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Neighbourhood Services News

Neighbourhood Challenge  

City of Edmonton Neighbourhood Services will be continuing the Neighbourhood Challenge into the spring, summer and fall. We are challenging you to keep exploring your neighbourhood and safely connecting with those around you while maintaining physical distance and adhering to all public health measures.

A new challenge will be posted on the first day of each month at edmonton.ca, June to October, 2021. 

There are several ways to enter:

  • Tag us using #GetNeighbouring in a photo on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (make sure your post is public)

  • Fill out an online entry form with your photo and/or story

You will be entered into a random prize draw for each tag or form completed. Multiple entries accepted!  Click here for full contest details.

For our June challenge, we challenge you to spend more time outside! Take a walk, go for a bike ride, work in the garden, bird watch or enjoy your yard. Post a picture and tell us who or what you discover when spending time outside in your neighbourhood. Make sure to adhere to all public health measures while connecting with others. If you prefer to stay in, take a picture of what you do to stay healthy while at home. 

Treaty Talk & Treaty Walk - Panel Discussion 

Join Neighbourhood Services as we host a conversation about the films Treaty Talk & Treaty Walk with those who were a part of this journey. These documentaries explore our collective responsibility to Treaty and help us understand allyship, Natural Law, reconciliation and the importance of opening up space to create inclusive and connected blocks and neighbourhoods. Both films will resonate with anyone who is hoping to build an inclusive, connected and vibrant community where they live. 

Tuesday, June 8, 7-8 p.m.

Click here to register for this free, virtual event today!

How Will You Celebrate Neighbour Day? 

Edmonton's second annual Neighbour Day is Saturday, June 19. Neighbour Day is a day to celebrate your neighbours and acknowledge those who live around you. The idea is to connect with your neighbours while following all current public health measures. You can make new friends, have fun and build a foundation for future projects that benefit the entire neighbourhood. Let’s celebrate Edmonton’s strong community spirit, together.

Here are a few ideas for how you and your neighbours can celebrate Neighbour Day:

  • Share hopeful messages on your front window or with sidewalk chalk;

  • Go for a walk and wave at your neighbours, drop off notes/cards, introduce yourself;

  • Consider connecting with your neighbours virtually. Does your neighbourhood and/or community league have a Facebook page? Is your neighbourhood on Nextdoor?

  • Make up your own way to celebrate neighbours. We would love to hear about it!

Tag us in your stories or pictures using #GetNeighbouring #yegNeighbourDay.

Click here for the 2021 Neighbour Day poster and help us spread the word!

New Winter Amenity Online Application Form

Neighbourhood Services is already thinking about winter! If you are considering a snowbank rink, ice trail/freezeway or cross-country ski trail in your neighbourhood, please complete this online application at edmonton.ca/usingneighbourhoodparkland. The deadline to apply is September 30, 2021. Once you’ve applied, a Neighbourhood Resource Coordinator will be in touch to discuss your application.

Rosslyn Community League Freezeway, Winter 2020-21

Swimming in Parallel Lanes

Two City initiatives, Abundant Community Edmonton (ACE) and RECOVER Urban Wellbeing, are like swimmers in parallel lanes. They aren’t competing, but swimming in the same pool, trying to get to similar points. To read more about these initiatives and how they are helping citizens build connected, resilient neighbourhoods, click here to read the blog post.

Community Connections

Belgravia Seniors List: A Story of Co-creating Care on the Block

In 2020, a group of Belgravia residents established a COVID-19 committee in order to be prepared to help neighbours who might be isolated during the pandemic. Using their knowledge of the community, a long term Belgravian and past president of the community league created a list of approximately 60 seniors in the neighbourhood. The data became essential in 2021, when the COVID-19 vaccine became available to those 75 years of age and older. Residents asked if the committee could utilize the extensive network of Block Connectors in the neighbourhood to reach out to the seniors on their block offering assistance with booking vaccine appointments and assisting with transportation. The idea was simple: Block Connectors were asked to call the seniors that live on their block and offer assistance with vaccine booking or transportation. They also added other seniors to the list, and shared the information with the Neighborhood Connector.

