November 2021 Newsletter
November 1, 2021
|SRA November Meeting and AGM. The SRA will be holding its 2021 AGM via Zoom on Wednesday, Nov 3, from 7-9 p.m. A link, agenda and ballot for the 2021-22 Board will be emailed to all members on Monday, Nov 1. |
In addition to AGM business, we will be discussing the 19-story residential/retail development proposed for 456 Prior. We’ve heard concerns from residents about the height (19 stories), re-zoning, and lack of amenities. Here’s a link to the project’s website. Representatives from city planning and zoning will be on hand to field questions.
Please join us at the meeting!
Strathcona Park re-opens; still more to do
The east side of Strathcona Park is now re-opened. The grass is green and the oval is back. Check it out.
We encourage dog owners to use the fields to inspire the Park Board to set up an off-leash area and discourage geese, in addition to helping ease the congestion at MacLean Park. We are working with all parties to try and come up with some solutions – for dog-owners, parents, neighbours, and everyone who lives in the neighbourhood and shares greenspace.
Further to that, the 2023-26 Capital Plan process is now going on behind the scenes. The SRA recently sent this letter to Park Board staff and officials, urging them to prioritize re-imagining Strathcona Park to make it a neighbourhood destination for everyone in our community. It would help if you sent an e-mail of support to firstname.lastname@example.org
Some Ways You Can Get More Involved in Strathcona
Backpack Program. Needs volunteers for a few hours on Thursday and Fridays at the Strathcona Community Centre to help pack and distribute food baskets. Contact Lorraine at email@example.com or 604-713-1839.
Adopt a Block. Needs neighbours in East Strath (aka Kiwasa) and west of Jackson to do clean-up on their blocks. Here’s the map. Contact Susan at AdoptaBlock@strathcona-residents.org
SRA Online. The SRA could use further help with someone who knows WordPress and MailChimp and social media to help us keep our website, newsletter, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts updated. A few hours a month. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Community-led Air Quality Monitoring Project. We need 1-2 volunteers to help secure locations to host air quality monitors. Contact AQProject@strathcona-resdients.org
Food Delivery to Local Seniors. Ray-Cam and the SCPC have a program that delivers meals and food to isolated and immobile seniors in the neighbourhood every Tuesday and Thursday between 11:30AM-1:30PM. Deliveries are all local and on foot. To volunteer, contact Dan Turvill at email@example.com or 604.717.0622.
Adopt a Catch Basin. With leaves falling, clogged catch basins can lead to flooding. CoV has a program where you can adopt one (Vancouver has 45,000 catch basins, with about 41,000 that need adopting, so lots of choices). CoV provides guidance and gear. Click here for more info.
The SCPC is sponsoring the KAIROS Blanket Exercise, an experiential workshop that explores the nation-to-nation relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. “As a Community Policing Centre, we believe neighbourhood safety relies upon people connecting, understanding and respecting one another, and we believe this experience is a valuable tool for achieving this.” Saturday November 20, 2021 1:00pm – 4:00pm at the SCC. There are only a few spaces available. If you’re interested, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Year in Review: 2020-2021
By Dan Jackson, SRA President
am happy to report that progress has been made, slowly but surely, on several fronts despite the many obstacles in the last year. I want to thank and acknowledge the many who contributed.
The SRA’s newsletter, website and social media presence have grown in scope and sophistication, largely thanks to the work of Katie Lewis.
The Prior Street Pilot has chipped away at calming traffic. Thanks to the efforts of Richard Taplin. More to be done for sure, but we now have single-lane traffic, jersey barriers, speed indicators, and turquoise crosswalks that weren’t there before. Pilot efforts will hopefully segue to permanent ones in 2022.
The Community-Led Air Quality Monitoring Project is zeroing in on locations and technology. Next, we need to secure over a dozen hosts for monitoring equipment (courtesy of the Port and UBC) to kick off the two-year study. Thanks to Trefor Smith for leading the charge (and applying for the funding), to Ghazal Arefi for serving on the steering committee, to Ronan Chester, VFPA’s Environmental Lead, and to the other members of the steering committee for all their efforts making this happen.
Thanks to the many who contributed to the Strathcona Park encampment eventually being resolved effectively and compassionately, particularly Parks General Manager Donnie Rosa and Provincial Housing Minister David Eby. They both stepped up and took genuine responsibility after so many elected officials and government bureaucrats did not.
Thanks to Caroline Neufeld for typing the minutes and Susan Adams for taking charge of the Adopt-a-Block Program (and to both for overseeing our film location fee group). Thanks to Alan Zisman for organizing the Maclean Park Music this summer. Thanks to Amy Walker and Jade Koide for organizing the Hawks/Keefer street mural. Thanks to Arnt & Val Arntzen and Ilka Riemann for designing and building the Free Lending Library. Thanks to Maureen Teahan for organizing the Labyrinth repainting. Thanks to Roberta Robertson for managing the local Neighbourhood Grants Program. I know I have missed some others. Thanks to all of you who took the time to be an active part of this community.
So what’s next for 2022?
Getting Strathcona Park on the Park Board’s 2023-26 Capital Plan. Making effective calming measures on Prior permanent. Getting over a dozen AQ monitors installed and working. Preserving all the great things in our wonderful urban village in the face of big changes all around us.
One of the things that drew me to this community is the willingness of so many residents to get involved, in ways big and small, from reaching out to help a neighbour in need, to volunteering with existing groups like the Community Gardens or Adopt-a-Block, to organizing concerts in the park or mural painting. My biggest worry for the future is keeping this community spirit alive. When faced with the gravitational pull of family and job and busy lives, it can be hard to find room on our crowded plate for community. I fear that too many think it will take care of itself without their help. It may not.Community is not a given. It is a choice. The more people who make that choice, the more a community thrives.
I was inspired recently reading an article written by outgoing Calgary mayor Naheed Neheshi. After leaving office, he’s dedicating his energy to a program called Three Things for Canada: “It’s simple. I am asking every citizen, every year, to do at least three acts of service. It can be something small (shovel your neighbour’s walk) or something big (join a non-profit board). It doesn’t matter. What matters is that our service to each other is how we mould that clay, how we create that future, how we move to solutions….”
I couldn’t agree more.