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Monthly Archives:

March 2016

Griesbach Playground Bottle Drive: Saturday, April 9th.

Our spring bottle drive to raise funds for the playground will take place on April 9th. With us being so close to our funding target, every bottle – every can – counts!

Several groups ask for bottles at this time of year. If you could save yours for us, we can get this playground done.

Volunteers will go around the community starting at 10 am. If you aren’t home or don’t want to be disturbed, leave your bags on the front step with a sign that says “For Playground Bottle Drive.” Or drop them off at at sorting station at the school between 10 am and 2 pm.

Thanks so much for saving up.

If you are away that weekend, email Brad and he can make plans for you to drop them off.

Summary of GCL Annual General Meeting

Griesbach Community League recently hosted its Annual General Meeting. We were thrilled to have so many residents join us (we peg the numbers around 80). It was a jam-packed agenda. Here are a few highlights (note, these aren’t the official minutes – just a summary).

Playground Update:

Jim Chronopoulos, GCL Facilities and Structures Director and Chair of the the Playground Committee  unveiled the plans for the playground site, which will be named “Maple Leaf Park”. They want feedback on the proposed equipment and design from residents and parents of students attending MGG School. To see the plans and provide your comments, CLICK HERE.

It was revealed that if we hit a critical April 1st funding target – we can actually build our playground THIS YEAR with a projected completion of the initial build in time for fall 2016. As this is prior to our ability to access future fundraising proceeds (including a casino, grants and bottle drive) – and are we not eligible for loans or bridge funding – we need residents to step forward to help us get over the top. Find out how you can contribute to our GOFUNDME campaign (CLICK).

Fundraising numbers have changed slightly since the AGM. We require $17,874.42 by the April 1 deadline and another $11,825.29 in our account by May (simplified to a $30K target in our GoFundMe campaign). A larger amount will be required by next building season to allow us to complete features such as the gazebo which will not be part of the initial build – but will likely be covered by fundraising initiatives listed below).

Commercial Centre Update:

GCL President Brad Tilley presented the architectural guidelines and renderings of the commercial site on behalf of Brentwood Developments, who were unable to attend. The only tenant announced to date is Shoppers Drug Mart. To see the plans and read more about timelines, read our GRIESBACH SQUARE BLOG UPDATE (CLICK).

Welcome our New Board Members:

We managed to fill all vacancies on our board. All positions were by acclamation. Join us in welcoming the following new board members: Aaron Gregson (Treasurer), Jenna Barker (Civics and Community Development), Audrey Mcdonald (Volunteers) and Brett Kerley (memberships). We are pleased to welcome back Carl Knowler (VP), Jim Chrononpoulos (Structures and Facilities), Dave Neufeld (Communications) and Jen Horne (Social). It was announced that Ginevra Mills took over the role of fundraising director on an interim basis until the position is up for election at the 2017 AGM. Ryan Chmilor will be rejoining us as a member at large.

We’d like to recognize the hard work of board members who will be leaving us: Henny Lamers, Joe Salaysay, Natalie Hanratty, Felicia Dewar and Chrystal Norris.

Director Report Highlights:

Attached are the audited financial statements, as presented by outgoing Treasurer, Joe Salaysay (COMING SOON). The community league is in healthy shape. Note, we have a separate account for the playground funds.

Vice President Carl Knowler shared some future looking plans on behalf of the board:

  1. A large focus of our recent efforts has been on the playground. This was the priority identified in our first survey of community members. A new community survey is going to be conducted. All community members are encouraged to submit their opinions and provide their ideas. This will help us set new priorities moving forward – which will be important as the playground is nearing completion.
  2. We have time now to work on board professionalization as well as take a second look at the bylaws to see how we can be better positioned to serve the community.
  3. GCL is doing several things to create a sense of community. He encourages all members to come out to events and to get to know one another.

