Want to help plant a “Frontline Forest” dedicated to all frontline medical staff keeping us safe during the pandemic? Do you want to spend time outside with neighbours while also getting your hands a little dirty? On October 8, The City of Edmonton’s Root for Trees Program is looking for 30 volunteers+ to help transplant seedlings within the Central Park to establish a new forested area in the neighbourhood.
This hands-on learning experience is a great way to celebrate trees in your community, and learn more about the services they provide. You’re invited to join us for a safe and interactive volunteer tree planting experience. All ages are welcome!
This event is scheduled to take place Friday October 8th from 2pm to 6pm at Griesbach Central Park. Volunteers will have input into site selection and help leave a lasting legacy on our community. Covid-safe refreshments will be provided and Root for Trees will have a free plant give-away. If you are interested please contact the GCL parks director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Normally at this time we’d be gathering for a day of face painting, bouncy castles, live music and beer gardens. We held out hope that we’d be able to pull a unique fall social. Unfortunately, with rising Covid numbers, and challenges getting AHS approvals, we felt it best to put the brakes on our plans. But life goes on, and we do have some timely community news to share with you.
Application to rezone Sobey’s site in Griesbach Village Centre. Online Community Information Session – Sept. 15
For years, Griesbach residents have been waiting to see if Sobeys would build a grocery store on its vacant property in the SE corner of Griesbach. A local developer has stepped forward as a prospective buyer, pending municipal approval to rezone the land to RA8g – Medium Rise Apartment Zone.
There will be a community information session all residents are invited to attend (scroll to the end of the post to see details). We expect residents will have mixed feelings. As your community league, we want to share the facts and encourage you to attend the information session and make your feelings known: to the City, the developers, and Griesbach Community League (GCL)
We’ like to share a few takeaways from a meeting we had. First, some background.
Things looked promising when Sobeys bought the site in Griesbach Village. Not long after, they purchased Canada Safeway. With an existing store across the street, they sat on the land, and put restrictive covenants in place, preventing any businesses from offering competitive services (such as a butcher, baker or flower shop). Ever! This has handcuffed the developer, and impacted the viability of the commercial site.
Efforts by the City and GCL to remove these covenants went all the way up to the Federal Competition Bureau, and have been unsuccessful. Frustratingly, it appears these restrictive covenants can remain in place even after the land is sold. It is a problem communities like ours are facing across the country.
The land has been neglected, and become an eyesore and a safety concern.
Over the years, efforts have been made to entice other potential anchor stores, without any luck. A depressed economy and pandemic certainly haven’t helped. Today we are at a crossroads for the site… with a proposal for a new direction now on the table.
The new ‘vision’ for the site
This summer, members of the community league board met with representatives from Devereaux Developments, Forum (the Griesbach Village Centre Developer) and Dialogue (the architects). They presented their ‘vision’ for the site.
A modern, luxury-style apartment complex – with 200+ suites, and a private residents’ swimming pool. With its proximity to the Northtown Centre transit hub, it will be a transit-oriented development.
The new development would span the entire Sobey’s property. The sale is pending the successful rezoning application. We encourage you to attend to see what is being proposed.
How would this impact our community
As we see it, there are pros and cons to this rezoning proposal.
The site will finally be developed. It will be cleaner and safer for all residents.
The developer has a track record building higher-end ‘resort-style’ apartments and are committed to following current architectural controls.
As a luxury apartment, it will appeal to higher income renters.
The influx of new residents should benefit existing businesses in Griesbach Vilage, and potentially help attract others.
Sobeys is under no obligation to build on the land or sell it. This would ensure it does not sit empty for years to come.
There is no guarantee the development will proceed as planned.
Once the rezoning is approved the land can be sold again or redeveloped at a lower standard than that being proposed.
There will be no anchor tenant to help support the smaller tenants.
With restrictive covenants still in place, the property manager will be unable to attract businesses such as butchers and bakers… unless there is an opportunity to have the covenants relaxed as part of the negotiation.
Fewer parking spaces than potential vehicles.
Increased vehicle traffic in this area of Griesbach.
