cold and bright. An enthusiastic group joined “Love Your Greats” founders Jen Pate and Shaun Henry for a walk along Bayfield’s North Beach in honor of World Water Day.  The group collected trash along the shoreline as they walked.

And now the BRVTA membership looks forward to more hiking and cleaning up in April.

The BRVTA will offer a special Interactive Family Hike called “Secrets of the Woods” on Saturday, Apr. 20 at 1p.m.  People are invited to join them to discover hidden wonders in the woods and riverbank of the Bayfield Sawmill Trail.

Environmental educators Michele Martin and Janneke Vorsteveld will guide hikers of all ages in searching for the small creatures and plants to be found on this 2 km trail through forests, along the Bayfield River, and across wetlands.

All are welcome; families with children ages five and up are especially encouraged. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. The hike duration will be about 90 minutes.  All hikes are free and open to the public with no pre-registration necessary.

Hikers are asked to meet and park on the north side of Sawmill Road.  From Hwy. 21, just north of the Bayfield bridge, turn east on Old River Road. Proceed .5 km and turn right at Sawmill Road. The trail entrance is at the end of this short cul-de-sac.  A map can be found at Sawmill Trail.

For more information contact Ralph Blasting at or 519 515-3205.

The BRVTA will also host their 10th Annual Earth Day Village Cleanup on Monday, Apr. 22.

Participants are asked to meet at the gazebo in Clan Gregor Square at 10 a.m. to join in this annual spring litter collection in honor of Earth Day.

Local groups, businesses and individual citizens are invited to check in and choose a route from the village map. The Bayfield Trails Team will provide garbage bags. People will then go for a walk in their assigned area picking up litter. Bags can be returned to Clan Gregor Square for disposal. Participants are asked to wear bright colored clothing and gloves.


Jinx (Submitted photo)

Not every feline rescued still has the “kitten factor” but just like this week’s featured fellow they still have lots of love to give when loved in return.

Jinx is the Adopt a BFF cat of the week.

“This guy is a distinguished older feline, he came to BFF so we could ensure that he finds his forever home and we will!” explained Deb Penhale, representing BFF.

Jinx was born on Nov. 2nd, 2014. According to Penhale, he acts like a typical nine year-old, he enjoys his food and loves long naps on his comfy bed.  He also really loves one-on-one attention and will ask for it from the Rescue volunteers.

People may be asking themselves, “‘What happened to his ears?”

“We see it all with these ‘discarded’ felines that we rescue,” said Penhale. “He obviously had a hard life in this cruel old world. He showed up at a farm one day and it appeared that he suffered from frostbite and that would explain his cute little ears. These poor felines also suffer from all kinds of health issues when there is no human intervention!”

Jinx has had dental surgery, been neutered and brought up to date with vaccines and is now looking for a safe, warm household to call his own.

“Come and meet Jinx and we are sure you will fall in love!” said Penhale.

Jinx is a reminder that ensuring these cats are happy and healthy comes at a financial cost.

Financial donations may be sent via E-transfer to or mailed to P.O. Box 33, Bayfield, ON, N0M 1G0. The adoption fee is $250. Adopted cats are vetted, shots are up-to-date and they are also spayed or neutered.


On Thursday, March 28, the Bayfield Branch Library will host “Cinephile Connections” offering the movie “Ordinary Love”, from 2019, it is an extraordinary look at the lives of a middle-aged couple in the midst of the wife’s breast cancer diagnosis. The movie shall commence at 3:15 p.m.

Cinephile Connections is intended as an adult program because the films shown may include mature themes. Those who watch this classic film are invited to stay and chat about it after the viewing. The program is sponsored by the Friends of the Bayfield Library.

Movie-goers are asked to register by contacting the library at 519 565-2886 or via email at

The Bayfield Branch Library is located at 18 Main Street North in the village.


A Taoist Tai Chi® arts Open House and first introductory session will be held on Apr. 8 at the Bayfield Community Centre.

The session will begin at 1:30 p.m.

Develop a mind that is dynamic yet clear and calm and a spirit that is resilient yet light and peaceful. Taoist Tai Chi® practice is a moving meditation that reduces stress and helps people find joy. Physically it will make individuals more energetic, balanced, strong and supple.

Please call Doug at 519 565-5187 for more information.


The Bayfield Historical Society will hold its annual meeting on Apr. 15 at the Bayfield Lions Club building.

The business portion will start at 11 a.m. and conclude with a short presentation by guest speaker Ben Woodward, a University of Waterloo student who has been studying the history of lake levels and bluff erosion between Grand Bend and Goderich. A light lunch will follow.

Only paid-up members can vote on BHS business. BHS membership runs from January to December; people are encouraged to renew (or sign up) before the end of February. The membership fees are as follows: individual $20 or family $30. Cheques can be sent to the Bayfield Historical Society, 20 Main Street North, Bayfield, ON, N0M 1G0; or e-transfer to


Spring is in the air and this often gets people thinking about their garden.  Communities in Bloom has announced that their color of the year is orange, so for those who choose to support the theme, this color is sure to brighten up people’s flowerpots.