According to Belgravia’s Neighbourhood Connector, Irene, residents appreciated the outreach: “As the Neighborhood Connector, it is my responsibility to keep the committee informed of seniors who have connected with their Block Connectors. Together, we reached everyone on the list. The calls were very well received and our support was appreciated. We might not have reached every single Belgravian over 75 years of age, but we tried our best!”

For more information on Abundant Community Edmonton and how to get involved as a Block Connector or Neighbourhood Connector in your community, please visit edmonton.ca/abundantcommunity or contact abundantcommunity@edmonton.ca. City of Edmonton staff are available to support you in your journey to create a connected and neighbourly community.

Buy Nothing, Build Connection: A Story of Neighbouring in Inglewood

As a member of Inglewood’s Abundant Community Edmonton Neighbouring Support Team, Heather Nicholson is committed to promoting community connections in her neighbourhood. During the pandemic, connection and care for neighbours has shifted away from face to face interactions, but Heather reminds us that connection comes in many forms, and virtual communities are playing an important role in building community:

Along with around 800 other people, I am a member of the Buy Nothing Westmount/Inglewood Facebook group. I love that this group provides an opportunity to be environmentally conscious by passing on things we are not using to others who can make use of them. Apart from the eco-friendly aspects of the group, I love observing how it is building community. It happens little by little when someone offers to drop off an item to someone with limited mobility, or when someone remembers that a neighbour likes puzzles and reaches out to offer them one they just finished.

For the sake of convenience and safety during the pandemic, many exchanges occur by porch pick up, without a face-to-face meeting ever happening. But what if we decided to use every exchange as an opportunity to meet a neighbour? As public health restrictions are lifted, I encourage each of us to take five minutes to invite someone to ring our doorbell and say hello. Knowing your neighbours has been shown to reduce crime, decrease feeling of loneliness and disconnection and build camaraderie. We don’t all have to be best friends or volunteer with the community league but we can all take a moment to say, “hello neighbour, nice to meet you.”

-Heather Nicholson, Abundant Community Neighbouring Support Team, Inglewood

For more information on Abundant Community Edmonton or how to form your own Neighbourhood Support team, contact abundantcommunity@edmonton.ca.

CLICK TO SHARE YOUR COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS STORY WITH KEEP NEIGHBOURING!
COVID-19 Updates

Please visit edmonton.ca/covid-19 for updated information on City programs and services that are impacted by restrictions.

The Government of Alberta released is Open for Summer plan on May 26. This plan has three stages, with the first two stages based on hospitalization and vaccinations. There are still restrictions in Stages 1 and 2. The third stage is based on vaccinations and will involve lifting all public health restrictions. That will happen once 70 percent of Albertans age 12 and over have received their first dose of vaccine.

City recreation centres and most attractions have been closed. We are working through our plan to reopen all facilities based upon the provincial government’s reopening plan. We will share information on our reopening plan as soon as we can.

For more information on the Government of Alberta’s mandatory province-wide restrictions please visit https://www.alberta.ca/enhanced-public-health-measures.aspx

Other City of Edmonton News

Pilot project: Alcohol consumption at designated picnic sites

Edmontonians are now able to consume alcohol at designated picnic sites in select River Valley parks during a 19-week pilot project that launched May 28.

Adults of legal age may consume alcohol safely and responsibly at 47 designated picnic sites in seven River Valley parks between the hours of 11 a.m. and 9 p.m., seven days a week. Please remember to follow current public health measures for outdoor gatherings.

The selected parks for the 2021 pilot project include: Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Whitemud, William Hawrelak, Government House, Victoria, Gold Bar and Rundle. Picnic sites include both bookable and “first-come, first-served” options.

Edmontonians can identify a designated picnic site by looking for one of these signs:

Alcohol consumption is still not permitted at any other picnic sites or park spaces unless part of an approved festival and event licence. A map of all designated picnic sites is available online.

Edmonton’s river valley is extremely valuable to everyone. If you choose to consume alcohol at one of our designated picnic sites, please respect the peace of others around you, ensure you leave the site in good condition, drink responsibly and do not move around the park with open alcohol. Park rangers will be monitoring these locations as part of their regular patrols in parks.