Apartments typically have higher turnover of residents.
Attend the information session on Zoom
We encourage all residents attend the virtual information session. Bring your questions and concerns.
It has just been announced that Summer playground programming (such as Griesbach’s Green Shack) will now open on July 12th, running seven weeks to August 27th. These free drop-in programs are held in communities across the city.
Congratulations to Griesbach developer Canada Lands for winning “Best New Community” for Griesbach at the national level! Canada Lands have won awards at the local level for the neighbourhood, but to be singled out amidst all neighbourhoods in Canada at the Canadian Home Builders’ Association National Awards for Housing Excellence is an astounding achievement. Congratulations to all residents for making this a beautiful community to live in. Read the article at the Edmonton Journalhere.
This Facebook video was recorded on April 29, 2021. It addresses many of the ongoing issues we are seeing in Griesbach – yet are prevalent throughout the City. According to Chief McFee, the level of frustration in the community is quite high. He said Edmonton has been in the top 3 cities in Canada for the highest crime rates for over 10+ years, but last year the city witnessed its largest overall drop in crime in 15 years (a 17% reduction). McFee attributes this to new actions and strategies, vs. any correlation with the pandemic. He noted that some crimes such as domestic violence have unfortunately increased due to the social pressures related to Covid-19.
The panel addressed the concern of criminals checking unlocked car doors. Over the last year there has been a 43% reduction in this form of theft in Ward 2. Police Inspector Derek McIntyre said it is largely due to the fact people are listening to advice to always remove valuables, ensure the car is locked, and parking in garages when possible.
It was also shared that EPS recently apprehended key individuals who have been involved in the theft of catalytic converters. This is expected to significantly reduce this costly crime.
Panelists stressed that it is crucial for residents to report any crime. This ensures crime is not overlooked, so that police resources can be properly allocated. There is a helpful City of Edmonton resource called the Neighbourhood Response Guide. It explains which numbers to call to report various types of crime (also posted on the Neighbourhood Watch section the Griesbach Community League website).
The issue of personal safety was also addressed. The panelists said many people have a fear of their personal safety. Superintendent McIntyre said that Edmonton is an extremely safe city, particularly in public spaces. As in any big city must be aware of their surroundings and being vigilant in preventing crimes of opportunity. The police are involved in partnerships to address issues of concerns in certain areas of concern (eg. transit safety).
One interesting question posed to the panel was whether or not community social media channels can have the effect of stoking fear of crime by overemphasizing the impacts (26:04). Chief McFee said that Facebook groups provide a positive forum sharing awareness so residents can identify if there is a problem in their areas and take preventative action. He emphasized the importance of taking the step to actually report any crimes to police, and not just share on social media.
In some cases, he observed that lack of context and inaccurate reporting on social media can snowball. Speculation can unintentionally raise widespread fear. He cited a recent isolated incident involving a fight at a Ward 2 school as an example (28:02). Chief McFee took time to share the facts in the case and clear up some of the misconceptions around this incident and explain the role adults must play to avoid unnecessarily traumatizing our children.
We encourage you to watch the whole video to learn more. It covers a number of topics that are of great interest to Griesbach residents. We thank Councillor Esslinger for bringing the panel together.
We know this year holds lots of uncertainties, but we’re determined that we will have a 2021 Soccer Season. We are preparing for a number of different scenarios and we will continue to work together with the Edmonton Minor Soccer Association and Alberta Soccer to determine exactly what the season will look like.
We anticipate a shorter than average registration period this year (than in the past) as we await government direction.
Our goal moving forward is to ensure our players will not lose the prospect for development and will have the opportunity to get outside and continue to play the game that they love–though perhaps a little differently.
Website to register or form a new account: https://emsasoccerportal.com/ui/? Our registration will open online on March 15th and will remain open until April 15th. There are three possible scenarios for the 2021 Season: (Anticipated Season Start date May 15th).