The Bayfield Garden Club (BGC) has another exciting year planned with several garden tours and speakers.  Purchasing a $10 membership will provide people a discount at most garden centres…as well as helping to beautify the village.  The BCG maintains several gardens in town and is now looking for more volunteers. Anyone who feels they could spare an hour or two a week to assist, is asked to please call Lori Hill at 519 565-5278.

Stay tuned to the Bayfield Breeze for more information about the BGC coming soon.


Trinity St. James Anglican Church will be transitioning to a Chapel of Ease on Apr. 15. The Parish Hall will be renamed the TSJ Hall and will continue its role in providing space for village groups and events. Its operation will be overseen by a community committee. (Photo by Melody Falconer-Pounder)

The congregation of Trinity St. James Anglican Church invites those in the community to worship with them on Wednesdays and Sundays

Wednesday services are held starting at 10:30 a.m. while Sunday services begin at 11 a.m.

It is Holy Week at Trinity St. James with three special services on the schedule: Maundy Thursday, March 28 at 6 p.m.; Good Friday, March 29, 2 p.m. and Easter Sunday, March 31 at 11 a.m. All in the community or those visiting for the holiday are most welcome to attend.

Over the past year the public was invited by the congregation of Trinity St James Anglican Church to help them reimagine their place in the community. The reimagining continues with the church transitioning to a Chapel of Ease as of Apr. 15. Although regular Sunday services will cease at Trinity St James, it is not closing! The chapel will be hosting special services throughout the year as well as still being available for family events such as weddings and funerals. The Parish Hall will be evolving into a space run by a Community Committee and its name will change with the times as well becoming known as the TSJ Hall. Another chapter in the life of the 175 year old village church will soon begin!

Regular weekly services at Trinity St. James will conclude after Wednesday, Apr. 10 and Sunday, Apr. 14 respectively. All are welcome to join in these times of reflection and celebration.

Trinity St. James Anglican church is located at 10 Keith Crescent in Bayfield.


On Sunday, March 24, Knox Presbyterian Church in Bayfield welcomed musical guest Roy Price, soloist. Those in attendance greatly appreciated his contribution to the service and send thanks to him for sharing his talent.

As Holy Week has arrived all are invited to attend a Good Friday service at Knox starting at 11 a.m. on March 29. The Easter Sunday service will be held on March 31st also at 11 a.m.

Knox Bayfield generally holds their Book Study on Mondays at noon (excluding holidays) on the lower level of the church. The reading is a launching point for their discussions.

Their current focus is “Shalom Sistas – Living Wholeheartedly in a Brokenhearted World” by Osheta Moore. All are welcome to join. For those who wish to take part, the book can be purchased at: The Village Bookshop.

Members of the congregation are currently gathering items for re-use and upcycling. Upcycling takes something no longer in use and gives it a second life with new functions, for example, the outer milk bag can be upcycled into sleeping mats. These mats are distributed to people in need throughout the world. Knox Bayfield gathers clean outer milk bags that have been previously washed and dried, used stamps, empty egg cartons and eyeglasses.  Items can be dropped off at the church from 10 a.m, to  2 p.m. on Sunday and Monday (excluding holidays). People’s generous contributions are warmly accepted and will change lives.

Prayer requests can be shared in several ways. Please contact the minister by emailing for more information.

Knox Presbyterian Church Bayfield is located at 2 Bayfield Main Street North. To learn more visit or follow them on YouTube – Knox, Bayfield.


St. Andrew’s United Church will hold a Covenanting Service for St Andrew’s part-time minister, Rev. Dr. Sheila Macgregor on Sunday, April 21 following the church service with lunch to follow.


Godfrey Heathcote (Submitted photo)

The community will no doubt be saddened to learn of the death of a resident who despite his brief tenure in Bayfield embraced the lifestyle whole-heartedly becoming a strong thread in the village tapestry. His presence shall be missed.

(John) Godfrey Heathcote, M.A., M.B. B.Chir., Ph.D., FRCPC, died at the age of 73 years on Wednesday, March 20, at his home in Bayfield. He was born on Aug. 19, 1950 in St. Helens, Lancashire, England, the only son of John G. and Ethel Heathcote.

Predeceased by both parents, he is survived by, Jackelyn, his wife of 43 years, his daughters, Victoria (Daryl) of London, ON, Joanna (James) of Kemptville, ON and Alexandra (Nick) of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, together with three granddaughters, Claire, Anna and Madison.

Educated at West Park Catholic Grammar School, St. Helens, St. John’s College, Cambridge University and University College Hospital, London, Godfrey enjoyed a long academic career spanning metabolic medicine, connective tissue biochemistry, anatomical pathology and medical laboratory administration. He was an internationally recognised expert in the pathology and developmental biology of the eye and served as Chairman of the Canadian Ophthalmic Pathology Society (1999-2014) and President of the British Association for Ophthalmic Pathology (2016-2019). He was Chairman of the Pathology Departments at Western (1996-2000) and Dalhousie Universities (2004-2017) and later Senior Medical Director of the Provincial Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Program in Nova Scotia.

