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Neighbourhood Services News

Participatory Edmonton Symposium - March 6 & 13

2020 changed the way we live and connect. Across Canada, people, neighbourhoods, and cities are coming together to make friends, to make things, to make new livelihoods, to make connections. Have you been wondering what you can do to animate your apartment building, block, cul de sac, or neighbourhood? Maybe you already have an idea and need support to get it off of the ground. Or perhaps you want to get involved and don’t know where to start. Join our two-day virtual symposium to learn about the transformational platform, Participatory City, and how you can bring your idea to life and get involved!

When: Saturday, March 6, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and Saturday, March 13, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Registration fee: $5 for both days - scholarships are available; please contact abundantcommunity@edmonton.ca

The Participatory Edmonton Symposium is brought to you in partnership with Participatory Canada, the City of Edmonton, and the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues. Join us to learn more about the inspiring achievements of Participatory City and what is happening in Edmonton. Click here to register today!

The Great Disconnect Film Screening

Neighbourhood Services invites you to a free virtual screening of The Great Disconnect, a one hour film that speaks to the health and social impacts of loneliness and the value and potential of neighbouring approaches unique to Edmonton. These approaches include building neighbourly relationships through Abundant Community Edmonton (ACE), neighbourhood revitalization, community development initiatives and connecting with each other where we live. The film will be followed by a panel discussion featuring filmmakers Tamer Soliman and Sarah Douglas. The discussion will focus on the film and explore how knowing your neighbour is a key factor for neighbourhood safety and emergency preparedness.

When: Tuesday, March 16, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Spaces are limited so click here to reserve your virtual seat through Eventbrite!

Winter Neighbourhood Challenge

Let’s have some fun this winter! Challenge yourself, your friends or your family to participate in the Winter Neighbourhood Challenge! Explore your neighbourhood and stay socially connected while maintaining safe physical distance and adhering to all public health measures. A new challenge will be posted online on the 1st and 15th of each month. To enter, complete the challenge safely, fill out the online entry form and submit your photo. You will be entered into a prize draw for each challenge you complete.

Thank you to our January prize sponsors: Callingwood Running Room and River City Games (WEM) for their generous donations, and congratulations to all our prize winners so far!

Upcoming Challenges include:

March 1-14: Photo Scavenger Hunt

Take a photograph of something you love about your community. Do you have a favourite pathway, tree or bench? Whatever it is that makes you smile, take a photo and submit it! If you prefer to stay in, share a thought or describe what you love about your neighbourhood. Be creative and consider your neighbourhood through all the seasons of the year.

March 15-31: The Gifts of Being a Good Neighbour

Submit a photograph of what good neighbouring means to you! It could be shoveling a walkway, working on community projects, watching over someone’s property, casual conversations over the fence or something else entirely! Staying home? Perhaps it’s a display you share with others on your window or yard, connecting with neighbours online or over the telephone, or waving to neighbours as they pass by. Whatever it is, show us what are the greatest gifts of being a good neighbour!

In addition to submitting your entry you can also share on social media using the #yegneighbouring hashtag. Stay safe, be creative, and enjoy each winter neighbourhood challenge!

Click here for challenge details and the online entry form!


"Creating a Neighbourly Vibe" Workshop with Abundant Community Edmonton

Interested in getting more connected on your block, building or cul-de-sac? Join a Neighbourhood Services workshop on creating a neighbourly vibe! This is an introductory workshop to learn more about  Abundant Community Edmonton (ACE), a grassroots initiative fostering neighbour to neighbour relationships. If you are interested in cultivating a culture of care and connection, increasing the sense of belonging and inclusion, and creating a healthy and livable city, this workshop is for you. The Creating a Neighbourly Vibe workshop is currently offered virtually, twice per month.

Upcoming workshops dates: 

March 9, 6:30 p.m.

March 24, 1 p.m.

Click here for more information or to register.

Community Connections

Holyrood Demonstration Garden: From Weedy Walkway to Community Food Patch

With spring on the horizon, many Edmonton gardeners are already busy planning for the upcoming growing season. This includes a group of Holyrood volunteers, who are looking forward to a second season in their demonstration garden--an underutilized space they transformed into a community food patch in 2020.

With support from their Neighbourhood Resource Coordinator (NRC), the Holyrood Garden Committee has been working toward their vision of building a permanent community garden in the neighbourhood. This vision includes a unique partnership between the Holyrood Community League, Southeast Edmonton Seniors Association and Holyrood After School Care Society. Unfortunately, the pandemic has brought many challenges for these organizations, and the garden project was paused in 2020 to allow the committee to ensure all partners could fully participate in the planning process. Despite these challenges, the community found a creative solution to maintain momentum for their project by creating a smaller “demonstration garden” in an existing, but underutilized space along their community hall walkways. This provided an opportunity to beautify and animate their green space and engage with interested gardeners while working toward their long term garden vision.

