Winston Heights-Mountview 2009/10 President’s Report

By DJ Kelly May 19, 2010

Last night we held the 2009/10 Annual General Meeting for my community – Winston Heights-Mountview. As a reader of this blog you may not know that I’ve just completed my first year as the president of our community association. I love our neighbourhood. I think it’s a great place to live. And while the majority of readers may not care about the ins and the outs of a neighbourhood you don’t live in; I wanted to post my report to the community here on my blog none-the-less because it is such a big part of my life. Heck, maybe you’ll even find something you want to ask more about and implement in your community.

Last year at the AGM, I was asked to layout the basics of what the board would be doing over the next year. We had a passionate group of volunteers and a solid vision and mission to build from.

The board set about improving the governance of the organisation this past year with a goal of helping create a community association where people can volunteer their time to work on projects that interested them. Far too often the moment a community member in any neighbourhood expresses an interest in helping organize a fun event, they shortly find themselves on a board doing work they never had an interest in to begin with.

To have an engaged community it is paramount to be able to interact with residents in the way they most want to. If you want to work on a specific idea, we have groups for you to work with. Please read more on the sheets on the wall, and feel free to sign up to work with any group you find interesting. We are only as good as the people working on these projects. If you want to sit on the board, we happily invite you to join us there too.

The first year of our plan has been filled with re-writing the bylaws you have been presented with, creating board policies, and terms of reference. All kinds of boring stuff to most people. But all this needs to be done to make us a flexible organization capable of doing all kinds of cool stuff.

I’m happy to report that we are ahead of schedule. If you picked up one of the fridge magnets at the Eco-Fair you will see we have more events going on this summer that anyone can probably remember.

Here is a snapshot of some of our more popular events over the past year:

One of the highlights of this year is all the work that has been done on the Centennial Garden. It is a great addition to our Community Hall and the perfect place to take wedding photos or photos of your family! If you have a green thumb and would like to help with the ongoing maintenance of the garden, please talk to Yvette.

As part of the new Garden, we have introduced a series of Gardening Education workshops, the next one this Thursday. If you don’t have a fridge magnet that lists our many events this summer, please get one from Darlene.

We celebrated the New Year with a fabulous Gala attended by about 120 people. Attendees loved the food and dance their way into the new year.

In April, we hosted a sellout rain barrel sale and ecofair. Thanks to Coca-cola, we could offer the barrels at a very attractive price and engage our community in some volunteer opportunities. Following this event we now have 200 volunteer hours in the bank to use on upcoming projects.

We continued to show great stewardship of our offleash area on the escarpment with the annual Scoopy Doo Day cleanup attracting 26 volunteers.

In May, we held our first Jane’s Walk that provided a window into our community’s colourful landscape and history. It was one of the most highly attended walks in the whole city. Following the walk, we held a Volunteer Tea to salute our hardworking volunteers.

Reports on what each board committee undertook this year are available in the May newsletter and the hand out you have been given today. I hope you have a chance to read it and see all that has been accomplished by our community volunteers.

In all, I’m very proud of the work of all our volunteers this past year and they all deserve a hearty thank you. Without our volunteers we would not be as great a community as we are.

2010/11 may well prove to be a watershed year for Winston Heights-Mountview.

The board plans on working much harder this year to build out our membership further and engage volunteers and residents in more events.

We plan on providing more opportunities to get more of you involved in more ways that you want to. In short, we’ll be doing more.

Coming up in July, we will once again be hosting a Stampede Barbeque. Tickets are $15 for members, and $20 for non-members. There will also be details in our next newsletter. Come on out, it is always a great event!

We strive to enhance the recreation opportunities in our community. For example, this winter, we brought back our skating rinks to the enjoyment of both children and adults. We have also embarked on a major project to upgrade the playground on 7th Street. Alex, Christine and their hard working committee have secured a unique playground structure for the location, and we anticipate the build will take place this fall. If you are interested in helping to build this great addition to our neighbourhood, talk to Christine.

On May 29, all community members are invited to join us for an opportunity to help shape our community’s future. The Civic Camp will run from 9-2:30, with lunch provided, and will guide community members through a process to identify your best ideas for our community and how we can help make your vision a reality. If you have ideas about what you want to see changed or improved in the neighbourhood, or want to get to know your neighbours better. Join us! The ideas coming from this event will propel us forward for the next year and beyond.

We hope that you love our community as much as we do, and see its potential, and will get involved in 2010 to help us achieve that potential. We can’t do it without you.