He and Jackelyn retired to Bayfield in 2019, where Godfrey became immersed in village life, serving as Secretary of the Bayfield Historical Society and Warden of Trinity St. James Anglican Church. He approached his death with equanimity, secure in the love of his family and his deeply rooted Anglo-Catholic faith.

The Funeral Service was held at Trinity St. James Anglican Church, 10 Keith Crescent, Bayfield on Tuesday, March 26.

In lieu of flowers, charitable donations to the Bayfield Forgotten Felines or the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides would be appreciated.


The “Coffee & Chat” group meets in the Bayfield Library Meeting Room every Tuesday. The Friends of Bayfield Library (FOBL) extend a warm welcome to all who would like to join in.

The program, which runs from 2-3:30 p.m., will continue until the end of June 2024.

Participants can enjoy a hot cup of coffee while engaging in conversation with other community members.  The conversation is neutral and inclusive with an endless list of interesting topics for discussion!

This is a great way for newcomers to meet new people, learn about the village, and share ideas. Seasoned villagers are also very welcome. There is no need to register for this program. Just show up and be prepared for some lively discussion!


Mah Jongg is now being played at the Bayfield Branch Library on the first and third Wednesday of the month.

Participants are asked to arrive at 12:45 p.m.

All are welcome to take part in this Rummy type game that is played with tiles instead of cards. Instructions are always available.

For more information please email Pat Lewington at


Come and get creative with a variety of fun craft supplies on Tuesday afternoons at the Bayfield Branch Library.

“Crafternoons” will be held for one hour starting at 4:30 p.m.

This is a drop-in program with no registration required – just show up and start crafting!


Attention Bridge playing enthusiasts the cost to attend an afternoon at the Bayfield Bridge Club has been reduced by half – the cost to join the fun is now just $2.

That is quite a bargain that includes coffee, tea and a yummy snack plus a prize for both the winner and the loser.

Players do not need to attend with a partner to participate in these “drop-in” sessions. New people are invited to join in this great opportunity to make new friends as partners are switched after every four hands. There are weekly reviews on bidding responses at the beginning of each session for example, responses to a No Trump open etc.

The games are played on Wednesday afternoons at the Bayfield Lions’ Community Building located at 6 Municipal Road.  The cards are shuffled at 1 p.m.  All levels of players are welcome to take part in these games that are played year-round.


At left in photo, constituency assistant Bill Strong, on behalf of Ben Lobb, MP, Huron-Bruce, presents a certificate of recognition scroll to Conservationist of the Year Award winners Michael and Lindsay Groot. Also shown in photo are Marissa Vaughan, chair of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) Board of Directors and ABCA Forestry and Land Stewardship Specialist Ian Jean. Certificates of recognition were also presented to the Groot family on behalf of Lisa Thompson, MPP, Huron-Bruce; Lianne Rood, MP, Lambton-Kent-Middlesex; John Nater, MP, Perth-Wellington; and Matthew Rae, MPP, Perth-Wellington. (Submitted photos)

Michael and Lindsay Groot and family are winners of the Conservationist of the Year Award. Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) presented the award, to the Crediton-area family, at the Partner Appreciation Evening, on March 21, at Ironwood Golf Club.

Marissa Vaughan is Chair of ABCA. She presented a locally handcrafted award to this year’s winners. A donation will also be made, in recognition, towards a tree and plaque at a Commemorative Woods site.

The ABCA Chair thanked the Groot family for the work they have done at their farm, Wholesome Pastures, to plant trees, to use no-till crop management and cover crops to reduce runoff and erosion and to build soil health, and to make other improvements and innovations that benefit their farm operation and watershed resources.

“On behalf of Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority and its Board of Directors, and staff, I would like to thank Michael, Lindsay, and the entire Groot family, for their dedication, over many years, to enhance watershed resources and build a brighter future,” said Vaughan.

She praised the vision and commitment of the Groot family and said, “the improvements that are happening in our watershed simply could not happen without the dedication and commitment of landowners and watershed stewards like Michael and Lindsay Groot and their family.”

ABCA Forestry and Land Stewardship Specialist, Ian Jean, introduced the award winners, “Through no-till cropping, cover cropping, and rotational grazing, the Groot family is building soil organic matter, and improving the soil health.”

Why are healthy soils important?

“On our working landscape, healthy soils are extremely important to healthy water and healthy watersheds,” he said. “(Healthy Soils) hold more water, they filter more water. Of course, there are other benefits to growing food and raising livestock.”

Lindsay and Michael Groot and family, of the Crediton area, were the winners of the Conservationist of the Year Award. They are shown here at Ironwood Golf Club, on March 21, where they received their locally handcrafted woodwork award at Ausable Bayfield Conservation’s Partner Appreciation Evening.

He also praised the Groot family for sharing information with peers in the industry through tours at the farm and by speaking at workshops.

“I’m not sure how they do it all, but I’m sure it’s because of their passion for the environment and their community and I’m so glad we’re able to recognize their efforts,” he said.

In accepting the award, Michael Groot said, “it is very humbling to be added to that list of esteemed winners over the past 41 years.”

