First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who turned out for the Cloverdale Community League (CCL) Annual General Meeting on September 25, 2017. Well over 60 CCL members and guests participated in a full evening of reports, discussions and decision-making. Thanks to Culina at the Muttart Conservatory for once again providing appetizers for the evening! Thanks also to Councillor Ben Henderson for attending and sharing his experience and insights on a couple of tough issues that Cloverdale will be addressing in the coming months. I’d also like to recognize and thank Dan Healy and Chris Shea for stepping forward into their respective roles as Vice-President and Edmonton Ski Club liaison. Welcome to all the other board and committee members who are continuing in their various roles. Finally, thanks to Bonnie Powers, Shelley Brett and Chris Perl for their contributions to the community and best wishes as they take on new challenges and opportunities.
We received great input at the AGM on two emerging issues that are facing the community - addressing the impact of the ‘Accidental’ Beach on our neighbourhood and laying the foundation for a neighbourhood residential parking programme. Eleven people signed up to serve on two separate ad hoc committees to work on resolutions to both issues. A group met on October 25, 2017 for an organizational meeting to determine how to address both issues. Stay tuned via “The Chronicle”, the CCL website and the CCL Facebook Page as we work through both of these items.
At its October meeting, the CCL board approved a decision to develop a strategic plan for the Cloverdale Community League. Given what’s facing the community - from the impending launch of the LRT Valley Line in 2020, to the 20-year vision and development of Gallagher Park through the Gallagher Park Master Plan, the impacts of the ‘Accidental’ Beach and the Edmonton Folk Music Festival (EFMF) on the neighbourhood and the future of the rink facilities, it’s important that the CCL have meaningful, thoughtful conversations to identify the assets of our community and articulate the vision of what we’d like this neighbourhood to become for ourselves and for the next generation of residents and members of the CCL. A strategic plan will help guide and inform decision making in the future.
As many of us are aware, recently there has been a rash of break and enters to a number of garages, vehicles and homes in Cloverdale. Neighbours have been sharing information on these incidents and have reported the thefts to the Edmonton Police Service (EPS). It’s important for us as neighbours to know one and other, recognize unusual behaviour and report incidents to the EPS. Knowing our neighbours helps to create a sense of safety and empowerment. Reporting incidents to the EPS helps them determine how to allocate resources to our neighbourhood. Check out the City of Edmonton crime map to see the latest posted information (http://crimemapping.edmontonpolice.ca/) and to compare Cloverdale to other neighbourhoods. The EPS website (http://www.edmontonpolice.ca/CrimePrevention/HomePropertySafety.aspx) also has tips to help with personal, home, garage and vehicle security. Here are just a few of them:
- Garages are a favourite target for criminals. Be sure windows are curtained so thieves can't look for items to steal or check to see if your car is there. The garage door should
- swing inward, be solid core and have a deadbolt lock. Here are some other tips to help you keep your garage safe.
· Keep your garage locked, even when you are at home
· If the overhead garage door is roller and track operated, install a lock in the track to block the roller and disconnect your automatic garage door opener before you go on vacation
· Secure your other garage doors with deadbolts
· Install lights near your garage to keep the area lit
· Leave your headlights on until you park in the garage
· Have a remote control garage door opener installed. This will allow you to stay in your locked car until you're inside your locked garage. Be sure the overhead door closes completely after you drive into or out of your garage
· Never leave your automatic garage door opener in a vehicle that is parked outside your home
Sustainable & Energy Efficient Hall Upgrades
In 2016, the CCL membership approved a capital plan of upgrades to the hall to improve its energy efficiency, reduce its carbon footprint and improve the comfort of occupants. Since then there has been a flurry of grant writing. Upgrades were done as funds and scheduling permitted. In November 2016, the original three 1986-era low to mid efficiency furnaces were replaced with two high efficiency (96%) furnaces. Draft-proofing was done in the attic and the crawl space to seal leaks in the building envelope. As well, barriers were installed in the power receptacles to reduce drafts. In the spring, the lights were converted to LED.
Since then, the capital projects committee has met with several contractors about installing triple-pane windows throughout the building. These should be installed before the end of 20017 to replace windows with broken seals and don’t close properly anymore. As well, the committee has met with the project manager and contractors about upgrades to the HVAC system, improvements to the ventilation in the concession area and upgraded insulation in the attic and crawlspace.
To date, the CCL has applied for and received confirmation of $190,695 in grant support from various municipal and provincial organizations. Sadly, at this time, no federal funding is available for building retrofits such as ours.
In September, the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues (EFCL) hosted a series of workshops called “Green Leagues” to increase awareness of energy transition strategies that may be undertaken by community leagues. Topics included a context for undertaking energy efficiency upgrades, an Introduction to Energy Efficiency, the Basics of Photovoltaic Solar Panels, and an exploration of Funding Options. Several community leagues, including ours, are heading down the road of sustainable hall upgrades to cut costs, improve the comfort of the building and reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. The Queen Alexandra Community League has installed solar panels and upgraded their attic insulation to R-70. Several have converted their rink lights to LED and cut power consumption at the rinks by approximately 65%. The Riverdale Community League just completed construction on a photovoltaic solar panel gazebo next to their hall, and the Evansdale Community League doubled the capacity of its solar panel array. The Cloverdale Community League is among a number of leagues that are finding creative ways to cut operating costs and remain sustainable.
