A month or so ago, my neighbor phoned me out of the blue on a Saturday morning, and asked me if I knew where my daughter was. My first thought was “What? Of course I do.. wait, do I?” It took me a second to realize, yes, I knew where my daughter was, she was skipping down the road to her friend’s house (still in her pyjamas and carrying a box of timbits, but let’s move right passed my parenting choices).
My neighbor had seen her running out of the house and heading down to the street on her own and phoned me to check up on her. I thought about getting annoyed – why wouldn’t I know where my child was? But… then I thought: my neighbor knows my name, my children’s names and has my phone number. He paid attention when he saw her on her own and cared enough about her to make that phone call to make sure she was safe. And the follow on thought was, what a wonderful community I live in, where not only do I feel safe enough for her to walk to a friend’s house, but I feel safer knower that there is a wide safety net ready to catch her.
So, as we move out of a long, lazy, rainy summer and into another busy fall, keep an eye out for each other Greenfield. Let’s reach out and connect, share recipes and stay in each other’s lives.
A great opportunity for connection is the Community League Day BBQ on September 21st, starting at 11am. Come join us for a free hot dog, share some extra garden produce, talk to our community garden planners and chat with your community board about ideas you’d like to see for the fall. We will also be unveiling our 50th Anniversary mural on the east side of the hall!
As always, don’t forget to purchase your Community League Membership for 2019/20. Your membership gives you a vote at our AGM and other great benefits. Memberships are $30 for individuals, $15 for seniors, $25 for senior couples and $50 for families. Memberships can be purchased online or at our AGM in January.
When I was growing up in a small rural community in central Alberta, I never would have guessed that years later I would feel planted in the city enjoying some of the benefits of a small town community right in the midst of a city. Growing up on a farm in Alberta had lots of benefits but some of the richest were the many ways that we ended up building connections together with our neighbours. We gathered together for functions. My parents lent equipment or a hand to each other, called each other if something of question was going on on their land, drove each other’s kids around, coached each other’s kids, laughed together, and even shed the occasional tear together. I never would have dreamed that this same sense of community, belonging & support could develop in the city.
My husband and I have lived in our little corner of Greenfield now for nearly 17 years and we have benefited immeasurably through the community that surrounds us. We enjoy connections with neighbours of various different talents, often sharing skills with each other. We shared toys, tools, food, and great conversations. We keep an eye open for each other’s homes, kids and pets. We have adopted grandparents for our kids and dog. We gather to celebrate. We gather to grieve.
When I reflect back to the very beginning, I recognize that one of the keys to these connections developing was that we moved onto a block where there was already a traditional block party booked for each June. I remember the first summer as we timidly walked down the street to join the party. The street was blocked off, kids were riding their decorated biked all over and BBQ’s, tables and chairs were pulled into the street. Within minutes I had this immediate feel of “small town community”. Kids were playing on the street, adults were introducing themselves to each and many others were reminiscing of the years of old. We were included and belonged!
Our block continues to host a block party every summer, rain or shine...over 30 years running! It isn’t super fancy as we gather a few BBQ’s, share food, fire pit and games. Through it all there is a sense that we can belong and care for each other making our little town in the midst of the city a thriving place to growth and connect.
If you would like to start a legacy of block parties on your block or in your alley these websites might be helpful resources for you. The sites are also rich with fresh ideas if your block party has already been going for a while now. The city recognizes the importance of connections like this and are happy to help with resources. Feel free to connect with us on the Greenfield board too if you would like more stories and ideas for how to coordinate your party.
Cheers to your “small town” in the city!
- Loretta James
Block Parties: https://www.edmonton.ca/ residential_neighbourhoods/neighbourhoods/blockparties.aspx Play Streets: https://www.edmonton.ca/ residential_neighbourhoods/neighbourhoods/playstreets.aspx
I want to share a story of a friend of mine – a Greenfield resident who we lost to cancer in February. Amy Rempel Alain was an extraordinary mother, partner and friend. A spitfire of energy, an ultra marathoner, a woman who lived her values, who found immense joy in being outdoors. And, for the last ten months, a lung cancer fighter. Despite her diagnosis, despite her fear, her pain and discomfort, nothing could stop Amy from finding meaning in her life’s story.