Neighbourhood Watch Director, Milena Maria reported the following:

  1. Over the past year suspicious vehicles have subsided with the help of community members and EPS.
  2. B&Es have gone up as well as vandalism. Speeding around the community (especially around Griesbach school) is a concern.
  3. All are encouraged to continue to report incidents as they occur to support the EPS in providing and increased presence.
  4. The Neighbourhood Watch Facebook page has been successful, members have been able to share information and get to know one another and the community.
  5. An initiative is in the works to acquire Neighbourhood Watch signs.

In addition to the detailed playground update above, Structures and Facilities Director Jim Chronopoulos noted that the City of Edmonton is now requiring Community Leagues to enter into maintenance agreements to cover potential repair/removal costs of monuments. GCL has worked with organizations such as the groups behind the Airborne Cairn and Ad Astor monument to secure funds which will be placed in trust in the event of future repairs, so the community isn’t on the hook. GCL is also working with Canada Lands to create a catalogue of monuments, plans and suppliers so there is a record when Canada Lands eventually leaves.

Parks and Gardens Director Bryan Evans reported on the return of Griesbach Community Gardens in its new location (still managed under the direction of the Griesbach Gardens Society). The understanding is that Griesbach residents will get first priority when plots become available. A porta-potty is being purchased to be placed at the community garden which will be available and serviced year-round. Last year, GCL took over the planting and monitoring the beds at the roundabout at Griesbach Parade.

Bill Countryman, our Sports Director, indicated our soccer program continues to grow. Last year we had approximately 140 players on 11 teams for the outdoor season, with 4 teams and 70 players for indoor. The program relies on volunteer commitments, and it is crucial these be honoured. His committee is  looking into the establishment of a baseball program.

Programs Director Melissa Carvalho has big plans to expand on our event offering. In addition to taking over the Easter Egg Hunt (established by resident Lisa McCulloch and her family), Melissa is looking into a Nine and Dine, Silver Screen event and babysitters meet and greet. All ideas are welcome and encouraged. Look to the website for more information. Starting July the Green Shack program will begin for the summer. This year we will get a full time summer Green Shack (running Monday to Friday). A Spring Green Shack program will run starting in May. This expanded program was awarded in response to the success of last year’s program and strong attendance.

The Social Director report (presented on behalf of Jen Horne) announced our Spring Fling social/fundraiser will be held at the Crown and Anchor Pub on May 7th and include a silent auction and live band. (Email us for ticket inquiries). Last year’s 80s themed Spring Fling, Shake at the Lake and Art Walk were hugely successful and will be continued.

Ginevra Mills announced that several fundraising efforts will be taking place and we will need volunteers to help. Let us know if you can lend a hand (email our volunteers director).

  • Bottle drive (Saturday, April 9)
  • Griesbach Spring Fling and Silent Auction (May 7. Crown and Anchor Pub)
  • Casino (June 9 & 10 at Yellowhead Casino)
  • Kensington Bingo dates (April 30 and May 28).

Communications: If you’re reading this, you know it’s business as usual. The website and facebook page are well utilized. E-newsletters are sent out the bulk of the year with hard copies sent via Canada Post to all residents on a quarterly basis. We’d love to get volunteers who are interested in writing and helping us on social media. Contact Dave if you’re interested.

President Brad Tilley summed things up and stressed that the community league and its many initiatives have been successful due to the tireless work of our many volunteers, particularly to those on the board.

Special Guests:

We were joined by MLA David Eggen, Councillor Bev Esslinger and a representative from MP Kerry Diotte’s office joined us as well. Alison Mould from the City of Edmonton, who is our community representative was in the audience.

Councillor Esslinger said the City is investigating the terms of the Sobeys contract for the Commercial area and is seeing if there are loopholes resulting from Sobey’s subsequent purchase of Safeway, which has limited development of the site (owned by Sobeys).


I hope I didn’t miss anything!

Your donation can help us meet a crucial deadline – so we can build our playground THIS YEAR!


