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Communications Director

Roundel Lake Play Area: What We Heard

Background

In 2017, the Griesbach Community League conducted a survey of residents to determine the priorities in a number of areas for our community. The resulting analysis was delivered as the 2018 Cultivating Community Spirit report. Residents clearly asked the Community League to “develop more playgrounds and activities in other areas (outside of the structures developed close to Major General Griesbach School)”.

In 2019, the Community League felt that we were in a position to explore building a playground in another area of Griesbach and struck a committee to lead our efforts. After discussions with the City of Edmonton, a proposed site in the North West corner of Roundel Lake by the RCAF Park was identified. 

Engagement Process

Purpose

Before the Community League committed financial resources to this project we wanted to engage with our community to ensure a play area in this location was still seen as a high priority. We also wanted to identify how residents would use this new play area.

Process

Provincial restrictions to combat the pandemic have curtailed the channels that could be used to engage our residents. The Community League opted to conduct an online survey in October of 2020 and let the community know about the survey in a number of different ways. We placed several notifications in our social media channels as well as on Griesbach’s more general Facebook pages. We also featured the survey in our newsletter and hand-delivered 100 paper notices to homes in the immediate vicinity of the proposed play area.

To extend our reach, we also had an in person meeting with representatives from the RCAF Park project. We wanted to hear how our proposed play area would be received by the RCAF and how it would fit in with their original design.

What We Asked

The survey was intended to gauge the level of support for this project and where that support would come from. It was also designed to provide feedback on what types of activities residents would like to see in a new play area and how they would like to interact with those elements. Determining the preferred uses will help us in the overall design and cost of any potential park area.

Participation

We met 2 representatives of the RCAF Park design team at the proposed site and discussed the project with them. 

The online survey received 135 responses:

  • 80% had children aged 12 and under, 
  • 79% lived within a few blocks of the new proposed play area, while
  • 75% say that they visit the existing RCAF Park at least every 2 weeks if not daily.

What We Heard

Residents were overwhelmingly in favour of developing a play area at Roundel Lake.

  • 76% or respondents saw a small park as a priority for the Community League, and
  • 87% said that they would support this new play area.

The existing area around Roundel Lake is mainly used for walking and cycling (87% of respondents), while 43% say they use it as a play area. Most residents see the area as a quiet place to walk and enjoy the flora and fauna around the Lake. It is seen as a place that all ages can enjoy but would benefit by including activities specifically for children.

When asked about what a new play area could look like we received a wide variety of responses and fairly even split in how residents would use it.

  • 76% wanted some form of play structure
    • 51% looking for conventional playground equipment
    • 49% preferring a natural play area with trees and rocks
  • 50% to 60% were looking for seating and shade space where they could meet and socialize with friends and neighbours.
  • The RCAF representatives were supportive of a more natural looking area that could accommodate the physical activities of children while providing a place for all ages to gather and socialize. 
  • Respondents also referenced the quiet nature of the current area and the amount of seniors that visit Roundel Lake to enjoy the scenery.

Final Thoughts

135 respondents tend to have 135 ideas of how this underused area by Roundel Lake could be developed but it is clear that the overwhelming majority would like to see the Community League create a play area here. The challenge will be designing something that will enhance the current park, provide a play area for children, combined with a meeting area for residents and friends, while not detracting from the aesthetics of the RCAF monuments and the natural beauty of the Lake. 

The site that is being proposed is located away from the lake and very accessible to the rest of the neighbourhood. It is not currently developed and, with the proper placement of trees and benches, would enhance the park and provide a gathering space for residents of all ages to enjoy and create new bonds.

New Year’s Eve Salsa

The Griesbach Community League is hosting a live-streamed salsa class on New Year’s Eve at 9pm. Join the neighbourhood in taking a live-streamed salsa class led by a professional instructor from ETOWN SALSA.

Register on Eventbrite to reserve your spot and you will receive the link!

For questions, email social@griesbachcommunity.com

Will you expand your circle of giving this season?

Some people have reached out to our community league, asking if in what way they can help out those in need. What thoughtfulness during the holiday season–especially given the unforeseen collective challenges of this year!