He thanked his family for their support. He also thanked the organizations that have helped them to complete stewardship projects that protect soil and water.

The Groot family received congratulatory certificate of recognition scrolls presented on behalf of: Ben Lobb, MP, Huron-Bruce; Lisa Thompson, MPP, Huron-Bruce; Lianne Rood, MP, Lambton-Kent-Middlesex; John Nater, MP, Perth-Wellington; and Matthew Rae, MPP, Perth-Wellington.

Michael and Lindsay and family have planted thousands of trees. They have improved the management of runoff and erosion and created habitat for wildlife. They have established about 5.5 kilometres of new windbreaks on three farm properties. They have moved from conventional tillage to no-till. Through no-till crop management, they help to keep soil undisturbed in order to keep erosion in check and keep soil structure and root systems intact. They have made extensive use of cover crops as well. The Groot family works to maintain vegetative cover year-round and to practise crop rotation and they also rotate livestock pasturing. At their farm, Wholesome Pastures, they have established vegetated fence lines that act as windbreaks and slow down the travel of water traveling between fields to reduce runoff and erosion. They are advocates of including diverse plant species in the trees and shrubs they incorporate into shelterbelt plantings.

They planted Spruce and Cedar trees on the home farm in 2017 to establish a shelterbelt around farm buildings and a buffer along Ryan Drain. In 2018, they planted 200 Spruce trees as a field windbreak. In 2020, they planted 280 Conifers to establish a multi-species windbreak including Cedar, Pine and Spruce, and retaining the natural hardwoods in the fence line for enhanced biodiversity. In 2023, they planted 1,680 tree and shrub seedlings at their three farms south of Crediton. These trees created about four kilometres of tree lines and added wind protection and helped to manage water running off of land and to prevent erosion. There were more than 12 different tree species incorporated into windbreaks to improve overall biodiversity. Michael has presented to peers, at workshops, about cover crops and soil health.

South Huron District High School (SHDHS) teacher Amanda Keller, and some of her Eco Exeter students: Ryan Marsh, Liam Buckman, Sophia Buckman, Bria McCann and Aaron Edwards presented at the Partner Appreciation Evening. The topic of their presentation was: “Away from pollution, towards solutions: Keeping plastics and other contaminants out of our water”.

Two Years of Service Awards were also given out during the evening. Ray Chartrand, ABCA Vice Chair and a director of the board, received a Years of Service Award for nine years of service on the board of directors. Brian Horner, former ABCA General Manager, now Financial Services Supervisor, received a Years of Service Award for 15 years of service at ABCA.


Eco Exeter students, from South Huron District High School (SHDHS), presented, on the topic of “Away from pollution, towards solutions: Keeping plastics and other contaminants out of our water”, at Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority’s (ABCA) Partner Appreciation Evening, at Ironwood Golf Club, on March 21. Shown in photo, from l-r, are: SHDHS teacher Amanda Keller; and students, Sophia Buckman, Aaron Edwards, Bria McCann, Ryan Marsh, Eco Exeter president; and Liam Buckman, Eco Exeter Vice-President. To thank Eco Exeter for having presented, ABCA presented the students with a Native Species Plant Guide and a certificate announcing that 25 trees will be planted, through Carbon Footprints to Forests, in recognition of their presentation. Those trees, over their lifetimes, can capture 8.13 tonnes of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) per year. (Submitted photos)

Students from Eco Exeter, at South Huron District High School (SHDHS), presented to more than 60 people at Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority’s (ABCA) Partner Appreciation Evening, at Ironwood Golf Club, on March 21.

Their topic was “Away from pollution, towards solutions: Keeping plastics and other contaminants out of our water”. Presenting were SHDHS teacher Amanda Keller and students: Ryan Marsh, Grade 12, Eco Exeter President; Liam Buckman, Grade 12, Vice-President; Sophia Buckman, Grade 11, Secretary-Treasurer; Bria McCann, Grade 11, Social Media Representative; and Aaron Edwards,Grade 11.

The world is producing about 430 million tonnes of plastic per year and two thirds of that is used for a short period of time, according to the students, citing a 2023 report from the United Nations. There is the equivalent of more than 2,000 garbage trucks full of plastic dumped, every day, into Earth’s rivers, lakes and oceans. The students told the crowd how only a small percentage of plastic (less than nine per cent) is recycled after losses and almost half of plastic waste ends up in landfills. Plastic pollution affects the health of people and animals, the students said. Even in Lake Huron, they said, plastic remnants have been found in the digestive systems of different species.

Plastic is made from fossil fuels and it contributes to climate change, the students said. They cite a Center for International Environmental Law report that says, “…plastic contributes to greenhouse gas emissions at every stage of its lifecycle, from its production to its refining and the way it is managed as a waste product.”

The students urged people to find ways, such as reusable mugs, to reduce the need for more single-use plastic. The students are continuing their local work with upcoming events such as a community cleanup; educational sessions at the Eco Conference of Avon Maitland District School Board; and other future pollution prevention initiatives.