 
The group worked with their NRC to secure permission from the City for the project, and residents donated pots and repurposed planters for a variety of flowers and vegetables. Even with a late start to the growing season, volunteers harvested an abundance of produce in September and donated over 35 kilograms of produce to the Edmonton Food Bank! The gardeners are looking forward to growing more food in 2021 and expanding gardening opportunities for their community in the future.

To locate a community garden near you, visit the community garden map online. For more information on starting a garden project in Edmonton, contact your Neighbourhood Resource Coordinator by calling 311 or reach out to Sustainable Food Edmonton.

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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

Some City Fitness Centres Reopening

The City of Edmonton will begin reopening some indoor fitness opportunities starting on March 5. Fitness centres will reopen for low-intensity group fitness classes and low-impact individual fitness activities. Facilities will open in phases to allow time to recall staff to train them and prepare facilities for public use.

The following schedule of amenity openings are subject to change depending on the availability of resources or further provincial announcements or restrictions:

Fitness Centre Openings:

  • Kinsmen Sports Centre (March 5)

  • Commonwealth Community Recreation Centre (March 5)

  • The Meadows Community Recreation Centre (March10)

  • Terwillegar Community Recreation Centre (March 10)

  • Clareview Community Recreation Centre (March 15)

The City is exploring opportunities to reopen aquatic centres. 

Residents will be required to reserve a time slot through Move Learn Play before visiting a facility. Drop-in visits are not permitted. Fitness centre bookings and in-facility group fitness program bookings will open the afternoon of March 4.

New measures will be in place to ensure public health guidelines are followed. These include a new requirement to maintain three metres distance from others while in facilities, to avoid gathering within common areas and outside facilities, to practice regular hand hygiene and to stay home if experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19. Masks or face coverings are now mandatory at all times when in a City recreation centre, including while involved in fitness activities.

Edmontonians looking for the most current information about City recreation facilities can go to edmonton.ca/reccentres for updates. To register for virtual programs now, visit MoveLearnPlay.edmonton.ca.

Tested Positive for COVID-19 and Need Support?

If you or someone you know has tested positive for COVID-19 and you need information and support in your home language, please contact the multilingual emergency response centre at 1-833-738-7727 (toll free). COVID-19 support and information is now available in 31 languages. Support for food, space for isolating, counselling and other basic needs is available. This initiative is a project of the Edmonton Covid-19 Rapid Response Collaborative--a collection of community-based organizations and social service agencies supported by multiple levels of government. Click here to view the poster (PDF) or click on the image below (PNG) and share the information with your community!

Other City of Edmonton News

International Women's Day - March 8

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality. International Women's Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. This year's IWD theme is “Choose To Challenge.” Individually, we're responsible for our own thoughts and actions. We can choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let's all #ChooseToChallenge for #IWD2021.

Celebrating International Women’s Day: A Conversation On Women’s Leadership 

A collaboration between the City of Edmonton, Women's Advocacy Voice of Edmonton (WAVE) and YWCA Edmonton, this conversation is an opportunity to learn more about the work WAVE has done in Edmonton and what they still hope to achieve. Be inspired to help change the future of women's leadership as we work towards gender equity with diverse and inclusive representation for all. Click on the image below for more information or visit Eventbrite to register for this free, virtual event.

 A number of other organizations are celebrating and bringing awareness to IWD 2021. See the Resources, Events and Learning Opportunities section below for additional opportunities.

Engaged Edmonton: Share You Voice. Shape Your City. 

The City of Edmonton is committed to involving the people affected by the decisions it makes. We seek diverse opinions, experiences and information so that a wide spectrum of information is available to decision makers. 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.  

Current Engagement Opportunities

The City is currently inviting input on various rezonings, surplus school sites, and alcohol consumption at designated picnic sites. Visit edmonton.ca/surveys for a list of current engagement opportunities.

  • Alcohol Consumption at Designated Picnic Sites - The City is gathering public opinion on whether to allow alcohol consumption at designated Edmonton picnic sites. Fill out the online survey by midnight March 7.

 Edmonton Insight Community

Want to stay engaged? Join Edmonton’s Insight Community, an inclusive and accessible online citizen panel made up of diverse Edmontonians who provide feedback on City policies, initiatives and issues.

  • Members complete surveys and participate in discussion forums on a wide range of topics at least twice a month

  • The Insight Community is the quick and easy way to influence City council decisions and help make your City better

  • The Insight Community is one way we listen

  • Click here to join!