While undergoing chemo, she started “58 Lunges for Lung Cancer”, representing the 58 Canadians who die every day from lung cancer. She appeared on news shows with bravery and poise to fight the stigma that only smokers can get lung cancers (“If you have lungs, you can get lung cancer”). She ran and biked to her treatments to be active and outdoors and not labelled as a patient. From her hospital bed, she reached out to fellow cancer warriors, survivors, families to share stories, to give encouragement, to comfort and connect. She found passion and purpose in the ultimate test of making every day count.
So – my challenge to you fellow Greenfield residents, is to not wait until the clock is ticking to find what your passion is. Reach out – connect - put your mark on the world. Volunteer, lead, and dream a little bigger. Find out, deep in your marrow, what your story is about. And then live it to the fullest.
And while you’re at it – do a couple of lunges in honour of Amy and the 57 other friends, neighbours and loved ones we will lose today to lung cancer.
As always, I can be reached at email@example.com – please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or ideas.
Welcome to another beautiful fall in the neighbourhood. There so many exciting things to tell you about. First of all, I’d like to introduce myself.
The Board said a sad farewell to Sam Goertz this past May, who has led our community board for the last two years. Sam was an amazing, passionate contributor to our community and he will deeply missed for his vision and commitment to our community. My name is Amanda Barros and I will be taking the role of interim president until our AGM on January 31st. I am a long time Greenfield resident – my family moved to the community when I was in kindergarten, I attended Greenfield Elementary School and my family and I moved back to the neighbourhood about five years ago to be closer to family. I have been on the Board for the past two years and I feel privileged to step up into the presidency.
Enough of that! I am thrilled to announce that Greenfield Community has received a grant from the Alberta Foundation from the Arts to create a Mural Mosaic celebrating our 50 years as a community. This is an opportunity for us to come together and create a wall of art that celebrates where we have been as a community and where we are going over the next 50 years. We will be hosting a community painting session on November 17th at the Community Hall – come on down, show off your artistic skills and paint a piece of our history. And then stay tuned for our grand unveiling on New Years Eve where we show off our finished masterpiece.
Also this fall, we are hosting our third annual Craft Fair at the Community Hall on December 1st and 2nd. Come and down and support our artistic community members. And as always, Greenfield will host the most amazing New Years Eve fireworks – stop by the Hall for some hot chocolate, lace up your skates, see our Mural unveiled and cuddle close to your neighbours for fireworks at 9pm.
Thank you to everyone who showed up to our September Community League Day. Despite some last minute changes to the agenda (no one wants to be on a Bouncy castle in minus three weather!), it was a wonderful warm day to be in the Hall together as a community. And thank you so much to everyone who showed up on October 25th for our first ever Community League Wine Tasting Fundraiser. Nothing says civilized fundraising while sipping on prosecco. Stay tuned for a spring wine tasting in support of the Soccer program and the other fine work our community does.
As always, don’t forget to purchase your Community League Membership for 2018/19. Your membership gives you a vote at our AGM and other great benefits. Memberships are $30 for individuals, $15 for seniors, $25 for senior couples and $50 for families. Memberships can be purchased online or at our AGM in January.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and look forward to seeing everyone on the playground!
Thank you, Greenfield,
This will be my final President’s note, as I am officially stepping down this September. It is with mixed emotions that I write this; while I am excited about my new adventures I will deeply miss living in Greenfield and serving Greenfielders. Above all else, I am filled with a sincere gratitude for the opportunity to have been your President. The folks I met during my three years in the community (and two and a half as President) are some of the best that I have ever met. I have loved leading the community league and seeing through a wave of new projects from establishing games night as a regular event to the complete overhaul of our website in the summer of 2016.
