Is this email not displaying correctly? Try the web version.



Headwaters Communities in Action

Happy Holidays From Headwaters Communities In Action

On behalf of our Leadership Committee, work groups and countless volunteers, we send warm wishes for a safe and happy holiday to all the citizens of all the communities in the Headwaters Region. Let us all enjoy this special time with family, neighbours and visitors from away, and rejoice in living in such a wonderful part of the world.

In This Issue

Brainstorm for 2016

As we look back on 2015 and forward to the year ahead, it's very exciting to know that we have such a great foundation of public opinion, ideas and engaged people to work with. Thanks to all of you who participated in the productive community conversations we've held throughout the year, as well as our Community Well Being Survey.

In particular, at this time, we thank those who helped brainstorm at our HCIA Annual General Meeting. Groups discussed how to solve a key issue in each of four priority areas: Local Food, Trails & Active Living, Economic Well-Being/Poverty Reduction and Community Safety. Here are some of the bubbling ideas around community engagements and increasing a sense of community:

  • Have walking trails, interpretive signs, more safety workshops, bike mechanic workshops;
  • One community with high male unemployment implemented a men's shed to build a community space around shared ideas like a craft guild, so that men could gather around shared interests;
  • Spread the idea of block communities, support block parties or porch parties;
  • Dufferin Grove is a park in Toronto where a stone oven to bake bread was installed for the community to use;
  • Check stats with regards to relationship between mental illness and feelings of community safety outside - this could be an important part of community well-being.

Housing and Poverty Forum Brings Light to Poverty in Dufferin

Poor man on a bench

Thank you to all who participated in (presented and attended) the Poverty and Housing Forum on Nov 24. By all accounts the event accomplished what it set out to do: to raise awareness of the issue of poverty and its presence in Dufferin County, and to bring key people together who want to work collaboratively on solutions and strategies.

The forum was successful at drawing in a diverse range of community members - service organizations, local business, education and municipal government and individuals to hear about local lived experience with poverty and poverty reduction initiatives in surrounding communities.

Presentations throughout the day provided a variety of lenses to the issues and attendees were inspired by stories of action and success in other communities as well as personal stories of hardship. Key presenters recounted how they arrived in situations of need, thereby putting faces and real examples to poverty. The audience was both tested and informed on not just the struggles, but also the far reaching health impacts and cost to community of not being proactive.

The day was an important step forward in recognizing poverty within Dufferin County, its impacts and taking a reading on the desire and need to move into action for the well being of our community.

Those who responded high on the wheel of involvement will be invited to a meeting early in the new year. Everyone who attended will be receiving a qualitative summary of the event early in the new year as well.

The presentations from the forum:

It will be exciting to watch a Dufferin Poverty Reduction Strategy begin to take shape with the striking of a Poverty Reduction Steering Committee and eventual Task Force.

HFFA Food File

The HFFA HUB is hard at work on a Headwaters Food Charter. In 2016 we will be conducting community conversations and feedback sessions to gather input from all facets of the community. Food Charters are documents that not only create a vision for the community, but can help guide food policy. The HFFA Food Charter aims to be strategic and action oriented.

The Farm to School programs are looking forward to an expansion of scope and activities in 2016 and beyond, adding more opportunities for family-focused food education, offering more classroom workshops and launching the Local Food Club in more schools throughout Headwaters. If you would like to express interest on behalf of a school, please write to

Stay tuned for more on these exciting local food initiatives. Check out this great holiday cooking blog from Doreen Henderson, Registered Dietitian with Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health and Secretary of HFFA’s Education, Literacy and Access committee.

Holiday Cooking Blog

HCIA Trail Counters Useful in Optimist Club Grant

The Optimist Club of Orangeville made use of trail counters provided by HCIA's CHATT group in order to gather data on how many people attended the Christmas in the Park last year. This information helped them secure additional funding for this year's event!

The 23rd Annual Christmas in the Park at Kay Cee Gardens is now open to enjoy throughout the holiday season. On display till Dec 31. FREE ADMISSION! Lots of events planned. Bring the kids and take lots of pictures. Presented by the Optimist Club of Orangeville.

The Optimist Club of Orangeville

The Optimist Club of Orangeville

Farmers-to-Processors Workshop

Thinking about taking your farm to the next level and processing on-farm? The Agri-food Management Institute and Georgian College are offering a workshop, Transition Smart: Farmers-to-Processors.

Two Dates: February 20 and 27, 2016 at the Georgian College Barrie Campus or March 12 and 13, 2016 in St. Jacobs.

Dufferin CountFarmers to Processors workshopy Demand  Study



Congratulations United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin

...on reaching your 2015 & 75th anniversary goal of raising $3,605,256! Many thanks to volunteers, corporate partners and most of all donors - you are making an incredible impact on our community.

United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin

Keep Communities Safe

We join our friends at the OPP in asking everyone to:


Impaired driving remains the leading cause of criminal death in Canada. If you plan on drinking or consuming drugs, plan to not drive. Instead police suggest the following alternatives:

  • Arrange for a designated driver
  • Take a taxi
  • Stay overnight
  • Take public transit

Police Services across the province rely on the public to report crime and impaired driving is a crime that should be treated no differently.

If you suspect that someone is driving or about to drive impaired, call 9-1-1 and report it.

The general public should be aware that the OPP employs Drug Recognition Experts who can also determine if a driver is impaired by drugs other than alcohol and will lay a criminal charge.

Pull Over for Safety

Dufferin Transportation Options

Find A Ride

Listings about existing transportation options available in Headwaters, learn about eligibility requirements, hours of service and cost.

Find A Ride

Headwaters Trail Maps

Trail Maps Listing

Over 20 trail descriptions, details and maps in the Headwaters region. Take a hike, enjoy a meal and browse our local shops!

Trail Maps Listing

Like Us on Facebook

Like Us On Facebook


Follow Us on Twitter

Follow On Twitter

Headwaters Communities in Action