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Seasons Greetings from Neighbourhood Services! We hope you enjoy this bumper edition of Keep Neighbouring for December and January. Please note: Due to this edition being larger than usual, it may arrive in your inbox as  "Message Clipped." If you click on any of the READ MORE links or on the "Message Clipped" link at the bottom of your email, it will show the full edition. 
Neighbourhood Services News

Outdoor Winter Activities: Get Outdoors Safely this Winter!

Neighbourhood Services encourages citizens of Edmonton to get outdoors safely this winter and support neighbours while staying physically distanced. Click here for winter activity and connection ideas in your home, neighbourhood and across the city.

   

Winter Neighbourhood Challenge 

Neighbourhood Services is encouraging Edmontonians to explore their neighbourhood this winter and stay safely connected while maintaining physical distance and adhering to all public health measures.

A new challenge will be posted online on the 1st and 15th of each month from December 15, 2020 to March 15, 2021. To enter, complete the challenge safely, fill out the online entry form and submit your photo.
You will be entered into a random prize draw for each challenge you complete. In addition to submitting your entry you can also share on social media using the #yegneighbouring hashtag. Perhaps the greatest prize is knowing you helped create safe opportunities to support your neighbours!

Click here for challenge details and the online entry form!

Connected Neighbours Contact Card

Thinking about checking in on your neighbours? If so, Neighbourhood Services  has a Connected Neighbours card that you can use! This card can be used to reach out to neighbours who might be at home isolating or need help. Please remember to adhere to the AHS public health guidelines when interacting and checking-in on your neighbours. Click here to download the contact card.

 

 

Cross Country Ski Trails on Parkland

The City of Edmonton is expanding the opportunities for safe, outdoor winter activities this season. Community organizations can create temporary cross-country ski trails on City parkland with approval from the Neighbourhood Resource Coordinator (NRC) assigned to the neighbourhood. The proposed location will be assessed by appropriate City staff and, if approved and conditions are met, a parkland license will be prepared for the season. Call 311 and ask to talk to your NRC to discuss further details.

Community Connections

Queen Mary Park's Roving Big Bin Project Addresses Safety Concerns by Cleaning Up!

As a community on the perimeter of the downtown core, Queen Mary Park neighbourhood has been challenged by illegal dumping of unwanted items in back alleys, with accumulation sometimes creating spaces that provide opportunities for late-night activity and petty-crime. Recognizing that these issues are challenging for many residents to address on their own, the Queen Mary Park Community League collaborated with local volunteers and the City’s Queen Mary Park Neighbourhood Revitalization Program to organize a two-day mobile junk pick-up service offered freely to residents in October.

Sandy Budzinsky, neighbourhood resident and Queen Mary Park Community League member, took the lead in coordinating the event with Bye Bye Junk, a family-owned and operated business. Volunteers dropped over 380 flyers in residents’ mailboxes and residents “jumped at the opportunity,” said Budzinsky:

"The 'Roving Big Bin' was a huge success!...[We] collected approximately 25 tonnes of junk which included 28 mattresses and 8 fridges/freezers! That's a lot of junk that has now left our community a little bit cleaner and more appealing to potential new families who may choose to live in Queen Mary Park!" 

Click here for more information on Central McDougall and Queen Mary Park Revitalization. 

  

Riverdalians Step up to Support Community Rink

Community league volunteers work hard to improve the quality of life in their neighbourhoods, and the Riverdale Community League is no exception. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Riverdale’s Treasurer, Kevin, volunteered his time and energy to create two amazing ice rinks for the community to enjoy this winter.

The rinks have been extremely popular this year, and many skaters have helped with shovelling and wiping down benches. Kevin could see that some residents wanted to do more to support the League’s work. He also knew that the league was facing financial challenges due to a postponed casino fundraiser and restrictions on hall rentals and programs. So, he decided to install a small donation box at the entrance to the rink. Not knowing what to expect, he hoped and he waited...

The donations started to trickle in. $12 on the first day, $50 on the second. Riverdalians watched over the box during the day and Kevin emptied it at night. When he stopped by on the third night, he opened it to find a card thanking him and the community league for their time, and sharing that seeing and hearing neighbours skate on the rink (even at a distance) made the hardships of 2020 a little easier to bear.

