Lanark County moves forward on climate action and tourism in 2024

Posted on: March 14, 2024

Here are the highlights from the Lanark County Council meeting held March 13, 2024.

Climate Action Plan Review and Work Plan Highlighted: Lanark County Council has approved the 2024 Climate Action work plan following a report by Elizabeth Gallant, Climate Environmental Coordinator, presented at the public works committee meeting last month.

The Climate Action Plan was approved in November, and Gallant provided an overview of actions that took place in 2023. This included completing the Better Homes Lanark feasibility study and program design, funding a feasibility study for local transportation options, establishing a fund for lower-tier municipal projects related to electric vehicles or organic waste diversion, participating in the Regional EV Charging Network with a goal of increasing EV uptake and local charging infrastructure, purchasing a new electric truck for the public works department, and continued tree planting through the 1 Million Trees program (485,000 planted in Lanark County since 2020).

The 2024 work plan outlines $200,000 worth of initiatives, including:

  • Municipal climate grant for each local municipality ($92,000)
  • Contribution toward a public electric vehicle charging station ($52,000)
  • Home energy efficiency kits ($10,500)
  • 2023 greenhouse gas emissions inventory ($10,000)
  • 1 Million Trees program ($10,000)
  • ALUS Lanark (Alternative Land Use Services) funding ($10,000)
  • Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust Funding ($5,000)
  • A Community Efficiency Financing application prepared by Greenscale ($5,000)
  • Municipal climate intern ($3,000)
  • Graphic design of Climate Action Plan ($2,000)
  • Composters for school program ($400)
  • Wetland workshop ($100)

Gallant outlined other projects planned for 2024 that have no impact on the climate action budget,  including an update to the transportation master plan to include active transportation, the Lanark County  Rural Transportation Working Group feasibility study, a housing energy retrofit project, planning for local electric vehicle charging network connectivity, a new electric truck, a Natural Asset Management Roadmap program, a SharePoint for local municipal climate information, a Community Climate Grant and a Climate Adaptation Plan.

The new six-month municipal climate intern through Environmental Leadership Canada, Lalit Kumar, will be working on the 2023 greenhouse gas emissions inventory, the Climate Adaptation Plan and updating the EV charging station inventory and collaborating with local municipalities to plan a regional charging network.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Gallant, Climate Environmental Coordinator, at 1-888-9-LANARK, ext. 3114.

Tourism Work Plan Endorsed: Lanark County Council has endorsed the 2024 tourism work plan, which focuses on three areas: developing and growing partnerships and collaboration, effective marketing of Lanark County as a destination of choice, and tourism product and experience development.

At the economic development committee meeting late last month, Tourism and Corporate Relations Coordinator Vanessa Dow said the current Tourism Strategy and Action Plan was created in 2019 and runs into 2025, but has been modified to reflect organizational capacity and shifting conditions post pandemic. “The goal is to develop and promote visitation in Lanark County to create increased economic prosperity and enhanced community experience,” she said.

Dow plans to grow collaboration and partnerships through the creation of a Lanark County Tourism Summit that includes county council and other tourism partners; improved communication and support to tourism operators; and leveraging partner organizations to amplify the reach of Lanark County marketing campaigns.

For marketing, Dow said actions will include strategic investment to reach target markets, a year-round content calendar to extend the tourism season, effective use of data and solidifying brand identity.

Experience development will include refreshing tourism products, improving length-of-stay and year round visitation, pursuing opportunities for partnership with Valley Heartland in tourism-specific business attraction, and continuing to develop existing themes, such as trails and maple, while seeking potential growth areas, such as cycling and culinary. For more information, contact Vanessa Dow, Tourism and Corporate Relations Coordinator, at 1-888-9-LANARK, ext. 1701.

Striking Committee Appointments Approved: Lanark County has approved the striking committee’s report, which has appointed members to the new Traffic Advisory Working Group and the Municipal Trails Sub-Committee.

Members appointed to the Traffic Advisory Working Group include Mississippi Mills Councillor Jane Torrance, Drummond/North Elmsley Councillor John Matheson, Tay Valley Councillor Greg Hallam, Perth Councillor Gary Waterfield and Beckwith Councillor Richard Kidd.

The following members of the public have been appointed to the Municipal Trails Sub-Committee: Herman Doornbos, Terry Tysick and Peter Osbourne.

For more information, contact Jasmin Ralph, Clerk, at 1-888-9-LANARK, ext. 1502.

Tourism Agreement with Smiths Falls Authorized: Lanark County Council has authorized staff to enter into an agreement with the Town of Smiths Falls to provide tourism marketing services. Hours will be tracked and reported back to council during the budget process.

The aim of the agreement is to include Smiths Falls tourism businesses and assets in Lanark County’s marketing and tourism development initiatives for strategic and marketing purposes. Smiths Falls will contribute $5,000 as a buy-in to tourism services for a 12-month term.

“The inclusion of Smiths Falls in our publications and social media marketing will have a positive impact  on tourism in Lanark County,” explained Tourism and Corporate Relations Coordinator Vanessa Dow. “They offer unique assets to the tourism landscape, which increase interest and tourism to the overall region.” For more information, contact Vanessa Dow, Tourism and Corporate Relations Coordinator, at 1-888-9-LANARK, ext. 1701.

World Down Syndrome Day Proclaimed: Lanark County Council has proclaimed March 21, 2024 as “World Down Syndrome Day” in Lanark County and encourages community members to use the occasion to commit to ending stereotypes that are harmful to those living with Down Syndrome and intellectual disabilities. The United Nations General Assembly declared World Down Syndrome Day for the first time in 2012 in an effort to raise awareness and urges others to do the same.

The proclamation explains Down Syndrome is clinically known as Trisomy 21, which is the third copy on the 21st chromosome. A person with Down Syndrome has an extra chromosome, for a total of 47. “It is not yet known why this syndrome occurs, but Down Syndrome has always been a part of the human condition and exists in all regions across the globe.” About one in 700 babies born in Canada is born with Down Syndrome, and it is the leading cause of developmental delay in Canada and the world.

This year’s theme for World Down Syndrome Day is “End the Stereotypes,” which “cause significant harm to the quality of life for people living with Down Syndrome and can lead to the public treating people with Down Syndrome differently than other people, underestimating their abilities, excluding them from important opportunities, and sometimes even resulting in abusive behaviors.”

“Lanark County supports and celebrates the initiatives of organizations working to ensure people with Down Syndrome have adequate services, are valued by society, and can lead fulfilling and productive lives in our community,” the proclamation states. “Providing adequate access to health care, early intervention programs, and inclusive education are vital to the growth and development of those born with Down Syndrome.”

For more information and real-life stories from people living with Down Syndrome about how stereotypes have affected them, see and For more information, contact Jasmin Ralph, Clerk, at 1-888-9-LANARK, ext. 1502.

Upcoming Meetings: County Council, Wednesday, March 27, 5 p.m.; Public Works, March 27 (following County Council); Economic Development, March 27 (following Public Works). County Council, Wednesday, April 10, 5 p.m.; Community Services, April 10 (following County Council); Corporate Services, April 10 (following Community Services). Watch for details about public access to meetings on agendas and through online notifications. For more information, contact 1-888-9- LANARK, ext. 1502. Like “LanarkCounty1” on Facebook and follow “@LanarkCounty1” on X!

Hometown News
Author: Hometown News