SCENARIO #1 – Return to Train– Training Sessions run by coaches through guidance of EMSA North Technical Leads- Short Sided scrimmages within cohort groups-6 weeks/10-12 sessions
SCENARIO #2 – Return to play (modified) – Games with referees (U9 & up) – Cohort limit (set by government)- 6 weeks for U4 to U11 Community (10-12 games)- U13 to U19 games scheduled by EMSA Main-All Club games scheduled by EMSA Main- No tournaments or post season play.
SCENARIO #3 – Return to play (non-modified) – Same as Scenario 2 with the exemption. No Cohort limit or large enough cohort limit to have multiple teams versing one another.
PLEASE NOTE THAT SIGNING UP FOR THE SEASON YOU ARE AGREEING TO PARTICPATE IN ALL 3 SCENARIONS IN CONJUNCTION WITH OUR REFUND POLICY WHICH ADDRESSES THE SEASONAL TIMELINE (LINK BELOW)
Below is the cost break downs for the programs, age groups (Please ensure you understand the below caveat):
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that I registered….Now What Once you have completed your registration there will be a group of volunteers who build the teams. Closer to the season start date (approximately one or two weeks prior to season start) you will be contacted by a coach with additional information about the upcoming season.
I may be interested in Coaching …. We always need coaches! In some instances, we will not be able to accept registrations for certain age categories until we have enough coaches. Did you know that if you coach or manage a team, that counts as your volunteer commitment and no additional volunteering is required? We can hold information sessions for people who are interested in coaching but are not sure what is involved. If this applies to you, please send us an email at email@example.com and we would be happy to to cover off any questions or concerns. As a coach you will need to register on the ENZSA soccer portal. In addition, please be prepared to have a Police Information Check as this is a requirement for coaching. This is paid for by the zone and any coaching course are paid for by Griesbach.
What about any subsidies available? There is funding support for low income families through KidSport and Jump Start which both have online applications. You will need to complete these in advance to registration; the links are listed below. Copies of funding approval will be required and submitted to the zone during registration.
What if I don’t live in Griesbach but want to play for Griesbach? If you don’t live in Griesbach but want to play with us, that’s no problem. When registering in the portal please request a transfer to Griesbach. You are then welcome to follow up with the Soccer Director regarding the transfer. Please try to add the coach’s name or player name so we can match up accordingly.
What if I live in Griesbach but want to play for another community? If you wish to play in a community other than your home community, please request that community when you register in the portal. You are then welcome to follow-up with the Soccer Director regarding the transfer and the incoming soccer director.
What if I have a special requests? We will do our best to accommodate special requests, however we cannot make any guarantees due to limitations on team sizes. In the event there are not enough children or coaches to facilitate a team, we work with other communities in the area to ensure everyone has a team to play on; however this may mean that the player is transferred to another community. If you are requesting a coach or friend please ensure that you have the correct spelling and age. Volunteers are responsible for building teams and with hundreds of kids registering, simple spelling errors or friend requests playing in an older age group can prove difficult for the volunteers.
What is Griesbach’s refund policy?
Community League memberships are Non-Refundable in all cases.
Additional refund policies related to soccer can be found on the EMSA website.
Griesbach Community League’s first virtual
Annual General Meeting went off without a hitch. (Just a couple of adorable
“video-bombs” of children giving their moms and dads goodnight hugs.)
It was a remarkable turnout. Over 40
community members gathered to learn how their league navigated the pandemic,
and to learn about future development plans.
Half of the board positions were up for
election. Carl Knowler, a founding board member, will take over as President.
Carl is looking forward to helping the league return to its bustling, post-pandemic,
We’re ecstatic to welcome three first-time
directors: Simon Chin (Sports Director), Doug Batchelder
(Structures and Facilities) and Robert Lopetinsky (Parks and Gardens).
Existing directors played musical chairs to
fill other open positions. Dave Neufeld moved from secretary to assume
the Vice President role and Justin Laverty Harrington vacated Parks and
Gardens to fill the Secretary position. Chelsea Rowland was re-elected
as Membership Director, where she has done an amazing job. Shelby Corley
finished her term as President and steps into the Past President role. Founding
GCL President Brad Tilley stepped into a member at large role. For a
full list of directors, click
If you have considered being on the board,
but weren’t able to attend the AGM, it’s not too late. There are still a
handful of positions that remain unfilled. If you are interested in any
of the following positions, please contact
us to learn more.