Eco Exeter was formed in 2019. Since then, the students have reached a wide audience with a message about decreasing use of single-use plastics in order to reduce plastic, microplastic and nano-plastic pollution in the Great Lakes and the world’s oceans. There are more than 20 students in Eco Exeter. The students are featured in a documentary film called “Plastic People”. These young people are generous with their time, hosting events in the community to encourage reusable bags and reusable water bottles instead of disposable, single-use plastic. They have hosted events such as a clothes swap to encourage recycling of clothes, accessories, and electronics. In 2022, the students donated to local tree plantings. Their $2,000 donation supported work to plant thousands of tree seedlings on private lands and at Triebner Tract near the Hay Swamp wetland complex northwest of Exeter. They took part in a planting day at the property and helped to plant 500 plants and shrubs.

Ryan Marsh, president of Eco Exeter at South Huron District High School (SHDHS), presents, at the Partner Appreciation Evening, about how Eco Exeter renewed its work, to reduce pollution such as single-use plastics, at school and in the community, following the pandemic.

The students have taken part in environmental events, such as County of Huron sustainability events, to provide a youth perspective and to encourage action. The students have shared their pollution-reduction message in local media, at a climate change forum, as a delegation to council, at local businesses and in the community. They have also helped to make changes in their own school to reduce plastic waste and pollution.

The Eco Exeter students were nominated, in 2019, for the Community Advancement Award at the South Huron Business and Community Excellence Awards. The Municipality of South Huron recognized the contributions, to the community, of Eco Exeter, with an award at a council meeting in January of 2024.

Mari Veliz, Healthy Watersheds manager with ABCA, introduced the students. She underlined the importance of conservation education and stressed it is important to “listen to our youth” and to hear “what’s important to them.” She said ABCA first invited the Eco Exeter students to present at the March event in 2020. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, forcing the cancellation of the event for three years. ABCA was pleased to re-extend the invitation to Eco Exeter, in 2024, to present, and, “I’m very grateful they’ve made the time to come and speak to us tonight.”

Marissa Vaughan is chair of the ABCA Board of Directors. She said the ABCA was honored to welcome the Eco Exeter students.

 “These young people are truly inspiring and they show the promise of the next generation of watershed stewards,” she said.

The students’ presentation was part of ABCAs annual Partner Appreciation Evening. ABCA presented the Conservationist of the Year Award at the event as well as Board and Staff years of service awards. To learn more visit the conservation award web page: Conservationist of the Year.


Pictured from l-r: United Way Perth-Huron Executive Director, Ryan Erb, on stage at the Spirit of Community Celebration with Campaign Co-Chairs Leslie and Rob Edney.

United Way Perth-Huron gathered at the Best Western Plus, Arden Park Hotel to celebrate the spirit of the Perth-Huron community. After a record-setting campaign that raised $2,345,792, it was time to recognize the donors, volunteers and organizations who enable the United Way’s work across the region.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support of our community throughout the campaign,” said United Way Perth-Huron Executive Director, Ryan Erb. “This has been a challenging year for everyone, locally and beyond, with costs for individuals, families and organizations continuing to rise, but donors from across Perth-Huron really stepped up to help support our work. We appreciate the generosity and caring of the place we call home.

“I would also like to thank our outgoing Campaign Co-chairs, Rob and Leslie Edney. They held these roles during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we appreciate the energy and enthusiasm they invested in United Way and building our Perth-Huron communities through a very challenging time.”

“It has been a pleasure and an honor to be able to work with, and cheerlead for, the communities within Perth-Huron,” said Campaign Co-Chair, Rob Edney. “We have met incredible individuals looking to support and advocate for the vulnerable within their communities, as well as championing policies and projects to remove impediments to housing, dispelling stigmas around homelessness and creating a more equitable community in which all citizens have the opportunity to thrive.”

United Way also announced the new campaign co-chairs for the next two years, John Wolfe and Kristin Sainsbury.

United Way Perth-Huron’s fundraising total for the 2023-24 campaign. (Submitted photos)

Guests at the sold-out event enjoyed dinner generously provided by the Hayter family and heard about the positive impact their support has on local lives from speakers including Vicky Parent from Huron Safe Homes for Youth, Meagan Partridge from United Way, Kyle Betts from CMHA Huron Perth and Kathy Vassilakos from United Housing. Executive Director Ryan Erb spoke about building a better community, and performer Kelly Walker also sang.

United Way presented Volunteer Spirit awards to Lee Anne Andriessen, Andrea Bernard, Don Dingwall, Tabitha Fisher, Wendy Haggitt, Susan Moffat and Patricia Smith. Penny’s of Blyth, Festival Hydro and the Huron Perth Catholic District School Board received Community Spirit awards. FIO Automotive Canada topped the list of workplace fundraising campaigns by raising almost $96,000. FIO also provided a dollar-for-dollar corporate match.

United Way would like to thank their event sponsors – Gold: Best Western Plus, and The Arden Park Hotel (the Hayter Family). Silver: Chartwell Anne Hathaway Retirement Residence, Famme & Co., Horizon Solutions, KDB Law, and RE/MAX a-b Realty. Bronze: IATSE Local 357, investStratford, Samsonite, SBS Metals and the Stratford Festival.


