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Neighbourhood Services News

Rekindling Democracy: A Conversation with Cormac Russell

Join Neighbourhood Services for a conversation with Cormac Russell on May 19 to discuss his recent book, Rekindling Democracy: A Professional’s Guide to Working in Citizen Space.

In his book, Cormac explores the need for individuals to move away from being consumers of services and argues that as citizens we "must be at the centre of any authentic and powerful democratic response” to the current socio-economic challenges that we face. Cormac asserts that neighbourhood issues will not be solved by organizations, professionals or institutions, rather citizens need to be recognized for their assets and hold the power to co-create democratic responses for change. Click here to register for this free, virtual event!

Resources to Support Community Parkland Projects

The Park and Facility Development Team has created two updated and improved manuals to support groups developing projects on parkland. The manuals outline the process community groups follow when working with the City on neighbourhood park projects. Embedded in the two manuals are short guides, templates, tools and other resources to help groups successfully complete park projects. 


  • The Neighbourhood Park Development Program Manual guides community groups through the opportunity to work with the City of Edmonton to build or redevelop neighbourhood park spaces. Community groups access city funding to develop the park site or add park amenities to their neighbourhood through matching funds. These amenities include; playgrounds and/or park features such as shade structures, picnic tables, benches, bike racks, pathways and lighting. 

  • Community Led Construction Projects Manual guides community groups through the process of building parkland amenities on City-owned land that is licensed or leased to a community group. With the City of Edmonton’s support, community groups can take the lead on designing, building and operating neighbourhood amenities such as community league buildings, outdoor rinks, community gardens, equipment storage facilities, sports club houses, art and multicultural facilities. The project is managed and funded by the group.

For more information on these processes, connect with your Neighbourhood Resource Coordinator (NRC). If you are unsure of who your NRC (City Liaison) is, please call 311.

Community Connections

Building a Neighbourhood That Supports Aging Well

This spring, the Lendrum Community League partnered with Neighbourhood Services to host a “Building a Neighbourhood that Supports Aging Well” seminar for community leaders. As part of the Age Friendly Lendrum initiative, seven community league boards in surrounding neighbourhoods were invited to attend and learn from local aging in place expert Jolyn Hall.

Aging in place is defined by the Government of Canada as “having the health and social supports and services you need to live safely and independently in your home or your community for as long as you wish and are able.” Jolyn notes that “aging in place is not a program but a mindset.” She encouraged participants to start the conversation in their neighbourhoods about adopting an aging in place mindset, not just with older adults, but people of all ages.

The seminar covered ways community leaders can support residents to ensure that they are aging actively (e.g., age inclusive events and programs), providing opportunities for residents to share their gifts and skills (e.g., hosting a webinar on a topic they have knowledge about), and supporting residents in accessing health supports and services close to home (e.g., developing a list of services within the neighbourhood). Participants were invited to share their age friendly programs, events and initiatives with each other; this included seniors dinners, crafting clubs, gardening networks and connecting residents at the block level through Abundant Community Edmonton (ACE).

Reach out to your Neighbourhood Resource Coordinator if you have ideas you want to explore further to support older adults in your neighbourhood.

A Sweet Ramadan Twist on Mother's Day in Bannerman

This May, the Bannerman Community League is recognizing a week that brings together Mother’s Day (May 9) as well as the end of Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr Celebrations (May 12-13). The community league is collaborating with EdmontonEats, a social enterprise whose cultural hosts are preparing a sweets box with specialty cookies and squares used to celebrate Ed Al-Fitr. The boxes are available for community members to purchase as gifts, and they include information on the significance of Ramadan and Eid-Al-Fitr. As part of the celebrations, a COVID-19 compliant photo opportunity is also available for mom’s and their families.

To ensure all are welcome to participate in this third annual event, information was translated into Arabic and Somali. Invitations were provided to schools and dropped in neighbourhood mail boxes. Translation services were obtained through neighbourhood networking, and supported by Communities United, who are also a funding partner supporting the EdmontonEats initiative. EdmontonEats applied for Community Initiative funding through their Neighbourhood Resource Coordinator to support the new and inclusive aspects of this event. Organizers hope that the beautiful, multicultural nature of their community will be evident as they celebrate the amazing, talented moms in their neighbourhood.  

For more information on EdmontonEats, check out their recently published book, “EdmontonEats: A Celebration of Food, Heritage and Community Building,” now available online through the Edmonton Public Library. 