One of the best ways to help is to volunteer your time or to donate money to already-established charities and organizations that better the community.

This list, though not exhaustive, includes organizations that are accepting help, as well as a list of resources for you or loved ones impacted–in a multitude of ways–by the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Mental Health Resources: available to individuals who are seeking help or wanting to talk to someone:

Call 911 if in immediate danger

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)

Distress line: 780-482-HELP (4357)

Call 211 for information and referrals to connect to social, health and government services

Alberta Health Services Mental Health Helpline: 1-877-303-2642

Alberta Health Services – Addiction and Mental Health

Community Urgent Services and Stabilization Team: 780-342-7777

Children’s Mental Health Crisis Line: 780-427-4491

AHS Addictions Helpline: 1-866-332-2322

Visit Canadian Mental Health Association or AHS Help in Tough Times for additional resources.

Financial Aid Resources:

You Can Benefit is an online tool that provides citizens with easy web and mobile access to information on local, municipal, provincial and federal benefits. Check to see if you qualify for any of these benefits. To get started, visit youcanbenefit.edmonton.ca

You may also wish to sign up to receive information on financial resources and the latest updates on the current COVID-19 municipal, provincial and federal emergency support. To subscribe to the Earn Build and Save newsletter, visit edmonton.ca/financialempowerment.

Edmonton Financial Empowerment Collaborative provides information about resources and supports to help visitors to the site earn, save and build towards a stable and secure financial future.

https://www.edmonton.ca/programs_services/emergency_preparedness/edmonton-gives.aspx
Will connect you with local charities needing help or donations

For Those Wanting to Help (donating time or resources):

  • Edmonton Community Foundation
  • Edmonton Food Bank
  • Homeward Trust (the Mustard Seed, e4c, Boyle Street Community Services, Bissell Centre, YESS)
  • Meals on Wheels
  • United Way
  • Alberta Cares Connector (for volunteering)
  • Reach Edmonton (for financial donations)

Volunteer Connector – COVID-19 Volunteer Opportunities

Canada Helps: COVID-19 Charity List – A list of charities fighting COVID-19 across the world

Alberta Non-profit Network (ABNN) COVID-19 Resources – Advocacy and fundraising resources

ECVO COVID-19 Resource Portal – Advocacy and sharing resources

Canada Revenue Agency – Information on donating and charities

Alberta Bits and Pieces Program – equipment, manufacturing, or service provisions to support the public health response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

And in our own community, offering to run errands or pick up groceries for the time being while cohorts are not allowed.

Federal Resources:

Support for businesses, including non-profits, including wage subsidies and access to credit

CRA information for charities

Employment and Social Development Information

Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) FAQ

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations

Provincial Resources:

211 Alberta –  List of COVID-19 Related Resources is a provincial directory of community, health, social and governmental organizations and services.

COVID-19 Information

Child care during COVID-19: Information on child care closures, and options for essential service workers and home-based child care providers.

Student Learning during COVID-19: Guidelines for continuing K to 12 student learning while in-school classes are cancelled due to COVID-19. 

Emergency funding for charities and not-for-profit organizations: emergency funding from the Alberta government as part of the COVID-19 response. 

Utility payment deferral: Individuals, families and businesses can defer utility payments until June 19, 2020, to lessen the financial burden associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Provincial supports for employers – Includes information on funding and supportive measures for local businesses, employers and employees.

Consumer Protection: If you see prices for products or services in Alberta skyrocket because of COVID-19, you can report it through our Report-a-Ripoff submission form or by calling 1-877-427-4088.

Landlords and Tenants in Alberta: COVID-19 Information for Alberta Landlords and Tenants Rent Payment Plans

Q & A with Bill Countryman

After six and a half years devoted to our community’s sports programs, our Sports Director Bill is stepping down from his volunteer role on the Griesbach Community League.

We are now looking to fill the position: are you ready to take on this challenging, but rewarding role? Read this Q & A with Bill to find out.

