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June 2020 Newsletter

Monday, June 1, 2020
Artist Mark Simcic's "Park" project


This morning, the schoolyard at Strathcona School was full of kids for the first time in months. Playgrounds, stores, restaurants and other public amenities are cautiously opening. All encouraging signs that we’ve weathered at least the first wave of this. It’s a good time to cautiously venture out and get some fresh air.

SRA projects have been in the same holding pattern as much of the world. We’re still awaiting the funds for our Community AQ Monitoring Grant. The re-design of our website came to an abrupt halt when Red Academy, the tech school that was helping us, was shut down, apparently permanently (if you know of any grants that might fund a website, let us know).

A few upcoming developments along Prior St….

In the near future, the City will be re-locating two existing pieces of public art along Prior. Artist Marko Simcic’s car-size Park pieces (pictured above) appear at first glance to be tarp-draped vehicles. They are in fact cast-steel mobile sculptures, created for the Vancouver Public Arts Program in 2008. They’ve been placed in various places around the city and this summer will live near the Hawks and Campbell crosswalks. The intention is both aesthetic and utilitarian, preventing vehicles from speeding in the parking lane along the Strathcona Park.

And if that doesn’t slow traffic, BC Hydro will be closing the middle lanes on Prior between Gore and Hawks to dig up and relay pipe. It’s supposed to start sometime within the next month and last three months. The presumption is that the parking lanes will be used for traffic, which will shift back into the middle lane between Hawks and Clark. To be seen how that meshes with the parked art.

On other traffic fronts, last week the City launched a “Room to Move” program. Freestanding barrier/signs along Keefer and Princess (as well as many other streets in the city) will remind vehicles to drive cautiously and watch for bikes and pedestrians.


United Way Volunteer Network for Vulnerable Residents

United Way has launched a new program, called Mobilizing Local Love, that offers support to vulnerable citizens by matching them up with pre-screened volunteers to help with day-to-day tasks such as grocery deliveries or prescription pickups, a friendly phone call, dog walking, yard work or help with technology. People can sign up if they need help – or would like to volunteer - by filling out their online form, or you can e-mail their coordinator Ksenia Stepkina.

The United Way is also making Local Love grants available for resident-led initiatives that support needs in a community as a direct result of COVID-19. Through creative approaches, Local Love projects aim to support neighbours in the applicant's own community. This grant encourages projects that help reduce loneliness and bring the community together, by supporting social connections during this time of physical distancing. Click here to apply.