The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing more than $1 million through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) to support productivity and growth of businesses in the province’s maple syrup sector.

Lisa Thompson, MPP for Huron-Bruce, is pleased to announce that the Maple Production Improvement Initiative (MPII) is providing up to $55,297 for four local businesses, in Huron-Bruce, to boost the efficiency of their operations.

The initiative will support the purchase and installation of upgraded production equipment for eligible syrup producers that will increase productivity, efficiency and growth, such as reverse osmosis or remote monitoring systems. It will also cover a portion of woodlot management activities, including tree marking and the development of a forest plan, to assist the operation of eligible businesses.

“I am pleased to see the Maple Production Improvement Initiative funding these projects in Huron-Bruce,” said MPP for Huron-Bruce, Lisa Thompson, who is also Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs. “By supporting our maple syrup producers in this way, we’re working to help them tap into their potential to grow their businesses.”

Across the province, the MPII is providing 77 maple syrup producers with cost-shared funding to support a range of activities to enhance their operations.

“Maple syrup is a quintessentially Canadian treat, and this program is designed to expand the size, efficiency and competitiveness of Ontario’s maple syrup sector,” said Thompson. “Through the Maple Production Improvement Initiative we’re working to increase production, supporting specific growth targets laid out in our Grow Ontario Strategy.”

Ontario is Canada’s third-largest maple syrup-producing province, behind Quebec and New Brunswick. In 2022, it produced 4.5 per cent of Canada’s maple syrup or about 2.68 million litres of syrup.

Sustainable CAP is a five-year (2023-2028), $3.5-billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen competitiveness, innovation, and resiliency of the agriculture, agri‐food and agri‐based products sector. This includes $1 billion in federal programs and activities and a $2.5 billion commitment cost-shared 60 per cent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially for programs designed and delivered by the provinces and territories.


The Student Sculpture Garden project recently received the “Rural Excellency Award” from The Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO). Community Improvement Coordinator for the Municipality of Central Huron, Angela Smith accepted the award on behalf of the municipality. (Submitted photo)

It’s time to celebrate! Community members are invited to attend the official launch of the Student Sculpture Garden on Apr. 4 at Millennium Park in Clinton.

The festivities shall begin at 2 p.m.

The Student Sculpture Garden project recently received the “Rural Excellency Award” from The Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO).  All are invited to come see the whimsical and intriguing sculptures that were crafted by area youth.  This project was a great way to introduce youth to the trades.

The Student Sculpture Garden is a display of lighted metal sculptures located in Clinton’s Millennium Park. These sculptures were created by students and will be a beacon of hope, creativity and community for all to see.

Many groups across the community supported the project, including:  Avon Maitland School Board, Huron Perth Catholic District School Board, Cornerstone Schoolhouse, Huron Manufacturing Association, Technical Training Group and First Choice Metal Fab. Inc.

Young people designed, created, and installed the project. During the creation process, students learned about the trades, networked, and explored career options. This project was a great opportunity for students to shine in their community while creating a lasting landmark.

The sculptures should entice visitors to the heart of our downtown, providing more customers for local businesses while showcasing the talents of tradespeople and students. The project will also facilitate the connection of talented and passionate youth with industry professionals who are seeking new workers. The community as a whole should benefit from this wonderful initiative!

Millennium Park is located at 27 Ontario Street in Clinton.


Dr. Mary Fox (Submitted photo)

The transition from hospital to home care can be a difficult experience for both the patient and the caregiver.

On Apr. 9th, starting at noon via ZOOM, a one-hour lecture will be offered exploring that transitional experience. Season 4, Episode 7 of Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health’s (Gateway Virtual Lecture Series event is titled, “Hospital-to-Home Transitional Care Interventions to Support Functioning in Older People in Rural Communities”.

The lecturer is Dr. Mary Fox. She is a Registered Nurse and an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing at York University in Toronto. Her academic research responds to profound social and economic changes affecting healthcare today, such as patients being discharged “quicker and sicker.” This lecture is based on an ongoing research study on interventions to better the physical and cognitive functioning of older patients after a hospital stay. Her previous work has been credited with providing the evidence needed to ‘Make the Case for ACE’ – a function-focused approach to older people’s care and a fundamental pillar of Ontario’s Seniors Strategy.

Panelists that will assist with the knowledge translation of this lecture include: Ann MacLeod (MPH), a Registered Nurse and Professor at Trent University; and Evelyne Durocher (PhD), an Occupational Therapist and Assistant Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University.

To register for the event, visit Gateway’s website at Gateway.


Central Huron Mayor Jim Ginn (left) is shown here with Edge Wood Decor Owner Cindy Scholten at the 2023 market. (Submitted photo)

Event coordinator and owner of Edge Wood Decor Cindy Scholten, is set to launch another market for Huron County coming Saturday, March 30th at the Knights of Columbus Community Hall in Goderich.

Scholten said this will be her third Easter market held in the town.

“I like to change up the theme and shake things up a bit,” said Scholten. “This year’s market is called ‘Peeps N Treats’ and will feature a food truck, live music, all your local vendors and artisans, an Easter Bunny Selfie Stage, a chance to win a $100 cash prize and even a side petting room with chicks and bunnies for the kids. This market is not just focused on children, we have something for everyone in the family.