If you have any questions or would like to apply, please email our president, Shelby Corley (president@griesbachcommunity.com)

***

1. Briefly describe both the busy and slower season.
The busy season is the spring session from February until June. In the past we have seen as many as 150 registrations. After registrations, the Sports Director finds volunteers for the session and arranges resources. Much of the time goes towards setting up the teams; paying fees; organizing team equipment; communicating with parents and coaches; and coordinating coaching courses. Throughout the season, there is an on-going need to address parent concerns, set up pictures, and respond to divisional requests from the zone office. Towards the end of the season, there is a need for equipment collection, deployment of team pictures and organizing of the year-end party for younger age groups. With the Volunteers Director position still vacant, the Sports Director may take on the extra responsibility of contacting parents. The fall season is very similar in terms of responsibilities but only for about one-third of the teams and it is about one-third as busy.Outside the organizing, there is a need to keep up with the EMSA (Edmonton Minor Soccer Association) meetings and emails.

2. Briefly describe how the season (and the position) have changed for the time being and any current challenges with the limited season.
This past spring, due to Covid-19, the number of registrants was down substantially–about 25% of previous levels with only four teams, making it relatively easy. The biggest challenge was having parents cancel without notifying, due to Covid-19. This fall season is strictly online through the zone and for indoor, but Griesbach will not be supporting any teams.


3. The number of hours per month on average (pre-Covid-19 and currently).
Spring session> (Feb to May) 10-20 hours a week (This includes: Email, meetings, sessions, and organizing).

Fall session> (Mid August to October) 5-10 hours a week (same tasks listed above).

During Covid-19, (February to June), I spent between 5-10 hours a week, due to the start of the season being unknown.  

Fall indoor session has been 1-2 hours, with not having teams for the session.

4. Advice to someone considering applying for this position).
Doing a provincial jail time might be easier! (2 years less a day). Just joking…..The biggest payoff is interacting with the community, forming relationships with young families and seeing the growth of players in the program. The work you put into the community can be seen on the field with the program you create–but you have to be willing to follow through and see it to the end. At a minimum, you need to commit to a 2-year term in order to have a real understanding of the program and to develop some consistency with the EMSA zone.
  

5. Good qualities to have for this position.Good communication, organization and patience. Soccer or sports experience is not necessary.

6. Ways to grow and what you can learn in this position.
Form a cadre for the program. Choose one person as a point of contact with the zone; one for equipment and logistics and one for volunteers/coaches. I always had people willing to assist with the registrations but finding good coaches willing to commit was the biggest issue.
 

7. Greatest challenges and successes in this role.
Challenges: the EMSA, the time commitment and finding consistent coaches with experience.
Successes: Watching the teams play, returning teams and coaches; seeing the soccer program go to city championships; and witnessing children and members in the community form friendships outside the sport.

8. Why this role is vital to the community.
It brings young families in the community together and creates long-term friendships in sport that also expand into school.


9. Perks of this position (company car, box seats, signed jerseys…).
Watching the teams play, meeting great families and making new friendships. No perks, no company car, no box seats, no signed jerseys, no fee-saving for registrations of sports……maybe a bag of chips and a pop at the year end party?……oh, and you get to freeze as well. The other perk has been working with a great board with so many accomplishments over the years. 

Have Your Say on a new “Pocket Park” in Griesbach

A 2018 community-wide survey (Cultivating Community Spirit) showed that Griesbach residents would like more playgrounds.

The Griesbach Community League proposes building a “pocket park” on the North-West corner of Roundel Lake. No fundraising is necessary as the GCL has casino funds that it needs to spend soon before they would have to be returned to the AGLC.

By taking this brief survey, you can let us know how this park would best suit you and your family’s needs.

Party in the Park 2020 Cancelled

We are sorry to announce that we will have to cancel this year’s Party in the Park as we do not yet have confirmation that we will be able to host large outdoor events.

Keep your spirits up, though, for the next year’s Party in the Park scheduled for September 4th, 2021!

Become our Next Sports Director!

The Griesbach Community League is looking to fill the role of Sports Director, a vital role in the community and on the board. The candidate should have good organizational and interpersonal skills as one of their responsibilities is to communicate with parents and EMSA North.