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COVID-19 Updates

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

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

Alberta Crime Prevention Week: May 10-15

Each year Edmonton community partners come together to share community safety resources and crime prevention information. This year, the Neighbourhood Empowerment Team (NET) and Crime Stoppers are using Crime Prevention Week as a way of highlighting some of the great initiatives and partners that contribute to a safer city and the important role of bystanders. The NET is a partnership with the City of Edmonton, Edmonton Police Service, The Family Centre, and United Way of the Alberta Capital Region. From May 10th to 15th they will be sharing information via social media on various community initiatives and safety events. Follow Edmonton Police ServiceThe Family Centre, or NET Youth Liaisons on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to find out more.

Vision Zero Street Labs

Vision Zero Street Labs create an opportunity to trial temporary traffic safety solutions on your streets by combining the expertise and power of Edmontonians and City of Edmonton staff to creatively address neighbourhood safety and livability concerns. Each Street Lab is tailored to the unique needs of the community. You could convert a block to a shared street, add a parklet to narrow sections of the road and slow traffic, install curb extensions to shorten a crossing distance, or paint a crosswalk to capture the attention of drivers.

Ready to learn more? Visit edmonton.ca/streetlabs to start exploring the tools available including the project guide and online application form.

Parkland Care 2021 - Turf Maintenance and Naturalization

The City of Edmonton takes pride in caring for our parkland responsibly. We work for Edmontonians each day to maintain more than 1,000 parks--or 4,100 hectares of turf--that’s equivalent to approximately 8,000 CFL football fields!

Turf Maintenance for 2021

  • Our approach to this season will be improved compared to early summer 2020 when the City faced sudden financial impacts of the pandemic. 

  • Turf maintenance throughout our parks will be completed on a 10-14 day schedule, except for premier and high profile parks and sports fields which will continue to be maintained on their 7-10 day cycle.

  • From weed control and grass mowing to shrub and flower beds, our service levels are available online in more detail at edmonton.ca/ParkCare.

Naturalization

  • This summer, the City will begin the process of naturalizing 150 hectares of land around stormwater management facilities throughout the city.

  • In these areas, you may see longer grass, but if you look closer, we’re growing new homes for bees and birds, for new trees and local vegetation and flowers.

  • Naturalization helps protect the banks of stormwater management facilities, like wet ponds, from erosion and captures rainwater. It also reduces stormwater runoff and reduces the risk of flooding.

  • More information about naturalization including the stages and the benefits of naturalizing green space is available at edmonton.ca/Naturalization.

Naturalization around a stormwater facility

Root for Trees is Relaunching in June 2021

Root for Trees is Edmonton's volunteer tree planting initiative. The Root for Trees team is looking forward to planting with volunteer groups this year! Online bookings for June and July will open on May 25, 2021. Visit VolunteerMark to register for a volunteer shift! Please note that late summer and fall volunteer shifts will be made available in the coming months.

New in 2021: Guided planting shifts will have a preassigned location. Volunteers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Guided Planting Site Map prior to booking a volunteer shift. Pick the volunteer shift that works best for you! Whether you are a new or returning volunteer, be sure to visit edmonton.ca/rootfortrees for more details about guided and self-guided planting shifts.

Some of the safety measures that will be in place include Root for Trees staff disinfecting shovels for volunteer use, providing clean gloves that will be clearly labeled, and hand sanitizer/disinfecting wipes will be available throughout the shift. The Root for Trees team will also be setting up planting areas large enough to facilitate 2 meter distancing. 

Alcohol at Designated Picnic Sites

On May 3, City Council approved a plan to permit alcohol consumption at 47 picnic sites across seven parks in the River Valley as a pilot project that will run from May 28, 2021 to October 11, 2021.

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

Adults may consume alcohol safely and responsibly from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily at only those picnic sites marked by signage. Alcohol consumption is still not permitted at picnic sites in those parks that are not part of the pilot project. The only exception is for activities that have a festival and event licence.

 For more information, visit edmonton.ca/AlcoholInParks.

Helping Individuals Experiencing Homelessness

The City of Edmonton is working with Community and Social Services, Alberta Health Services, Homeward Trust and our partner agencies to ensure that vulnerable Edmontonians have access to essential services.

If citizens are concerned about the well-being of someone who appears to be in distress, please contact the 24/7 Crisis Diversion Team. For additional information on community resources, call 211. In cases of emergency, call 911.

Warm Weather brings out the Adventurous Cats: Tips for Safe Outdoor Play 

The warm weather has arrived, and just as we enjoy the sunlight and fresh air, so do our feline friends. Some cats are content soaking in the sun through windows, others prefer being outside. If you have a cat that insists on going outside, here are some alternatives for keeping them healthy and safe:


  • Provide indoor natural enrichment like feathers and cat grass

  • Create hiding places and elevated sitting areas

  • Use a leash and harness for outdoor play

  • Build a catio or utilize fencing that prevents an animal from leaving or entering your yard

  • We recommend supervision of your feline friend at all times when outdoors

If your cat still has the need to wander, please be sure they are clearly identified and that their licence and microchip information is up to date, so that if they go missing they have an increased chance of finding their way home to you.