“The retail side of my business was hurt as a result of the Covid lockdowns, so I leaned on my special event experience to launch markets for other small business owners like myself. It’s important that we promote local business and support our small communities.”

The Peeps N Treats Easter Market will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entry is free.

The Knights of Columbus Community Hall is located at 390 Parsons Court. in Goderich.


The next film presented by The Livery Film Fest is the riveting documentary “500 Days in the Wild” by award-winning Canadian filmmaker, author, photographer and storyteller, Dianne Whelan. It will show on the big screen at the Park Theatre in Goderich on Thursday, March 28.

The Box Office will open at 6:30 p.m. for a 7 p.m. showing.

When Whelan set off to be the first person to travel the entire Trans Canada Trail, the longest trail in the world, she envisioned it would take 500 days. Six years later, she completed the epic 24,000 kilometre, mostly solitary, journey. From east coast to west coast, Atlantic to Arctic to Pacific ocean, she traveled by foot, by bicycle, snowshoe, skis and by canoe.

Whelan is not an extreme athlete, she was in her 50s and recently divorced when she began this journey. She was equipped with five cameras, a drone, her cell phone, GPS, a lighter and a huge desire to get away from it all. Six years later, she has profoundly changed.

Whelan describes her journey as a way to honor the land, the water and to pay respect to the First Nations peoples of Canada. A Haida Gwaii Elder gifted her a feather to accompany her as a reminder to walk lightly upon the earth, a treasure she was later able to return. Whelan weaves humor and intimate moments of reflection with adventure and stories of kindness and generosity she received, not only from friends, but from strangers she met along the way.

Some of the most challenging portions of the trail included paddling more than 8,000 kilometres of lakes and rivers. One infamous section required 168 portages. As Whelan explains, the sections of the journey she most dreaded were the long stretches of open-water canoeing. The journey is gruelling, harrowing, surprising, and exhilarating. She encounters raging forest fires, curious bears, swarms of insects and the Covid-19 Pandemic lockdown.

At times, friends accompanied Whelan for stretches of the trail. She relied on friends and connections for much of her food and supplies. Some Indigenous Elders she met along the journey reminded her Winter was a period of rest, a chance to reflect and make necessary repairs and so she does.

Amidst it all, it is the rolling landscapes, the whispers in the wind, the mountains and the wildlife Whelan captures so eloquently through her lens and storytelling, the audience is reminded how vast and incredibly stunning this country is. Winner of the People’s Choice Award at the Whistler and Victoria Film Festivals and the Grand Prize at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival, this film is highly recommended.

Readers are encouraged to listen to Matt Galloway’s interview with Dianne Whelan on his program “The Current” on CBC radio which aired on Feb. 29. Canadian donations in support of “500 Days in the Wild” can be made through the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society at


The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation (ABCF) is selling 50-50 raffle draw tickets, leading up to the Conservation Dinner, in support of local community projects. There are 1,000 tickets printed and the cash prize could be as high as $5,000 if all tickets are sold. Tickets are $10 each.

Chris Keller, of the Exeter Lions Club, is Chair of the Conservation Dinner Committee.

“Buying 50-50 raffle draw tickets, to raise money for community projects of the Conservation Dinner, is a great way to show support for your community while also having a chance to win a large cash prize,” he said.

The Conservation Dinner is a community fundraiser of the Conservation Foundation, the Exeter Lions Club, and the watershed community. The 50-50 Raffle Draw is to be held during the 34th Conservation Dinner, on Thursday, Apr. 11,  at 9 p.m. at South Huron Recreation Centre in Exeter.

50-50 draw tickets are available now. People can buy their ticket from any Exeter Lions Club or Conservation Dinner Committee member. They can also obtain them at the ABCF in-person or by phone at 519 235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610. Tickets must be sold in Ontario. Net proceeds from the draw are to be donated to local community projects. (Lottery Licence #M835224)

The ABCF office is located at 71108 Morrison Line, east of Exeter, just south of Hwy 83.


The South Huron Medical Centre Walk-in Clinic is open on Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays (except for Christmas Day) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Registration opens at 10:45 a.m. and closes at 1:45 p.m. or earlier if capacity is reached.

No appointment is needed. Please bring your health card.

Remember This

The Huron County Museum is home to thousands of artifacts that illustrate the history of both the rural and urban populations of the area. Space dictates what wonderful curiosities the public regularly gets to see when they visit the museum located at 110 North Street in Goderich. But where there is wifi, there is an opportunity to time-travel with over 6,700 pieces of the museum’s collection now available to view online at

“Remember This” highlights items from the collection of the Huron County Museum and Historic Gaol. Items that have shaped the fabric of the county and the people who have lived here since before the county became the county in 1835 up until more recent times.

As Easter approaches we continue with our tradition of featuring a hat from the Museum’s collection, although this particular featured hat was worn by a local celebrity on a day in July not at an Easter parade…


This is a raffia straw sun hat. It is a silk straw-style hat with a sun-hat shape. It has a layer of straw ribboning in the same material that decorates the brim.

