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