Incredible news:

If we get $30,000* in the bank by April 1, 2016 – we can have a playground in place THIS fall! 

After many years of fundraising, consultation and design, we are FINALLY within striking distance of starting our build. If we can raise approximately $30,000 by April 1st, we can break ground THIS season.

It’s a big “IF” but we’re confident that we can do it.

We are asking your family – or your business – if you can make an immediate contribution prior to the April 1st deadline.

At the recent community AGM, we had a number of residents make generous contributions – many over $100. As a result, we raised close to $2,400 in one night! If everyone could give just a little bit, we can unquestionably achieve this goal and get shovels in the ground.

The good news is that all donations over $20 qualify for a tax receipt from the City of Edmonton!!!

If your company is part of a donation matching program – your contribution doubles – to get us that much closer. There are also recognition programs in place for corporate donors and large individual donors.

This playground will directly benefit the 500+ kids who attend Major General Griesbach School – which was built without a playground. The planned playground and park now has a name: “Maple Leaf Park” – and a proposed design (see link below). All it needs is a final funding push.

Here is a link to the community page where you can get additional information on the proposed design plan. We want your honest opinion in telling us what you like and what you don’t like: http://griesbachcommunity.com/griesbach-playground-design-equipment-what-do-you-think/

WE ONLY HAVE A LIMITED AMOUNT OF TIME SO PLEASE SHARE THIS PAGE. Every dollar helps and our children will thank you for years to come.

* Our target of $30,000 is a bit of a simplified number. The actual number for April 1st is $17,874 by April 1 and $11,825 by mid-may. Additional funds will be required at a later date to complete features that will not be addressed in the initial build: including the gazebo and additional furniture. This will likely be covered by upcoming fundraising initiatives including a casino. The numbers keep changing with every donation. The gofundit tally does not include a couple of big announcements: including a $4,700 donation from MGG School and approximately $2,400 donated at the recent AGM.

Griesbach Playground Design & Equipment: What do you think?

The Griesbach Playground Committee presented the site plan for Maple Leaf Playground for the very first time. They held an open house to get resident feedback. If you missed it, don’t worry. This is your opportunity to give us your opinion.

Below, you’ll find an overview of the project, a proposed site plan as well as photos showing the type of equipment they are considering putting in.

We need you to answer FOUR questions:

  1. What is your name and contact information (email and/or phone #)?
  2. What is your interest in the project? (eg. Parent, Community League Member, Resident, etc.)
  3. What do you LIKE about the plan?
  4. What do you DISLIKE about the plan?

To provide your feedback email Playground Feedback (click here) by MARCH 29, 2016.



View the detailed pdf:  Griesbach Site Development Plan

Highlights: As presented by Playground Chair, Jim Chonopoulos, March 10, 2016

Our playground area has an official name: Maple Leaf Park. It was named in honour of the  maple trees lining 97th Street that have become synonymous with our community and its military heritage.

playground site close up

Close up of concept plan. View pdf above for detailed view.

The Concept Plan describes the high level features of the park area as a whole. This was designed with the first level of community consultation in mind.

  • The playground’s concrete walkway is connected to the concrete walkway at the school
  • The circular design maximizes surface area use
  • The playground has three play zones:
    • a play area for children under aged 2-5
    • another larger one for children aged 5 -12
    • and a small sand play area for children under 5
  • The park includes a bike path with bike bumps that will run around the playground perimeter (see examples below). It will also include  granular walking trails, bridges, rails and increased elevation on north side (to again reduce winter north winds)
  • The plan includes includes a concrete plaza to house a shelter, picnic tables concrete paving (ideal for birthday parties and other gatherings)
  • The is a zone that has been set aside for a future spray park (which is not part of immediate plans)
  • Maple trees define the circular perimeter of the playground, with multiple park benches facing the play zones
  • Coniferous trees and various shrubs will be positioned to maximize aesthetic accents and reduce cold north wind in winter
  • Concrete pour areas will contain leaf imprints throughout the playground