The kind words alone would have been enough to lift the spirits of volunteers, but the card also contained a substantial donation to the community league. The donor asked to remain anonymous, but wanted to emphasize how much they value the volunteers’ efforts. The donation will be used to install safety netting and more benches so that neighbours can stay physically distant, but socially connected this winter.  

With the rink shack closed due to public health restrictions, the Community League also wanted to provide an outdoor warm up opportunity for skaters. They reached out to their Neighbourhood Resource Coordinator who helped them apply for a “Pitch Your Project” grant to purchase a firepit and wood so families have a place to warm up while enjoying their community rink this year. For more information on how to support your community this winter, please reach out to your local Community League or Neighbourhood Resource Coordinator

Rosslyn Community League Freezeway featured on CBC Radio

As stewards of City-owned parkland, Neighborhood Resource Coordinators (NRCs) work with community groups to enhance local green spaces for outdoor recreation in all seasons. In recent years, winter ice trails or “freezeways” have become popular winter amenities for Edmontonians to enjoy. NRCs work with community groups and liaise with various City departments to ensure these amenities are successful and compliant with all City regulations.

Rink Manager and lead icemaker of the Rosslyn Community League recently spoke with CBC Radio’s Mark Connolly to discuss the community’s 2020 Freezeway project and challenges with operating during Covid-19. Click here to hear the interview on CBC radio!

 

Dovercourt Parade of Lights

Neighbourhood Services staff helped bring some holiday joy to Dovercourt families in December by providing “Pitch Your Project” funding for their Parade of Lights.  Click here to view a thank you card shared with Kristy Berryman, Neighbourhood Resource Coordinator, for the event. Contact your Neighbourhood Resource Coordinator for more information on funding opportunities available to community groups across the city.

Santa Zooms into Horse Hill Community 

2020 has been a trying year for many, and although the holiday season may look different this year, the Horse Hill Community League wanted to ensure that the spirit of Christmas was alive and well for neighbourhood children. With a dedicated team of volunteers (and a few elves) the community league organized virtual visits with Santa on weekends in November and December. This gave area families the opportunity to write letters to Santa, speak with him over Zoom, pose for a photograph and receive a surprise gift delivery to their home. 

Families registered for the event using Eventbrite, and volunteers helped deliver participant letters to Santa prior to their scheduled visits. During the sessions, Santa talked with the children about their letters and invited them to pose with him for a screenshot photograph. At the end of the visit, Santa instructed the children to go outside and see what the elves had left on their doorstep!

A donation from a local grocery store helped to provide treat bags for the children and a coordinated team of volunteers was on hand to wrap and deliver the gifts. Horse Hill Community League volunteer, Nasab Radwan, spoke about the success of the initiative, which provided opportunities for over 300 children: “We really feel this has given an extra spark to Christmas to make it that much more magical! We are excited for this event, it's playing out much better than we imagined, and we just hope that it has brought some sense of Christmas cheer to our members.”

Santa poses for a photo with Habib, Zaiyn and Aiya

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

The City of Edmonton Supports the Restrictions Announced by the Government of Alberta on December 8

The surge of new cases is deeply concerning and it is more important than ever that Edmontonians do everything they can to keep themselves, their loved ones and their community safe. In addition to following these new provincial measures:

  • continue to wear a mask 
  • wash your hands

  • maintain physical distance

  • avoid all indoor and outdoor gatherings

  • stay home if you’re sick 

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

WinterCity Edmonton

 

Winter fun is here! Be active and embrace the snowy outdoors. Stay safe with social distancing. Watch for winter updates and activities on Twitter @CityofEdmonton and @WinterCityYeg.     

See “Funding News” section below for information on Winter City’s Snow FUNd grant opportunity (deadline December 22, 2020)!

Ice Safety and Your Pet

Do your plans include a trip to an off-leash park to spend quality time outdoors with your four-legged friend? If they do, be sure to keep your dog at a safe distance from frozen lakes, ponds or streams. The ice can be deceiving and it weakens during regular thawing periods. For more information visit edmonton.ca/goodyegdog.

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Holiday Safety Tips for Your Pets

As you prepare for the holiday season, please keep your pets in mind to ensure it’s a safe and enjoyable time for all. Holiday decorations and treats can be trouble for pets. The following tips can help keep our furry friends healthy during the holidays.

