E.D. Corner: May 2019

Two weeks ago, my oldest (16) decided that he wanted to build a pond in our backyard.  The word “NO” was on the tip of my tongue.  There were lots of reasons to say it.  He has no experience building a pond – I sometimes question if he knows where the lawn tools are.  My limited understanding of ponds is that they are not cheap to install, and with all of the kids sucking our money for sports and other extra-curricular activities, a pond wasn’t part of our budget.  And there is a big difference between wanting to build a pond, and actually building a pond.

However, in a moment of awesome parenting, instead of saying “NO”, Trish and I asked him to do some research and come back to us with a plan.  We also said that we had to cap the budget at $200.  I figured that was going to be the end of it.

But, where there’s a will, there’s a way.  Last week, he came back to us with his plan.  He had priced everything out and to do it up the way he wanted was going to cost more than $600.  That to me was the end of the conversation.  How can you deliver a $600 pond for only $200?

Then I thought of the will that the staff and board had been exerting, after learning on April 11 that the Central Counties budget had been reduced by 20%, to provide our stakeholders same services with so much less money.  So I told him to see what he could figure out.

A couple of days later he said.  “I think that I can still do it for $200 if I get some people on board to help me out.”  He called his grandfather in Bancroft who has a pond in his backyard.  As it turned out, he was redoing his and was able to provide the pump for the waterfalls and some rocks to build the water feature.  He called his friends and asked if they had wheelbarrows, shovels, and most importantly, time to help out on the project.  He went online and found the best prices for the liner and power cord needed for prices that fit into the meager budget.

Luckily, we had a lacrosse tournament in Peterborough Friday and Saturday and were able to collect the rocks and pump.  This past Sunday, they set to work.


Utilizing other people’s resources and working together to complete the project, the four teenagers were able to build us a brand new $600 water feature in around three hours for $200.  I will put in a caveat here that they are leaving Trish in charge of beautifying around the pond.  But really, I couldn’t be more proud of them…and Trish and I for giving them the green light to do it.

With the 20% reduction in the Central Counties budget, staff plan on delivering you a $600 pond for $200 by utilizing existing resources and working together to continue to build our tourism capacity so that communities and their businesses thrive.  With so many partners and businesses actively working with CCT towards common goals, we really feel that the new reality we are facing will move the needle forward because we are going to have to rely on each other more and more.

The plan is with the Board of Directors for approval and at the AGM on June 19, we will provide more details about the projects and services available for you to take advantage of.  We would love to see you there.  Click here to register.  Actually, the AGM is a great example of working together.  Our friends at the Markham Pan Am Centre have partnered with us to host the meeting, which allows them the opportunity to showcase their amazing facility to stakeholders across the region and allows CCT to provide a great program for a reduced cost.

Another cost saving item is to relinquish our office space.  The majority of staff time is spent in the field, with you, and moving to a virtual office doesn’t affect our service delivery.  However, it does provide a great opportunity to host our staff meetings at various partner facilities throughout the year.  If you are interested in hosting one of our meetings, please send me an email.

Once the plan is approved, it will be posted on our B2B site (www.centralcounties.ca) and we will continue to communicate opportunities for us to work together to grow your business or the economic impact of tourism on your communities.

For every completed project, there is a new one around the corner that is going to take some new thinking to bring it to fruition.  For my kids, the new challenge is coming up with the plan and budget that will change Trish’s and my minds about adding fish or turtles to the pond. And like that project, I am sure that some of the plans CCT hopes to achieve will be more challenging than others.  But, by working together towards a common goal, I am confident we can deliver on our ambitious business plan.

I am not as confident that there will ever be fish or turtles in the pond…but I will let you know if I am proven wrong!  Because, as he proved with the pond project, where there is a will, there is a way!

Best regards,



Central Counties is located North of Toronto


Find Resources in Your Region

E.D. Corner

Every month, Chuck brings you the latest and greatest here in the E.D. Corner. Read the Latest

Chuck Thibeault

Executive Director, Chuck Thibeault