Please remember that although cats are allowed to roam, they remain safest at home!

 

Spring and Summer Virtual Recreation Programs

With some recreation opportunities unavailable due to current public health measures, the City of Edmonton has a variety of virtual opportunities available.

Virtual group fitness programs such as Zumba, Yoga, Tabata, HIIT and many more are available to join from the comfort of your home. Check out Move Learn Play to register!

The City Arts Centre is offering a variety of virtual programs for children and adults. Online programs include cooking, dance, art, pottery and more! To register, visit the Arts Programs Registration page on MoveLearnPlay. For more information email cityartscentre@edmonton.ca.

You can also take advantage of Edmonton’s extensive network of parks and trail systems. Please ensure you follow current AHS guidance relating to outdoor gatherings.

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

Help Shape the Future of Edmonton's River Valley!

The City of Edmonton is completing the Ribbon of Green, our strategic plan for the river valley, and updating the River Valley Area Redevelopment Plan (Bylaw 7188) in a combined project we call River Valley Planning Modernization.

We want your feedback. Tell us what you value most about the river valley, and share your comments or concerns. There are several ways to participate: you can answer questions through our interactive map/survey, take part in a virtual workshop, or share your feedback on our discussion guide. Engagement begins May 10.

For more information on the project and to check out the ways you can participate, visit the project website and Engaged Edmonton page. Questions about the project? Email us at ribbonofgreen@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

Capital City Clean Up Community Mural Grants Now Open!

Capital City Clean Up is once again offering grant funding for nonprofits who wish to beautify a neighbourhood with mural art work. A maximum of $5,000 can be provided to secure consultations, supplies, artist services or other required equipment for installation purposes. If you are interested in helping or see a wall in need, click here for more details or reach out to your local Community League or Business Improvement Area.

Community Building Retrofit Initiative

The Green Municipal Fund’s (GMF) Community Buildings Retrofit (CBR) initiative supports local governments and not-for-profit organizations in retrofitting public buildings to improve energy performance, lower operating and maintenance costs, and transition to cleaner energy solutions over time. The CBR funding offer supports all stages of project development, helping communities of all sizes to significantly reduce emissions, while extending their asset’s life cycle. The Green Municipal Fund is a $1 billion program, delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and funded by the Government of Canada. Several funding streams are available. Click here to learn more or view the application guide.

Resources, Events and Learning Opportunities

Join the Non-Profit Board Internship Program

The Non-Profit Board Student Internship Program (NPBI) places University of Alberta students as interns on the boards of community-based non-profit organizations from September to April. Host boards are able to gain new ideas, contribute to the strength of the non-profit sector, and benefit from a board project undertaken by the student intern. Participating students learn about board governance, gain transferable skills and see the impact non-profit organizations have in the community. Click here to learn more and apply online.

Application deadline: June 1, 2021.

 

2021 Edmonton Volunteer Fair - June 16

Book a virtual table for your non-profit  to connect with local volunteers at this year's Volunteer Fair! The Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations is transitioning the annual event to an online format this year, providing non-profits with the opportunity to connect with local volunteer hopefuls and dozens of other non-profits from Edmonton and area. The Volunteer Fair is an opportunity to raise awareness for your non-profit and recruit new volunteers; it will also bring attention to the value of volunteerism in our communities. Click here to learn more!

Board Development Webinars - Government of Alberta Community Development Unit

Are you a board member? Thinking of becoming one? Get professional development for board governance and operations in these free board development webinars from The Alberta Community Development Unit:

May 12 - Financial Responsibilities

May 19 - Risk Management

May 25 & 27 - The Role of the Board Chair

May 26 - Committees and Meetings

June 2 - Building Strong Teams and Effective Relationships

June 3 - Grant Writing 101

Click here for more information and to register. Space is limited so register early!

 

Capital City in Conversation: Edmonton Eats 

Join Edmonton Public Library for a discussion of food, heritage and community building. Hosted by Sprucewood Branch Manager, Kate Gibson, they will be sharing stories from the recent eBook launch of Edmonton Eats with Afaf Bayoud (Cultural Host), Cindy Lazarenko (Chef), Karen Heslop (Author) and Maureen Murphy-Black (Founder), along with Brooks Hanewich as Moderator. The mission of Edmonton Eats is to connect people through the celebration of food, culture and community while providing economic and social capital opportunities for Edmonton’s immigrant and refugee communities.

 Date: June 1 2021 (7-8 p.m.)

Click here to register for this virtual event.

 

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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