Urban Gardening Initiatives 2020

Click here for a summary of City of Edmonton urban gardening initiatives in 2020 including the Pop Up Garden Pilot Program, City Farm, Veg Instead, and Front Yards in Bloom: Edible Yards. More information about Pop Up Gardens can be found here.

Pruning - Preparing for Spring

As spring approaches, many of us look forward to warmer weather and the return of all things green and growing. Our trees make a huge contribution to making Edmonton a great and healthy place to live. City staff put a lot of time and effort into making sure that our urban forest stays healthy so that when spring does come, it will be lush and vibrant--improving our air quality, mental health, and reducing urban temperature extremes.

Finding the perfect time to prune -  Pruning requires careful consideration - not just for what part of the tree to remove and what tools to use, but also the timing. Pruning is best done outside of the growing season, in late winter or early spring - typically no later than the end of March (which also marks the end of when elm trees may be pruned as per city bylaws). This lessens the chance of potential infection or infestation of the pruned tissue. Spring is when trees grow most rapidly, so this ensures the pruned area heals as quickly as possible.

The benefits of pruning - Part of maintaining the long-term health of urban trees is pruning. While removing parts of trees to keep them healthy may seem counterintuitive, it is extremely important, especially with older trees; proper pruning removes damaged, diseased, or pest-infested branches and helps ensure the tree's ongoing health. Pruning can also improve the aesthetics of trees, reduce safety hazards as they grow too close to structures, and improve the growth of neighboring trees and vegetation.

If you have a tree on your own property that requires pruning, it is best to contact a licensed arborist - improper pruning can do more harm than good, and can easily cause premature death of a tree.

City staff are responsible for trees on City property such as boulevards and parks. If you see a City-owned tree that requires pruning (eg. a large, damaged branch), please call 311 so it can be assessed.

For more information on pruning in general,  you can also refer to this document from Agriculture Canada. 

Do's and Don'ts for Finding the Purrfect Pet

The pandemic has had a significant impact on us on so many levels. As many of us find ourselves working from home, we may have the desire to add a furry housemate to the mix. Before bringing a pet into your home, it is important that you have done your research into the type of animal you want, the cost of care for that animal and the time commitment that the animal requires.

You’ve decided to proceed with purchasing an animal. What are your next steps? More research. Over the past several months there has been an increase in the number of scams reported to police of people trying to purchase a pet online. Below are some do’s and don’ts to consider when embarking on this journey.

Don’t:

- Purchase a pet from a pet store

- Meet a seller to purchase a pet, even if they propose outside a police station

- Purchase a pet off of Kijiji

- Pre-pay for an animal

- Allow the seller to bring the animal to you

Do:

- Research the type and breed of pet you are looking for

- Ask to see where the animal is raised and look at their living conditions

- Inspect the animal: If it’s smelly or dirty (has yellow or brown feet), it may not be well cared for

- Request vaccination/vet records - if purebred, they should have paperwork

- Ask questions

- Meet the parents of the puppy if buying from a breeder

- Ask for references/reviews

- Ensure that the animal is of an appropriate age to be rehomed (over 12 weeks)

- See how many ads the person has posting animals to be rehomed

- If the animal is lethargic, coughing or acting strangely, report your concerns to 311

There are many other options that exist for finding the perfect furry friend for your home. Reach out to some of the rescues in the City about adoption. Many of them have relationships with PetSmart and other pet stores in the City where you can attend a meet and greet and get to know some of the animals that they have available for adoption. You may just find your purrfect match!

Funding News

2021 Neighbourhood Services Grants Opportunities Spreadsheet

Looking for funding opportunities to support a community organization, initiative or capital project? Click here for a list of grant opportunities compiled annually by Neighbourhood Services.

Community Big Bin Grant Program - Opens March 15

Each spring, dozens of Edmonton community groups apply for help to get rid of any large, bulky items cluttering up the back alleys, streets or other areas in their neighbourhoods. Under the Community Bin Grant Program, the City offers funds on a first-come, first-served basis that can be used for bin rentals (including the truck, driver and disposal costs) and truck rentals to drive through the area and collect large items. Applications for 2021 open on March 15.

Click here for more information and program guidelines.

Community League Infrastructure Program (CLIP) - City of Edmonton

CLIP grant priorities in 2021 will be focused on rehab and renovation projects that address:

  • Health and safety concerns

  • Accessibility improvements

  • Infrastructure issues identified in a formal assessment / inspection

Large grants will not be available in 2021 due to the decreased program budget. However, the medium size grant limit will be increased to $150,000 to account for the increasing costs of rehab and renovation projects. Click here for more information and the online application.