1. Christmas Trees - If you have decided to put up a real Christmas tree, please bear in mind that Tree water may contain pesticides, fertilizer and even aspirin or other chemicals. Drinking this water can cause poisoning in cats and dogs.

2. Ribbons and Tinsel - Often shiny and very distracting, this string like material may cause a dangerous linear foreign body obstruction that requires surgery. Avoid using loose tinsel or other string-like materials and opt for safer pet friendly items.

3.Holiday Plants and flowers - Poinsettias are known for their toxicity to pets, but they tend to have only mildly toxic effects. Holly and mistletoe are more dangerous if ingested. Flowers such as lilies and amaryllis are especially dangerous.

4.Delicious Treats - A highlight of the holiday season for many is all the delicious food--chocolate, turkey, gravy, stuffing, the works. Keep the sweets and the leftovers out of reach of your family pets. Chocolate and anything sweetened with Xylitol can be toxic to your pets. Instead, make sure that you have special pet safe treats on hand. Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, and that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible. Long, stringy things are a cat's dream, but the most risky toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Instead, try a new ball that's too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy or the interactive cat toy.

Merry Christmas from all of us at Animal Care & Control Centre to you and yours! 

Updates to Service: Animal Care & Control Centre

Animal Care & Control Centre (ACCC) has resumed the intake of stray animals, which now includes feral cats and cats brought into ACCC in a trap. ACCC continues to suspend all walk-in services. An admittance appointment is required for all services including if you need to claim your pet or want an animal scanned for a microchip. Appointments can be made by calling 311 or visiting edmonton.ca/pets.

Priority appointments will be given to those animals that are:

  • in distress
  • injured (wounds, limping, bleeding)
  • visibly ill ( thin, weak, not mobile, any discharge from eyes or nose)
  • very pregnant (imminent birth)
  • kittens under two months who appear to have no mother
  • outside when the temperatures have dropped below -20 degrees celsius with the windchill and where the finder is unable to bring the animal inside

For more information on what to do when you’ve found a cat and the types of cats you might find in the City, visit:

https://www.edmonton.ca/residential_neighbourhoods/pets_wildlife/scheduled-intake.aspx

https://www.edmonton.ca/residential_neighbourhoods/pets_wildlife/i-found-a-cat.aspx

'Twas the Night Before Christmas and All Through the House, not a Creature was Stirring, not Even a Mouse...

But, perhaps, there was a creature on the move leading up to the Christmas holidays. As we find ourselves in the basement or storage room digging out those Christmas ornaments that haven’t been touched in months, there’s a pretty good chance that those ornaments aren’t alone and you may have an increased likelihood of running across a house spider--but have no fear, they mean you no harm!


House spiders (Tegenaria domestica), while relatively large and amazingly quick, pose no risk to you or your family. They rely on that incredible speed for defense, and bite only in extreme self-defense situations when trapped against skin with absolutely no possibility of escape - their bites are generally no more severe than a mosquito bite or wasp sting in these rare cases.

House spider (Tegeneria domestica)

If you enjoy Christmas trees with lots of tinsel, then you may have spiders to thank as well (according to Germanic and Ukrainian lore). The short version of the story goes something like this:

Christmas Tree Waste Collection

Curbside collection of natural Christmas trees starts on January 11, 2021.

Please set your tree out for collection on January 11. Trees may be picked up as late as January 31, 2021 (weather dependent) and not necessarily on residents’ regularly scheduled collection days. If your tree has not been picked up by February 1, 2021 and was set out for collection by January 11, please call 311. For more information, please visit edmonton.ca/christmastrees.

Apartment and condo residents can drop off their natural Christmas tree for free at a Recycling Depot from Tuesday, December 28, 2020 until Saturday, January 30, 2021 or an Eco Station anytime during the year. Christmas trees should not be placed near apartment garbage bins or blue bins.

Find a Recycling Depot or Eco Station near you at edmonton.ca/holidaywastereduction.

Help Shape Edmonton's Future - Join a Civic Board

The City of Edmonton’s Civic boards are looking for Edmontonians who are interested in sharing their opinions and working with others to make a difference in our community. The boards provide recommendations which in turn help to make important decisions that impact Edmontonians. Fourteen of the City’s 20 Civic boards are recruiting this year. There are over 30 interesting positions which need to be filled as some boards have more than one vacancy. Click here for information on current postings or contact civic.agencies@edmonton.ca

Funding News

WinterCity Snow FUNd--Help Your Community Embrace Winter!

