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Trillium Renovations at Waupoos 2018-2019

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Over the fall and winter months when the Farm would typically be a little quieter, many upgrades and improvements were made thanks to funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Plumbing upgrades in the cottages were completed. These included new shower stalls in several cottages and plenty of plumbing improvements and realignments we don’t see but truly appreciate!

New insulation and “skirting” has been added around the bottom of the cottages and Cottage 7 received a much needed new foundation and insulation. However, the early start to winter 2018-19 made for less than ideal working conditions!

 

The farmhouse was also a hub of activity. New windows and doors were installed by Manotick Windows and Doors. What a difference they have made! Our Ontario Trillium Foundation grant allowed us to remove and replace the original attic insulation.

 

Inside the farmhouse, a new floor beam was added under the north side and the main floor was levelled – no easy task! The kitchen received a cosmetic update. After new flooring on the main level, paint and many, many hours of work, the farmhouse was transformed!

In the true Waupoos tradition, many volunteers contributed to this project. Individuals and various groups shared their time and talents.  They painted, cleaned and decorated! Our sincere thanks to each and every one! We could not have done this without you!

The north side of the farmhouse was ready just in the nick of time for the arrival of our first host family of the summer on July 1st.

Check out the transformation below!

Spring is sprung at Waupoos!

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Spring is sprung at Waupoos! The grounds are looking great. The buds on the trees are making their way out despite the below seasonal temperatures and the rain every second day. Several raised garden beds behind the farmhouse have been planted with peas, tomatoes, beans and carrots. We’ve started a “wanderers garden” out behind the barn for things like squash, pumpkins, cucumber and the like – basically anything that needs room to roam. The grass is loving all the rain – we’re so thankful for a long-time friend of the farm taking over the 6-8 hrs of weekly lawn mowing – what a gift his dedication is – as well as his East Coast charm and smile.

 

The flower beds are looking absolutely stunning – thanks almost entirely to our #1 volunteer gardener (you know who you are): she is another treasure to have around. And out beside Cottage 2, there’s plenty of evidence of the creativity and hard work of its new residents.

 

 

We have also adopted several new furry and feathery friends. Almost all the animals on the farm are new and struggling to get to know each other. The baby goats (AKA “kids”) got out the other day and the mother started trying to ram the emu as though he had something to do with it; while the new sheepdog, still, a pup, barked loudly desperate to try herding. Joe has been training Basho (the pup) by going from one farm animal to the next and saying, “Mine”, so he knows what to protect and what to chase away. He’s getting there, but we didn’t trust that he wouldn’t scare baby goats so we didn’t let him off the leash. After a few bounds into the fence instead of through the door, the cute little things bounced back to mommy through the open gate. And all was well again.

Not unlike the animals, the farm residents AKA “Farm Management Team or FMT are new and figuring out life together. From what we’ve heard from past residents, this has been one of the biggest struggles of living at Waupoos – the “living with others” part of the mission. Maybe we’re naive and in the honeymoon phase, but we’ve had little of that. We had our first official(ish) FMT meeting last week, complete with a good deal of laughing, carrying on, and a healthy side of teasing.

Chris and Rachel O’Connor (Cottage 2 new residents) are just finishing unpacking and Father Mark Slatter (Cottage 7 resident) has lived on site since March.  We (Aleisha and Joe Yawney) moved in late August last year. We’ll try and put some healthy community-living practices in place at the outset and bumble along with the necessary ups and downs as we live out the call to “Pray, Work, Play” together and pray God takes care of the rest.

Unlike the traditional model at Waupoos where you have long-term residents teach newcomers the ropes and pass along the culture and the practical knowledge necessary to run the place, Aleisha and Joe pretty much rode by the seat of our pants these past 8 months. There’s been highs and lows, but on the whole, we love it here! It’s telling that Joe is finally feeling inclined to write a blog post – with a full contingent of farm residents, at last, the normal craziness around here seems a lot more manageable.

One subset of our community that is also coming into a new springtime is the Board of Directors. If you are a passionate professional with a heart for the poor, The Waupoos Foundation Board of Directors may be a great fit for you. Between the capital improvements thanks to the Ontario Trillium Foundation grant over the past year, the tremendous community support and increase in volunteers, the new farm residents and potential residents, Waupoos Family Farm is coming into full bloom. It’s a choice time to get on board with a tremendous mission. “A Christ-centered community dedicated to offering low-income families vacation” – can you think of a more wonderful idea to spend yourself for?

We feel blessed to be part of it. We’d love you to join us. So if you or someone you know has professional experience in

  1. fundraising,
  2. policy or grant writing,
  3. working with contractors,
  4. has legal expertise,
  5. is proficient in accounting, etc.

We would love for you to consider joining our board. Now is the ideal time to reach out with the Annual General Meeting less than a week away where the board welcomes new members. The commitment is a minimum of 2 hrs/month for the meeting (you don’t have to be physically present – you can call in) with whatever more time/talent you can muster to help on (a) committee/s between meetings.

Please write to contact@waupoos.com for more information – and use your gifts to help the Waupoos community flourish.

Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant 2018

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Ontario Trillium Foundation logoThe Waupoos Foundation is thrilled to announce that Waupoos Family Farm has been approved for a Capital Grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF)!

Waupoos Board member Patrick Brown, Emcee for the Oct. 20th Trillium Recognition event

 

 

 

Waupoos has received funding for repairs and renovations to our cottages, main lodge, and farmhouse.

With this support, we’ll be able to improve our core infrastructure to better serve families in need and to help OTF support the positive development of children and youth.

This exciting work is already underway and is scheduled to be wrapped up by the end of this year.

Click here to read the media release.

 

 

Waupoos is incredibly grateful to OTF for its generosity. We look forward to sharing the benefits of this project with our visiting families and the extended Waupoos community for years to come.

A Trillium celebration was held on Saturday, October 20th during our Fall Cleanup Day. We welcomed local politicians, MPP Goldie Ghamari, MP Pierre Poilievre, Osgoode Ward Councillor George Darouze and Krista Inrig,  from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

L-R Matias Garcia, MPP Goldie Ghamari, Krista Inrig OTF, George Darouze, Osgoode Ward Councillor

MP Pierre Poilievre addresses the gathering

 

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded more than $120 million to some 700 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.

Catholic Education Week Volunteers May 7-11

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Two local OCSB Catholic schools brought students to Waupoos this week for their “Service Day”.  On this day, students go out into their community to work with seniors and provide donations and/or assistance to local organizations.  Waupoos Farm is fortunate to be one of the beneficiaries again this year!

On Wednesday, May 9th St. Mark High School students came to lend a hand and build the first of two new sheds they are donating to the Farm.

On Thursday, May 10th we welcomed a group of students from St. Joseph High School who helped complete our spring cleanup of the grounds.

Thank you to these students and school staff for your commitment to service and making a difference in your community.  You have certainly made a significant difference at Waupoos Farm!