Abundant Community Edmonton (ACE) - Cloverdale
We’re fortunate to live in a great neighbourhood with great access to the river valley, amenities like bike and walking trails, the Muttart Conservatory and downtown Edmonton. We’re also have close access to neighbours. We look out for one another and we take care of the neighbourhood. A number of streets celebrated Block Parties this summer and fall. It was a great way to get out of the house, meet one another for conversation and for the kids to safely play in the street. How often do they get a chance to do that? I hope we have more opportunities to celebrate neighbourliness in Cloverdale in the coming months. Here are a few more thoughts on the Benefits of Neighbours:
Inclusiveness - Fear of difference is often cited as a the primary reason for exclusion of labeled people. The block and the neighbourhood are natural places where people can humanize each other and overcome fears of difference about disabilities, culture, gender identity and more.
Inclusion – In a world of finely grained separation the neighbourhood provides a unique place in which people of different orientations, experiences and views can connect at a human level.
Health & Wellness - More and better relationships improve health. The neighbouring relationship is often overlooked as a unique and potent source of personal well-being.
Mental Health - Having access to consistent opportunities to build meaningful relationships opens the door for a troubled neighbour to connect with a supportive neighbour and benefit from human to human connection.
Spirituality – The deep formation of the heart and life are connected to “the land” and the people who inhabit it. Living life together in a place can be one of the most important dimensions of our lives. Our yards, blocks, parks, streets and sidewalks are sacred.
Social Care - Neighbourhoods are "the villages" that can reasonably and responsibly take on care beyond the family, looking out for children, seniors, marginalized, especially the most vulnerable.
Companionship – Belonging, engagement and connection are essential to human thriving. Friends and families are not always, or sometimes not ever, available. Neighbours can be company and companionship nearby.
Recreation - Mental and physical fitness are enhanced by local, easily accessible and often impromptu opportunities for play and social connection in leisure time.
Seniors Isolation - Connected “blocks” (e.g. block, cul-de-sac, apartment or condo building or floor) naturally look in on seniors and keep caregivers informed.
Youth Mentoring - Supportive mentoring relationships can naturally occur in the neighbourhood when neighbours of all ages get to know one another. Neighbours can feel empowered to intervene when children misbehave - sharing care of the young and creating ‘the village’ to raise our children.
Bylaw Enforcement - Neighbours in relationship with each other will be better able to solve challenges and disagreements that come up between them, as well as encourage each other to meet high standards to invoke pride in the place they live.
Crime and Safety - A safe street is produced by ‘eyes on the street’. Neighbours find permission and organize to look out for the safety of one another. Safety follows from people being out and about taking responsibility for each other and the “commons”.
Disaster Preparedness - Neighbours helping neighbours is an important disaster preparedness strategy for municipalities.
Poverty Reduction - People in poverty need often complex services, many of which can be provided through kindness and generosity of neighbours. When people know their neighbours, they are more likely to share resources (yard equipment; car shares; babysitting; employment advice). In addition, neighbours are well positioned to be a “broker” or to connect neighbours in need to necessary services.
Environmental Sustainability - Localism is the cornerstone of the environmental movement as we move towards energy, food and water security within a changing climate. From community gardens to car and tool sharing, a strong neighbourhood has lots of potential for actualizing a sustainable future.
Resident Retention - Generally, people stay in a neighbourhood when they are connected to their neighbours and their neighbourhood as a whole.
Business and Social Innovation - Neighbourhoods are one of the important environments for people of diverse ideas and imaginations to find one another in creative connection. Neighbours are able to drive local economies when shared demands are articulated (e.g. creation of a local coffeeshop/bakery/daycare)
Neighbourhood Engagement and readiness to participate in Public Engagement - A network of block-to-block point people is the most granular level of consultation any municipality and its citizens could reasonably aspire to.
Inspired by the work of John McKnight & Peter Block in The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighbourhoods and the daily community building efforts of Neighbourhood Connectors, Block Connectors and their local support teams and community leagues in Edmonton.
Ad Hoc ‘Accidental’ Beach and Residential Neighbourhood Parking Programme
At its AGM on September 25, 2017, the CCL membership approved motions to set up two ad hoc committees to address the impact of the ‘Accidental’ Beach on the neighbourhood and to explore implementation of a residential neighbourhood parking programme in Cloverdale. On October 25, 2017 a group gathered at the CCL hall to explore how to approach both tasks.
Three things quickly became apparent:
- We care deeply about Cloverdale and want to champion ideas that are positive and support community values;
- It is important to engage our neighbours to create a ‘community voice’ in response to both challenges;
- Two themes emerged that serve as touchstones for our exploration:
- The residential neighbourhood parking programme comes under a “Transportation” umbrella that includes speed limits on 98 Avenue, traffic lights at both 92 and 95 Street, speeding on Cloverdale Hill Road.
- The ‘Accidental’ Beach comes under an umbrella of “Community Health” which includes neighbourhood safety, access, peace and quiet, engagement and inclusiveness.
City of Edmonton administration is scheduled to present a report on the ‘Accidental’ Beach to the Urban Planning Committee of City Council on November 29, 2017. A copy of the report should be available on or about November 22nd at < https://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/council_committee_meetings/transportation-committee-agendas-minutes.aspx. >. The CCL will be considering making a presentation at the meeting. If you wish to make an individual presentation, please follow this link for the process to register as a speaker <http://coewebapps.edmonton.ca/forms/requesttospeak/default.aspx.>