Volunteer Director • Programs Director •
Neighbourhood Watch Director
Members were also updated on the activities
and initiatives the board undertook last year. Highlights included an update of
the pocket playground being built overlooking Roundel Lake, and a summary of
our limited events due to Covid: which included the first ever Griesbach
Pumpkin Walk. We are currently waiting to hear definitive news around upcoming
spring baseball and soccer seasons. Plans are also underway for a modified version
of the popular Easter Egg Hunt – a self-directed scavenger hunt format.
There was also mention that the police will
be leaving the training facility, and talks are underway to find an
organization willing to take over the facility and its operations (with the
potential of subletting to GCL and other community groups).
Development news and teasers
After the formal meeting, we were joined by
Kyle Braithwaite of Forum Properties and Marvin Neumann of Canada Lands, who
provided development updates.
Braithwaite said plans are moving ahead in the commercial area. They’ve attracted
several new businesses, with Co-op Liquor, Kumon Learning and Black Forest
Barber opening soon. He hinted at an ice cream shop potentially joining in time for summer (!!!) and possibly
a fitness-related business.
Talks are underway between Sobeys and potential buyers for their 4.5 acre
parcel. There are discussion around potentially relaxing the restrictive
covenants – which currently prevent any food store, bakery or butcher from
moving in. Forum will be developing two multi-family properties on the site and
have plans for a 2-story medical professional building.
He said that businesses have been largely quite resilient in weathering the
pandemic, and appreciate the support they’ve received from residents – keep up
the support and don’t forget to check the Communibee app for discounts to many
of the local businesses!
Neuman reported that Canada Lands delayed
some development work last year, but expect to pick up speed in 2021. Most work
continues to focus on the southwest stages of development, including new roads
and utility service installation. Excavation is expected to begin on Maple Leaf
Pond, and will be completed over a 2-3 year span. The maple leaf shaped lake
will feature outdoor fitness equipment and a snowbank rink – with warming
station, firepits and flooding equipment.
Thanks to everyone who attended!
Thanks for making our first (and hopefully
last) virtual AGM a success. We’d like to thank Shelby Corley for her tireless
work and dedication to the board and the community as President. Hopefully 2021
will allow us to go back to putting on the activities and events that help make
Griesbach a spectacular place to live.
The Griesbach Community League will be holding our 2021 AGM online this year. And it’s taking place in your home!
Get updates on community development. Learn about projects your board has been working on, such as a submission for a new playground along Roundel Lake and more.
This is also the time we hold our General Election. It’s a chance for community members like you to run for the board and help shape our community with your amazing ideas.
The following board positions are up for election this year. All terms are two-years.
Executive: President* Directors: Sports, Volunteers, Structures & Facilities, Programs, Neighbourhood Watch, Member at Large
*Candidates for President must have served one term on the board
If you are interested in one or more of these positions and would like more specifics, descriptions can be found on our blog.
This year, it’s particularly important that we find a dedicated, organized individual to fill the vacant Structures & Facilities position, as this director will be responsible for leading the next phase of our northwest playground construction process.
RSVP to Receive the Zoom Meeting Link
To get the meeting link, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by March 8th. Please include the names of family members attending, and indicate if you have a current membership. We will email it to you the day before the meeting.
Is Your Membership Current?
To run, you must be an adult resident of Griesbach and current member of Griesbach Community League (GCL). You’ll also require a 2020/2021 GCL membership to vote. Memberships are $25 and are available through our CommuniBee App and online at griesbachcommunity.com.
Get more information:
We’ll post details about the various board positions on our website: griesbachcommunity.com. We hope you can join us, see some familiar faces (without masks) and help us meet our quorum. See you in the meeting grid!
In February, we will be featuring an “Ask Me Anything” section on our facebook page, allowing you to ask questions to the Board Directors who are stepping down.
If you have been looking for a volunteer commitment and would like to work towards making Griesbach worthy of even more superlatives, this is a perfect opportunity to learn how the board could benefit from your talents.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.