The position works closely with the Volunteers Director, Communications Director, Treasurer and President with support for baseball through a Member at Large.
The term begins this fall and the successful candidate will be trained by the current Sports Director.

Description:
• Reviews and prepares policy and procedures related to sports programs
• Recruits coaches
• Delegates coaching responsibilities
• Organizes registration times.
• Recommends and collects sports programs fees
• Coordinates maintenance of GCL-owned equipment (soccer balls, jersies, nets, etc.)
• Attends zone and other city-wide related meetings

If this sounds like a good fit for you, please contact community league president Shelby Corley at president@griesbachcommunity.com

Neighbourhood Weeding Party #2!

When: Friday, June 26 at 2:00 pm
Where: Ad Astra monument at Roundel Lake
What: A pop-up party to attack those pop-up weeds
Bring: Your garden gloves and tools (GCL will bring garbage bags)
What else: Remember to maintain physical spacing

Kids are done school—send them over to dig up some thistles and say hi to some goose babies!

Griesbach explorers is back for spring 2020

With the success of the Griesbach Minis in the winter session, the community league will offer a new Griesbach Explorers program that will run from the start of May until the end of June. This program is open to preschool-aged children born in 2015 and 2016, to a maximum of 25 participants.

It will run every Thursday, May 7 to June 25, from 6 to 7 p.m. It will take place outside, in and around the parks in Griesbach.

The program will consist of various activities which allow children to develop physical skills such as coordination, balance, exercise, hand-eye coordination, teamwork and fair play. Activities could include tag games, yoga, soccer, baseball, hiking and track and field. All the activities will be facilitated by mentor coaches from the Griesbach Explorers program.

The Griesbach Explorers program has a formal registration process that will take place on March 11 and March 12, 6:00 to 7 p.m. at MGG school, at the same time as soccer and baseball registration. The cost is $50 for the program. You must be a resident of Griesbach and hold a valid Griesbach Community League membership.
This is a parented program. Parents remain with the children and are encouraged to participate in the activities. All parents must be willing to volunteer during one of the sessions as an assistant.

There is one volunteer requirement per child, such as a bingo shift or volunteering at another community league event.

FOLLOW THESE STEPS TO REGISTER:

1. Download this form and fill out two copies to bring to the registration session.

2. Attend either March 11 or 12 registration sessions. Contact Joe SALAYSAY for late registration at: jsalaysay@hotmail.com

3. Purchase a valid community league membership. Available at the registration or online through the CommuniBee app (download free through App Store or Google Play).

4. Pay the registration fee: $50.00 (please bring cheque or cash).

5. Select a volunteer commitment and provide a $250.00 refundable cheque: to be returned once your volunteer commitment has been honoured.

6. If you wish to volunteer as a mentor for the complete season, that counts as your volunteer commitment.

Seeking paid bingo co-ordinator

The Griesbach Community League is seeking a Bingo Coordinator.

Job Description

The Bingo Coordinator is responsible for coordinating all volunteers for Griesbach Community League’s bingo events.

The Bingo Coordinator must:

• Be a member in good standing of the Griesbach Community League
• Be age 18 or older
• Be comfortable with or capable of learning basic G Suite tools including Gmail, Drive, Docs and Sheets
• Have excellent organizational skills
• Have clear communication skills, both written and verbal
• Have strong appreciation for volunteers
• Represent Griesbach Community League positively in all interactions

The Bingo Coordinator’s duties include:
• Liaising with Kensington Bingo
• Ensuring that sufficient volunteers are signed up for each bingo event
• Assigning roles to volunteers
• Communicating role requirements to all volunteers
• Reminding volunteers of event times and location
• Communicating with Griesbach Community League board members, including the Fundraising Director, Volunteers Director, Communications Director and/or President
• Proactive trouble shooting
• Acting as chairperson at all bingo events

A stipend of $200 per event is available for the coordination of volunteers. There are approximately five bingos per calendar year. This stipend applies only to co-ordination, and is not intended to reimburse the Bingo Coordinator for their role as chairperson at bingo events.

To apply, please email: president@griesbachcommunity.com with a 200-word statement, saying why you’d be a great fit for this position.

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