The 5 clubs in Kitchener-Waterloo come together for this special project

The sensory garden at KidsAbility in Waterloo Ontario was created 2017 as part of a research grant called the Teacher Leadership and Learning Program through the Ministry of Education. Teachers from KidsAbility School applied for this grant together and completed the project. Over the next few years the group who were volunteering to keep the garden weeded and looking good retired, leaving a hole that needed to be filled. One of Rotary Waterloo members who was visiting KidsAbility school noticed a teacher out weeding the garden during the lunch break. The member contacted the Rotary Waterloo Community Engagement Committee and the Rotary involvement in the project was born. Due to the Global Covid 19 pandemic work on the project in 2020 was limited to a few people weeding the garden. In 2021 the project became part of the Kitchener Waterloo 5-club initiative to partner and become a united force to make a difference in our communities.
The 5 clubs of Kitchener Waterloo came together on Saturday, October 23rd and with a lot of hard work, completed the first phase of the clean-up project.  In the Spring, they plan to be back to add some mulch, revitalize some of the sensory structures, and create an accessible path from one side of the garden to the other.  They have also made a commitment to manage the ongoing maintenance of this very special garden.
The Rotary and Kidsability partnership dates back to 1957, when the K-W Rotary Children’s Centre was opened.  The journey to this moment began in the ’20s when local Rotarians first made the decision to dedicate themselves to serving children with special needs. During those formative years between 1922 to 1957, Rotary Club members organized medical clinics, transported children to Toronto hospitals when they couldn’t be seen locally, and fundraised to buy equipment and pay for medical services. Rotarians knew that a local and permanent facility was needed for this growing community. As a result, the North Waterloo Society for Crippled Children was formed to oversee the formation and operations of what was to become KidsAbility. Our foundation that was laid back in 1957 by Rotary has provided local children and youth with special needs and their families the support and services that they need to live richer, fuller and more inclusive lives.