When I was first considering running for President, I developed a “platform: and a “campaign” speech, little did I know neither would be needed! Upon becoming the President in April of 2016, I was firmly focused on bringing the three central initiatives from my “platform” to Greenfield in addition to continuing the great work of past Presidents. Those three initiatives were appointing a Seniors Liaison to the board, building a community garden, and establishing a 3 on 3 community hockey tournament. While the tournament had to be cancelled due to unexpectedly warm weather, I am proud to say the first two initiatives have been successes.
We appointed our first Seniors Liaison, Nav Sharma, in June of 2016. From there, we earned the Age Friendly Edmonton Seniors Grant, due to Nav’s hard work, and have worked hard and successfully in better connecting Greenfield’s senior citizens. Dorris Lee continues Nav’s great work and I have no doubt that Greenfield will continue to serve seniors better and better.
The community garden project has been one of the hardest undertakings of my life, stretching over two and a half years and hundreds of hours of work. Happily, all of this work, by me and a team of dedicated volunteers has been a success. The project gained formal city approval in March and we will be pursuing a grant to fully fund the project and start gardening in 2019. I have immense confidence in my two successors as Chair, Tyler Shannon, and Sandi Lafleur.
Make sure to purchase your Community League membership for the 2018-2019 year to get a host of wonderful benefits, from community swims to discounted hall rental rates among many other benefits outlined on our website. Memberships can be purchased online or at the community hall. Email email@example.com for more!
I will be in Greenfield for the 50th Anniversary Community BBQ on September 15th, 2018, and I hope to see you all there. I can’t think of a better event at which to say goodbye to such a wonderful and warm community. Have a fantastic autumn and be sure to keep up with the latest community programs and events on our website, Facebook page, or by signing up for our email express. Serving you has been my utmost honour, thank you.
As summer shines just around the corner, a bevy of community events and programs are on tap. Our community hosts one of the city’s most popular Greenshack sites not to mention all of the other great activities our community offers members like free community swim times, and free community member tennis times among many others. I am pleased to announce that after a great deal of work, the community garden has received City approval and has just a few more steps before seeds can be planted. I am stepping down as Chair of the Garden Subcommittee as of May, but I look forward to watching the project’s growth in the coming years.
Of course, none of this community work is possible without healthy finances. Fundraising is a prescient issue in our community as traditional fundraising models decline and we search for replacements. Right now we are hiring a Grant Writer to apply for grants on our behalf in addition to exploring other fundraising methods. I am pleased with the strong early support I’ve received from community members, but more is needed. This issue requires a multifaceted solution, which crucially must involve a stronger fundraising effort. To do this, the community needs its members to step up and take on organizing roles. We are proud to offer the programs and events we do; from tennis to soccer to family movie nights, but we need your help.
I would like to take some time to thank some of Greenfield’s incredible volunteers who have moved on from an active role with the Board. At our 50th Anniversary Community BBQ on September 15th, 2018 we will be honouring these fine people: Jana Roppelt, Ian Hicks, Yi-Li Li, Kirsten Berg, and Heidi and Jarvis de Groot. If you see these folks around the community be sure to give them a warm ‘thank-you’ on behalf of the community.
I am proud to report that the Greenfield Community League Board continues to be remarkably healthy, with wonderful volunteers and excellent attendance. That being said we are always looking for more help: we are specifically looking for a Fundraising Coordinator, an Events Coordinator, and an Assistant Treasurer. Please send me an email if you’re interested. Being a community league board member is low commitment and a fun way to meet people in your community and better your neighbourhood.
Don’t forget to get your Community League membership for a host of wonderful benefits, from community swims (outdoor and indoor) to discounted hall rental rates among many others outlined on our website. Memberships are $30 per individual, $15 for seniors, $25 for senior couples and $50 for families. Memberships can be purchased online or at the community league hall. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more!
Have a healthy and happy spring and summer and be sure to keep up with the latest community programs and events either on our website, Facebook page or by signing up for our email express. As always feel free to contact me at email@example.com.