The pilot project runs from May 28 to October 11, 2021. The City of Edmonton will closely monitor how the project is going and will report final results to city council by the end of this year. For further information on the pilot and to provide feedback, please visit edmonton.ca/alcoholinparks.

Spray parks

Good news for our small splashers! The City of Edmonton will start the opening of all 73 available spray parks throughout the City on June 1. We anticipate it will take three to four weeks to fully open all of them. The Glengarry spray park will not open this season due to upcoming construction. For more information visit edmonton.ca/sprayparks.

COVID-19 Guidelines for Community Gardens

Community garden COVID-19 guidelines have been updated for 2021. The restrictions and guidelines apply to both “pop-up” and permanent community gardens in Edmonton. Site signs have been installed and details are available at edmonton.ca/communitygardens. Contact communitygardens@edmonton.ca if you have any questions or concerns.

Partners in Parks Program

Neighbourhoods have been kept green, beautiful and clean for over 15 years with the help of dedicated Edmontonians who volunteer in our Partners in Parks program. Every year, around 100 volunteers help the City of Edmonton by enhancing maintenance of shrub beds. Volunteering with Partners in Park is an incredible opportunity with many benefits: service to the community, learning gardening skills, keeping active physically and mentally and connecting with new people and making friends in a safe manner during the pandemic and much more.

The 2021 Partners in Parks program was launched on May 12 and registration will be open until June 30. There are limited volunteer spaces available this season.

Visit edmonton.ca/partnersinparks to access the registration form, details about volunteer benefits and activities and sponsorship opportunities.

Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous People Awareness Day (June 21)

The City of Edmonton supports Indigenous History Month in Edmonton by promoting the Indigenous events and activities happening in and around Edmonton throughout June. Throughout the month, many organizations, agencies and communities host a variety of events that strengthen the community through learning, understanding and celebration of Indigenous histories, heritage, diversity, cultures and people.

Indigenous History Month overlaps with many key events in Edmonton including:

June 21, 2021 is the 25th anniversary of celebrating the heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples! Click here for a list of national events and educational resources from the Government of Canada. Or visit the links above for information on Edmonton-based events.

Edmonton Fire Rescue Services Warns of Danger of Putting out Cigarettes in Potted Plants 

Gardening season is finally here! And with more time spent at home this year, many people are beautifying their outdoor spaces with potted plants and flowers. While this can brighten properties and beautify neighbourhoods, Edmonton Fire Rescue Services reminds citizens that plant pots and soil are not a safe place to extinguish cigarettes.

 

 Edmonton Fire Rescue Services has partnered with several locally-owned and operated garden centres to encourage people to dispose of cigarettes safely instead of in potted plants. During the summer months, Fire Prevention Officers will attend these centres to spread the word about smoking and fire safety.

"There is a misconception that plant pots and soil can be used to extinguish cigarettes. This is not true. Potting soil contains large amounts of combustible material that can allow embers to smoulder before igniting into flames,” said Dennis Friedel, Acting Fire Marshal, Edmonton Fire Rescue Services. “Smoking materials and potting soil just don’t go together.”

Edmontonians who smoke are urged to dispose of cigarettes only in deep, non-combustible ashtrays. Plant pots containing potting soil, peat moss, or other types of soil should never be used as an alternative.

The majority of smoking material fires in Edmonton residential areas are caused by the disposal of cigarettes in potting soil on balconies, decks, and entryways. Between 2018 and 2020, the city had a total of 205 fires related to smoking materials resulting in $33.6 million in fire damage, 31 injuries and five deaths.

"The foolproof method of fully extinguishing smoking materials is to use water,” said Friedel. “Water should be kept nearby to wet cigarette butts and ashes to ensure embers are out before you discard into your non-combustible ashtray.”

 When smoking, discard your cigarettes properly:

  • Use a deep, non-combustible ashtray.

  • Fully extinguish cigarettes in water before disposing of them.

  • Never discard cigarette butts directly into the garbage, out your car window, on the ground or in dry, grassy areas.

Local garden centres, The Root Seller, Mill Creek Nursery, and Kuhlmann's Greenhouse Garden Market, will display signage in their stores and in planter pots reminding customers to dispose of cigarettes properly.

