• By: OLM Staff

Hydro Ottawa and Christie Lake Kids Collaborate on Leadership Centre

Christie Lake Kids is going green.

Today, Hydro Ottawa and Christie Lake Kids announced their partnership to establish the new Hydro Ottawa Sustainable Youth Leadership Centre.

At the new facility, to be built at Belle Island on Christie Lake, near Perth, Ontario, kids will have the chance to learn about alternative energy while building their leadership skills. The Hydro Ottawa Sustainable Youth Leadership Centre will be used by members of the camp’s Leaders in Training Program, which offers 13- to 17-year-olds living in poverty the opportunity to engage with their community in meaningful ways as they develop into young adults. For 36 days over seven weeks this summer and eight weekends during the school year, youth will work together as a sustainable community.

Campers’ learning will focus on incorporating science and environmental education on everyday tasks to reduce their dependency on traditional household power. They will be able to experience using a number of alternate power sources and sustainable technologies firsthand at the new facility.

Solar cells included on the main cabin will power lights, walkie-talkie chargers, fans and a small cooler. A human-powered pump and a gravity-pressurized water system will draw water from the lake into a water tower. Water stored in the tanks will be heated using the sun’s natural heating power, then be distributed to the camp’s composting toilet system and hand washing basins. The showers will draw water from the gravity-fed water system, which will be heated for use by a system of tubes exposed to the sun.

Hydro Ottawa employees will have an active role in making the Hydro Ottawa Sustainable Youth Leadership Centre a reality. They will be able to volunteer their time to help with the construction of the new facility, including the construction of small buildings and boardwalks, painting and landscaping. They will also have the opportunity to support Christie Lake Kids by mentoring youth enrolled in the S.T.A.R. (Skills Through Activity and Recreation) Program, which provides high-risk inner-city kids with year-round recreational and skills development programming in their own neighbourhoods.

DSC_0726Christie Lake Kids has been working in Ottawa for 90 years, providing recreation and skills-building programs for young people whose families may not have the means for them to attend camp. Once known only for its camping program, today the charity provides year-round programming within Ottawa’s social housing environments for at-risk youth and children between the ages of six and 17. Through their programming, they strive to break the cycle poverty creates.

“Through our support of Christie Lake Kids, we are helping to teach kids valuable life skills that all youth need in order to grow into healthy, successful adults,” said Bryce Conrad, president and chief executive officer of Hydro Ottawa.

“Christie Lake Kids is very excited to partner with Hydro Ottawa,” said Carole Gagné-Ince, executive director of Christie Lake Kids. “The new Sustainable Youth Leadership Centre is a clear demonstration of how companies can make a difference by supporting programs that serve some of the most vulnerable children and youth in our community.”