May 2023 Newsletter
Greetings Ward 14!
When seeking the honour of standing for Calgarians, community associations become part of your life. Constant contact with them has been a critical part of the job. That has been my policy, and I believe it has served me well.
The importance of community associations to a Councillor is obvious, but I hope others see this value too. In Calgary, there are 152 community associations that stand for almost 200 neighbourhoods. More than 20,000 community association volunteers contribute approximately 2.4 million hours (about 274 years) of public service every year to organize and host social, recreational, and educational programs. They manage important neighbourhood facilities and are also often points of contact for local land use changes—providing engagement with the community beyond what is required by the city. Perhaps most importantly, they give a sense of community.
There are many ways to support these important organizations. Becoming a member of your local community association is a good start. You can also volunteer varying amounts of your time. There are all sorts of ways to help.
If you believe that strong community bonds are critical (like I do), consider getting involved with your community association. At the very least you will get to meet some of your neighbors, but you might also make your community a better place.
Celebrate Neighbour Day 2023
The 10th annual Neighbour Day is on June 17. You can celebrate your community spirit and neighbourly kindness by having a block party or BBQ, organizing a cleanup, decorating your yard, gathering with neighbours for a fun sport activity, games, or kids’ crafts, or make up your own way to meet your neighbours and build community togetherness.
Neighbour Day started in June 2014 to celebrate the incredible outpouring of support and generosity of neighbours following the 2013 floods. Each year on the third Saturday in June, we continue to celebrate one of the things that makes Calgary such a great city — our strong and caring communities.
To help you celebrate on June 17, The City of Calgary is providing resources and support for residents to organize activities with neighbours, including waiving the fees for block party and greenspace permits. The permit application deadline is May 28. You can also request a visit from Mayor Gondek, your area Councillor, a police officer, or a fire truck. Visit calgary.ca/NeighbourDay to learn more.
City supported Community Cleanups begin in April and will continue through to early fall. These popular events are hosted by community associations with support from The City of Calgary. Calgarians can drop off unwanted items at any community clean up location, regardless of where they live in the city. There is no charge for putting items in City of Calgary trucks. Keep in mind, some community associations bring in recycling services that may require a fee. Check calgary.ca/cleanup for the list of community associations hosting cleanup events and check the community associations’ web site or social media page for full details on the event in each community.
Green or blue cart items which includes yard waste or recyclable items, will not be accepted at the cleanup events unless the community association has hired additional vendors). Visit calgary.ca/whatgoeswhere for items that are recyclable. Please don’t bring:
- Car batteries
- Glass (e.g., windowpanes, glass tabletops)
- Household appliances with Freon (e.g., refrigerators, freezers)
- Liquids (e.g., cooking oils)
- Large metal items (e.g., lawnmowers, barbeques)
- Railway ties
- Sod or dirt
- Household hazardous waste (see calgary.ca for drop-off locations)
Emergency Preparedness Week is May 7 – 13
Emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere. Knowing what to do before a disaster strikes can go a long way in assisting you, your family, and your community during an emergency. This year, Emergency Preparedness Week runs from May 7-13. This is an annual event that takes place across Canada every May.
During Emergency Preparedness Week, The City encourages Calgarians to prepare to protect themselves, their families, and their homes during an emergency event.
- Know the risks - learn about the types of disasters and hazards that can occur in Calgary.
- Get prepared - every emergency is different but having a plan will help you and your family know what to do and who to contact in different situations. Get prepared by reviewing your insurance coverage, practicing a home evacuation, and taking steps to protect your home. A fillable emergency action plan is available in various translated languages at calgary.ca/getready, along with tips to get prepared.
- Know what to do during an emergency – it’s important to stay informed by monitoring local TV, radio, and emergency alerts.
- Know what to expect after an emergency – cleaning up after a disaster can be hazardous. Ensure you only enter a disaster site when it’s safe and with the proper protective equipment. Remember to document all damages and contact your insurance provider as soon as possible.
Learn more about how to get prepared for emergencies and the activities taking place during Emergency Preparedness Week at calgary.ca/getready.
Join in the conversation about the future of Calgary’s River valleys
Calgary’s river valleys are essential to our city - they’re at the core of our city’s identity and its appeal as a place to live, play and do business. Making careful decisions about how we plan, develop, and build in the floodplain is fundamental to protecting and enhancing the value of our river valleys while strengthening our overall resilience to the impacts of flooding.
We are now updating the Calgary’s River Valleys Plan, which will guide decisions about how we plan, develop, and build in the floodplain. This is an opportunity for all Calgarians to voice what is important about our river valleys, to ensure that those values shape approaches to development, recreation, natural space, and flood hazard planning.
Early engagement takes place April 27 – June 5, focused on clarifying priorities and values for our river valley communities. Participate in the conversation at calgary.ca/RiverValleys.
-Councillor Peter Demong