The SNOW FUNd was designed to support community-building and outdoor winter activities that support one of the goals of the WinterCity Strategy:

  • make it easier to ‘go play outside’: Provide more opportunities for outdoor activity
  • increase the capacity and sustainability of Edmonton’s winter festivals

  • develop a four-season patio culture

  • celebrate the season and embrace daily living in a cold climate

  • promote Edmonton’s great northern story locally, nationally and internationally

Given that COVID-19 is changing the way we can play outside this winter, we are focusing on supporting outdoor winter life in our communities. In this round of the SNOW FUNd, the grant can be used to purchase items that will help your community embrace winter in a safe, socially-distanced way.

A limited number of mini grants up to $500 are available.
Apply now! Application deadline is December 22.

Click here to learn more or contact wintercity@edmonton.ca

Sidewalk Snow Removal Help: Funding for Community Leagues

Keeping the sidewalks surrounding your property clear of snow and ice is part of being a good neighbour throughout our winter months. We know this can be difficult for seniors or persons with disabilities, so the City of Edmonton is providing grant funding to various Community Leagues to assist residents with this task. Interested Community Leagues can apply for the Snow Removal Grant by completing the online application. Citizens can contact  their local community league to see what support may be available.

Alberta Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant
The Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant offers financial assistance to Alberta businesses, cooperatives, and non-profit organizations that were ordered to close or curtail operations, and that experienced a revenue reduction of at least 40%, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible organizations can apply for 15% of their pre-COVID-19 monthly revenue, up to a maximum of $5,000 in funding. Applications will be open until March 31, 2021 unless otherwise communicated. Click here for more information.

Federal Support Programs - Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy 

The Government of Canada is offering support to Canadians, businesses, non-profits and charities that continue to face uncertainty and economic challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Qualifying organizations can apply directly for the new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) without the need to claim the assistance through their landlords. Qualifying organizations that are subject to a lockdown and must shut their doors or significantly limit their activities under a public health order may be eligible for additional Lockdown Support of 25 percent of eligible expenses. Click here for more Information on CERS and other federal support programs.

Resources and Learning Opportunities

Seniors Centre Without Walls: Holiday Programs December 14-31

A seniors’ centre from the comfort of your own home! Seniors’ Centre Without Walls is a free phone-based program that offers recreational activities and friendly conversation to older adults aged 55+ living anywhere in Alberta. All you need is a phone to call the toll free number. Click here to learn more.

Pivot Online Webinar Series

The Government of Alberta's Community Development Unit is hosting a series of webinars to showcase how Alberta's non-profits are transitioning into online platforms and shifting their services to meet community needs. Join one of their upcoming sessions on remote operations, social media, and virtual programming. All sessions are free to attend, but registration is required and spaces are limited! Click here for a complete list of upcoming workshops and registration details!

Working "With" and "In" Communities: Empowering Community Heritage Practices

The Edmonton Heritage Council has teamed up with internationally recognized heritage consultant and course instructor Catherine C. Cole to present a new series of virtual workshops on empowering community heritage practices. The third workshop in the series takes place on January 14 and is entitled, “Working ‘With’ and ‘In’ Communities.” It will focus on the concepts of consultation, engagement, collaboration, partnership, community research, representation, inclusion, voice, and shared authority. It will also discuss the difference between working ‘in’ communities, as a community member, and working ‘with’ communities as an outsider, and how that impacts projects. Click here for more information or to register.

Creating Safer Communities

Indo-Canadian Women's Association (ICWA) is presenting "Creating Safer Communities" to support women experiencing family violence. The “Creating Safer Communities” at ICWA will provide system navigation, information and referrals support to immigrant women with language barriers. Service will be provided in 4 additional languages (Hindi, Gujarati, Urdu and Punjabi). For further information please click here.

Neighbourhood Services strives to provide programs and services that will help citizens and communities build and maintain a connecting, safe environment. 'Keep Neighbouring' is a monthly e-newsletter that brings the most current community news and City updates to our citizens, communities, and partners.
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