Application Deadline: March 31, 2021

Community League Operating Grant (CLOG) - City of Edmonton

Edmonton Community Leagues can apply now for the 2021 CLOG. Click here for more information and the online application.

Application Deadline: April 28, 2021

Applying for Community League Infrastructure and Operating Grants - Free Webinar

Join the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues (EFCL) and the City of Edmonton to learn about funding opportunities for community leagues and how to apply for them.

Led by a City of Edmonton Community Grants Coordinator, the session will provide an overview of eligible projects, the application process and provide time for questions. Have specific topics you want covered? Submit your questions in advance using this form.

Date: Monday, March 15, 2021, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Click here to register through Eventbrite.

Canada Healthy Communities Initiative

The Healthy Communities Initiative is a $31 million investment from the Government of Canada to transform public spaces in response to COVID-19. Public spaces are the glue to our communities: they enable a feeling of belonging, of social cohesion and encourage our sense of collective identity. The Healthy Communities Initiative will provide funding to a broad range of organizations, including local governments, charities, Indigenous communities and nonprofits, for projects, programming and services that help communities:

create safe and vibrant public spaces

improve mobility options 

provide innovative digital solutions to connect people and improve health

Applications are open until March 9, 2021. A second application round will take place starting in May 2021. Click here for more information and the application guide.

 

Feminist Response and Recovery Fund

The Government of Canada is accepting project proposals for the $100 million Feminist Response and Recovery Fund to support women impacted by the pandemic. If your organization has a new or successful past project that you want to scale-up to advance systemic change and help build an inclusive recovery to COVID-19, apply before March 25, 2021. Click here to learn more.

 

Resources, Events and Learning Opportunities

March is Alberta Francophonie Month

On March 1, 2018, the Government of Alberta proclaimed March as the annual Mois de la francophonie albertaine (Alberta Francophonie Month). The month of March provides an opportunity to highlight the vibrancy and energy the Francophonie brings to Alberta. Click here for more resources on Alberta’s Francophone communities or visit the ACFA website for further details on Mois de la Francophonie 2021! 

University of Alberta 2021 International Women's Day Panel: An Equal World is a Changed World - March 8

Panellists from different spheres of life will speak to the current realities and explore how we can move the needle, individually and collectively, across the corporate, political and academic spectrums to advance women. Guests include Michelle Inness, Angela Fong, and Mayor Don Iveson. Click here for more information and to register.

 

Covid and Women: Equality and Post Pandemic Recovery 

Join this complimentary webinar on March 12 to hear Ipsos’ latest research findings and commentary about what Canadians and others in 26 countries around the world believe are the most important issues facing women that need to be addressed in the country’s COVID recovery program. Click here for more information.

SkirtsAFire March 4-14

Founded in 2012, SkirtsAfire is Edmonton’s only theatre and multidisciplinary arts organization featuring women-identifying and non-binary artists. In conjunction with International Women’s Day, 10 days of programming run each March at various venues in Edmonton. Click here to learn more about how the events have been reimagined for 2021!  Events take place online and outdoors March 4-14, 2021.

Local Matters: Options for Improving Early Learning and Care in Edmonton

Join the Community University Partnership (CUP) “Issues and Impact Series” for a discussion on systems of early learning and childcare with Dr. Robert Buschmann and the Edmonton Council for Early Learning and Care (ECELC)

Date: Wednesday, March 10, 2021, 12 - 1:00 p.m. MST

Click here for more information and to register for this online event.

Action for Healthy Communities: Learning Opportunities for Newcomers

Action for Healthy Communities offers a variety of courses for newcomers including:

  • Computer Literacy -  Course teaches basic computer skills while reinforcing English language and literacy skills. The course is designed for people who have little or no experience using electronic devices such as laptop and desktop computers, smartphones and tablets.

  • Financial Literacy - Introduction to the Canadian financial system, banking, budgeting, credit, managing debt, tax returns and more.

  • Legal Literacy - Introduction to Alberta law, landlord and tenant rights, child custody and parenting, wills and estates, rights at work, and more.

Click here to register or learn more about these learning opportunities!

Free Online Learning Platforms

Are you interested in learning new skills? Do you have some extra time on your hands? If so, you may be interested in these free online learning platforms!

  • Lynda is free to Edmonton Public Library cardholders and offers tutorials on a variety of topics including graphic design, IT, marketing, photography, business, etc. Sign in for free here with your EPL library card!

  • edX is an online learning platform offering interactive courses from the world’s best universities, colleges and organizations. Their most popular subject areas are computer science, engineering, humanities, statistics and data analysis, and the majority of courses offer the opportunity to earn a verified certificate!

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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