The playground committee has chosen an equipment supplier to work with. The first draft of their equipment selections feature several options, and have been chosen to maximize the amount of equipment permitted on a space of this size. Highlights include:

  • 2-5 year old play zone featuring outdoor themes like boulders and tree stumps, fossil dig in sand area, omni spin “merry go round”, spring bouncing airplane
  • 5-12 year old play zone featuring a multi level rope climbing platform
  • Stone cave and boulder climbing feature
  • Traditional swings, tire swings, the tallest slide we are allowed to use
  • And much much more
Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 7.28.10 PM

An artist’s rendering of the playground equipment. Note: not entirely to scale.


Two examples of bike bumps. Ours will fall somewhere in between.


Our bike bumps won’t be “quite” this rad!



Structure for 2-5 year olds.


Another view of small children’s structure.


Structures for 5-12 year olds. Dual slide and fort visible.


Merry go round is visible in this image.


So, what do you think? Again, we want to hear what you like and what you don’t. Please email your responses to the four questions above by MARCH 29.

Your feedback will help us build a playground we can all be proud of for years to come.

Griesbach Square renderings and Phase 1 timelines unveiled at AGM

Griesbach Square Site PlanIt appears there is finally real progress to report on Griesbach’s long awaited commercial development.

The architectural guidelines for the Griesbach Square were shared publicly with residents for the first time at the Griesbach Community League AGM on March 10th. GCL President Brad Tilley made the presentation, as Brentwood Developments’ representative was unable to attend.

Tilley stated the community league is impressed with the overall design direction for Griesbach Square, based on higher-end architectural guidelines that appear to complement the aesthetic of our community. This includes:

  • Stone and brick frontages with ample windows to provide the feel of a premium shopping experience
  • Patios and outdoor seating for an inviting setting
  • Pedestrian friendly walkways with plaques and design features that continue the theme of recognizing our military heritage
  • Trees and benches on sidewalks and boulevards
  • What appears to be a practical traffic flow and adequate parking

The site plan shows a mix of business: from restaurants and shops to a future medical centre. While a bank appears in the rendering, this may or may not happen.

(Click link below to view the complete Architectural Guideline package):

Griesbach Square Commercial Architectural Guidelines 2015-02-02 web

Frontage 1   Frontage 3 Garbage Bin  Tree stand


The only tenant that has been announced to date is Shoppers Drug Mart, which will occupy building #1, which is going up rapidly along Griesbach Parade. They are nearing the completion of contract negotiations with several other tenants – so further announcements are imminent. The Shoppers Drug Mart is scheduled to open late 2016 and will replace the Rosslyn location with a more  modern design.

Frontage 2


Projected timelines:

The second building you see going up is Building #2, which will house several business and may include a restaurant/coffee shop. It is expected to open late 2016/ early 2017. A third building (building #9) is in the design stage, with construction expected to begin shortly. No timelines have yet been set for the other buildings outlined in the site plan.

Sobeys: The Elephant in the Room

Several resident inquired about the status of the land that was sold to Sobeys, which planned to build an anchor store in Griesbach – before plans were put on the shelf when Sobeys bought Safeway, resulting in two stores kitty corner. Not only does Sobeys still own the land, restrictive covenants in the contract specifically tie the hands of the current developer to bring in other tenants that might be deemed “in competition” with a Sobeys store.

Councillor Bev Esslinger said the City is looking to see if there is a legal way to get out of the contract due the change in circumstance since it was negotiated. In the meantime, it appears it is a matter of sit and wait.

Progress at last:

For long time residents who have been awaiting development for over a decade, the latest announcements are refreshing news. We hope Griesbach Square will attract the types of businesses and services that will serve the wants needs of residents and make the commercial area successful for years to come.


Agenda for March 10th AGM

Attached is an agenda for our upcoming AGM, Thursday, March 10th, 7 pm at MGG School. Canada Lands will be once again joining us to provide a development update and our playground committee will be sharing design plans, fundraising status and information affecting the potential build dates. Special guest David Eggen and Bev Esslinger will be attending.