This sun hat was worn by Author Alice Munro on the occasion of the opening of the Alice Munro Literary Garden in Wingham, ON which was held on July 10, 2002. This sun hat was made at Lilliput Hats, a millinery store in Toronto. It was purchased and gifted by the author’s granddaughter for Alice to wear for the occasion.



On Tuesday, March 19, at the Bayfield Town Hall, renowned naturalist and author, Larry Cornelis, helped the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA) and about 50 area residents celebrate “International Day of Forests”.

He took his audience on an environmental journey through time starting when this area was covered by glaciers, to the thousands of years that First Nations people managed the forests and then to the two hundred years of European settlement when the forests were stripped for farming,  construction and firewood. Cornelis then talked about the incredible changes that he’s seen in his lifetime.

Cornelis has made hundreds of presentations to groups that are trying to reconcile their lifestyles with the environmental degradation that has accelerated dramatically in the past 50 years. His message resonated with his audience and reflected the BRVTAs mission to develop and maintain a community trail network that connects people to nature.

Presentations by Larry Cornelis can be found on YouTube by searching “Larry Cornelis”.

NOTE: Organizers of the evening had planned to have some fun with a Forest themed quiz but time did not allow for it so they have graciously shared it with the Bayfield Breeze to test the knowledge of our readership. 


1 / 16

Adding one tree to an open pasture can increase its bird biodiversity from almost zero species to as high as?

2 / 16

Picture a hot, tropical landscape near the equator full of shallow seas during the Devonian period. Birds and invertebrates don't yet exist. Neither does the Atlantic Ocean. Instead, a mountain range the height of the Andes looms over fragile stretches of trees that resemble palms. Where was a 385-million-year-old forest discovered in this American State?

3 / 16

How many known tree species does Earth have? More than: 

4 / 16

In eastern California, there is a Great Basin Bristlecone Pine known as: ___________________ It is considered Earth's oldest living thing. It is 4,853 years old — well established by the time ancient Egyptians built the pyramids at Giza.

5 / 16

Trees didn’t exist for the first  _____________of Earth’s history.

6 / 16

Earth is 4.5 billion years old, and plants may have colonized land as recently as 470 million years ago, most likely mosses and liverworts without deep roots. Vascular plants followed about 420 million years ago, but even for tens of millions of years after that, no plants grew more than about ______________off the ground.

7 / 16

 Before trees, Earth was home to fungi that grew how tall?

8 / 16

Approximately how many mature trees does it take to offset the annual emissions of one person?

9 / 16

What is Ontario’s most common tree?

10 / 16

What is Ontario’s official tree?

11 / 16

The oldest known tree in Ontario is an Eastern White Cedar growing on the cliffs of Lion's Head. This tree germinated in what year?

12 / 16

The oldest hardwood tree in Ontario (and in Canada) is a Black Gum near Niagara Falls. It is more than how many years old? 

13 / 16

Ontario's tallest tree is an Eastern White Pine. How tall is it?

14 / 16

How old is this Eastern White Pine? Is it more than:

15 / 16

Larry Cornelis says if you can only plant one tree what kind of tree should it be? 

16 / 16

Research shows that two hours of forest bathing can: 

  • reduce stress and anxiety 
  • lower heart rate 
  • lower cortisol levels 
  • strengthen the immune system 
  • reduce depression 
  • enhance well-being 
  • increase empathy 
  • stimulate creative thinking 

Your score is

The average score is 44%




Tired surfer at sunset...By EJ Bauer

Tired surfer at sunset…By EJ Bauer

Submit Your photo

Email your photo in Jpeg format to with the subject line Subscriber Photo of the Week. or…Upload your photo to Flickr.

I am looking for the Bayfield that is a delight to the eye – please share photos with a touch of whimsy, beauty, humor or a sense of fun. If you are to include people in your photos be sure to have their permission to publish their picture on-line and also send in their names and where they are from. And don’t forget to tell me who took the photo for proper credit to be issued.


Image of Melody Falconer-Pounder


Melody Falconer-Pounder

Godfrey Heathcote would undoubtedly not want me to write about him this week. May I send heaven bound apologies for what I am about to share with regards to this man who died on March 20.

Godfrey and I shared a rather strong affinity for Trinity St. James Anglican Church. We were first acquainted as the pandemic ebbed and flowed. He, and his wife Jackie, quickly became a part of my chosen faith family. And then when we all found ourselves having to navigate the challenges faced by Trinity St James, we worked together, with others, to determine the path in which the church would take into the future; a journey he knew he would likely not be present for.

In those times I grew to respect him greatly. He was more sensible and pragmatic than I will ever be but his sense of humor would always shine through when it was most needed.

Yesterday morning our beloved little church was filled to the brim with family, friends and those in the community that had also in a short period of time come to know and respect him as well. The service, crafted by Godfrey, was a fitting tribute with no errors or omissions.

Go now in peace, my friend. – Melody

Ideas and contributions to the Bayfield Breeze are always welcome.
Deadlines for submissions are Sundays at 4 p.m.