 For more information, visit  edmonton.ca/smokingsafety

Edmonton Salutes Committee Seeks Volunteers  

The City of Edmonton is currently recruiting volunteer members for the Edmonton Salutes Committee to provide advice to Council regarding appropriate official civic recognition initiatives for the military, veterans, and their families. Deadline to apply is July 4, 2021 at midnight. Apply online using the links on Edmonton.ca/boards. If you have questions on the application process, contact Judy Bonner at judy.bonner@edmonton.ca.

Engaged Edmonton: Share Your Voice. Shape Your City.

The City of Edmonton is committed to involving the people affected by the decisions it makes. Visit Engaged Edmonton, the City of Edmonton’s official online public engagement space. Even though COVID-19 means we can’t meet in person, your opinions still matter. We invite you to share your voice on City policies, programs, services, and projects. 

The City is currently inviting input on various rezonings and projects including:

 Visit edmonton.ca/surveys for more information and a list of all current engagement opportunities.

Funding News

Blue Cross “Built Together” Grant Opens June 1

Built Together, a grant program by Alberta Blue Cross® (formerly known as the Healthy Communities Grant Program), was created to help Albertans build spaces for active living in their community. Recipients receive a one-time $50,000 grant to fund an infrastructure project in their community. Since 2013, the grant program has funded 33 initiatives and contributed more than $1.6 million to projects across Alberta. The application process is open June 1 to September 31. Click here to learn more.

Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant Deadline Extended

The deadline to apply for the provincial Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant has been extended until June 30, 2021. This grant offers financial help to eligible Alberta businesses that were ordered to close or reduce operations, and that experienced a revenue loss of at least 30 percent as a result of the pandemic. Click here to learn more.

Resources, Events and Learning Opportunities

Seniors Week June 7-13: Lunch and Learn Series

Seniors' Week is June 7-13. Pack your lunch and join Age Friendly Edmonton and friends on Zoom for a three-part series of free talks on healthy aging.

  • Ways to Succeed in Aging in Place - June 7, 12-1 p.m.

  • Ageism and Aging: Upsides-Downsides - June 9, 12-1 p.m.

  • Building Connections in a Post-Covid World - June 11, 12-1 p.m.

Click here to learn more and to register!

June is Recreation and Parks Month

Each spring, the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association (ARPA) celebrates “June is Recreation and Parks Month.” This month highlights the many benefits that recreation and parks bring to our communities, and acknowledges the strong foundation of parks and recreation facilities and programs in Alberta.

This year, the theme is #CommUNITY. The recreation and parks sector in Alberta, especially at the community level, has been deeply affected over the past 18 months. Our outdoor spaces and places have been highlighted for the important role they play in providing venues for physical and mental health, respite, and also for being able to continue our social connections. This June, we encourage you to visit your #CommUNITY parks and open spaces to celebrate Recreation and Parks Month.

Visit the website to learn more on the month and to view the event calendar.

June is Pride Month

Looking for ways to celebrate Pride Month in Edmonton? The Pride Centre of Edmonton is taking Pride Month online this June! Virtual events range from a “Printing with Pride” print-making workshop to a virtual prom for queer and gender-diverse youth. Click here for more information and to register.

Free Online Gardening Workshops with Edmonton Public Library

Edmonton Public Library is offering free online gardening classes during the month of June. Classes are offered online through Zoom, are free, and don't require a library card to register.

Container Gardening - Sunday, June 6, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Do you want to be a gardener but have limited space, such as a community garden plot, or an apartment balcony? Looking to grow herbs for your kitchen in pots? Join Nicola from Good Worm Garden Programs and learn the basics of growing in a small space.

Complete Soil Health - Thursday, June 17, 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Maybe you’ve been gardening for a while and noticing your veggies aren’t as prolific as they used to be. Maybe you’re a beginner gardener with an inkling that soil is important. Regardless of where you are on the gardening spectrum, join Nicola from Good Worm Garden Programs to learn all about the importance of soil health and composting with red wiggler worms.

For more information on online events offered by Edmonton Public Library, click here.

Neighbourhood Services supports neighbourhoods to build and maintain connected communities. Keep Neighbouring shares inspiring community stories, City updates relevant to neighbourhoods and other resources to support community building.
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