Also attached are the minutes from last year’s meeting if you’d like to review (we’ll need to accept these as part of the formalities).

For the full scoop on the meeting, click here.


March 10 2016 Griesbach AGM Agenda

Playground update and feedback opportunity – March 10th

Thursday, March 10th, 6:30 – 7:00 pm
Major General Griesbach School

Prior to our AGM, the Playground Committee will be seeking resident feedback on the equipment options for our new playground. We would love your input (and that of your children)!

Stay for the AGM where we’ll unveil our proposed playground site design, based on initial consultations with residents. Your opinions are welcome! We’ll also provide a fundraising and timeline update. We’re hoping to have some exciting news to share! Our hard work is paying off as we are getting close to making this a reality!

Griesbach Easter Egg Hunt is back – March 27.

Sunday, March 27, 10:00 am, Patricia Lake

FREE for Griesbach Community League Members
$5/child (non-member)



Our Easter Egg Hunt is back. Kids, get ready to traverse the terrain at Patricia Lake to see where the Easter Bunny hid his colourful eggs. It’s our annual Griesbach tradition for kids 12 and under.  Buckets provided! Please arrive a tad early to allow time to check-in and receive your bucket!

Griesbach Community League is proud to take over the coordination of this event which was created and previously run by two of our amazing residents! We hope we can do them proud!

Tickets must be purchased and members must RSVP before 10 pm on March 23, 2016. 

To buy a GCL membership online visit: http://efcl.org/membership/

Baby Sitters in high demand: promote your services!

We’re looking for local babysitters interested in participating in community-sponsored “Meet & Greet” with parents seeking your services. (Dates TBA.)

Think of it as “speed dating” with potential customers, so they can meet you and you can share your experience and tell them what makes you such an awesome sitter.

If you’d like to participate email GCL Program Director, Melissa.

Big news coming at March 10th AGM

Be able to say your were in the room to hear the big news concerning Griesbach. Don’t miss the Griesbach Community League AGM: Thursday, March 10, 7 pm, Major General Griesbach School. 

  • We’ll be unveiling the architectural design renderings for the Griesbach Commercial Area, showing the look and feel planned for the commercial area. It looks pretty sharp and is something you’ll want to see – especially as new tenants are making plans to move in.
  • The Griesbach Playground Committee will be sharing the proposed site plans for our one-of-a-kind playground for the first time and are looking for feedback and suggestions. They will be providing a fundraising update and are hoping to make a SIGNIFICANT announcement around construction.
    • Come early (6:30)  to provide your feedback on what playground equipment you’d like to see as part of our public consultation process. We have several options and would love your input.
  • Canada Lands will be in attendance to provide a development update and take questions.
  • We will be having an election to fill expired positions on our board of directors. So far there are candidates for all positions, with the exception of Volunteers Director – a position we’d love to fill. Learn more. If you’d like to run, please contact Steve.
    • Board members will provide a brief report on what they’ve been up to over the past term and share some exciting ideas they have moving forward.
  • MLA David Eggen and Councillor Bev Esslinger will be joining us as well and share a few words.
  • Tickets will be available for the Spring Fling – our annual social and fundraiser, scheduled for May 7, at the Crown & Anchor Pub. We’ll also tell you how to get tickets for our annual Easter Egg Hunt (Sunday, March 27 at 10 am).
  • A signup table will be set up for those interested in renewing their Community Gardens membership and for paying 2016 fees.

As you can see, it is a jam-packed agenda. We will have a few local babysitters on hand to provide complimentary child care for parents attending the meeting – offering colouring and other supervised activities.

To vote in the election you will require a community league membership (available at the event or online).

As they say in the world of monster trucks: “We’ll sell you the whole seat, but you’ll only need the edge!!!”*

* No charge on the seat. Free admission. 🙂