How would you like to know your neighbours better and create a stronger sense of community?

Utilizing the strengths and input of local citizens, the Neighbourhood Services Section of The City of Edmonton has co-developed Abundant Community Edmonton. Abundant Community Edmonton is a grassroots initiative fostering neighbour to neighbour relationships. The goal is to cultivate a culture of care and connection, increased sense of belonging and inclusion, and ultimately to create a more healthy and livable community – one block at a time

The Beverly Heights Community League Board has agreed to provide support towards implementing this program. The first step will be to engage community citizens to identify your ideas around how to build a stronger more inclusive community. For more information please refer to Abundant Community Edmonton on the City of Edmonton website.

To become involved in the community Abundant Community initiative or to have your voice heard, please email: volunteer.bhcl@gmail.com

As part of building a stronger community, various citizens in the Beverly and Rundle Heights neighbourhood will again be hosting summer Block Parties. These might be a simple get together with a few neighbours in a yard or a BBQ in an open garage. Some others will obtain the City of Edmonton Block Party Permit and host a party on a roadway, alley or park space.

Please keep an eye on our community website, Facebook page, and your mailbox for planned events in your area. It’s a great way to get to know each other in an informal setting!

If you are interested in organizing a party, please refer to the Planning Your Block Party Event on the City of Edmonton website.

March 2021 Update

Greetings Neighbours,

I hope everyone is well and looking forward to spring. I wanted to share some info from an online workshop I participated in lead by Howard Lawrence called “Creating a Neighbourly Vibe”.

He shared the wheel of Relational Nutrients graphic  which includes Family, Friends, and Neighbours and explained as;

1) Family. We don’t choose them, often have a deep commitment, other times not.

2) Friends. We choose them. Often based on common interests, and friends often change throughout your life.

3) Neighbours. We don’t choose them. They are not family (although in cases they can feel like family). Nor are they friends (again there are exceptions)

Neighbours are an entity all of it’s own. They connect us to our community, and are a relationship unlike any other.

It’s important to note, we are not looking for neighbours to become friends, although if it happens, that’s wonderful, but it is not the purpose.

Neighbours anchor us to the locale we live in, and create a cohesion in the community, and makes it feel like we are all looking out for one another.

There are two main principles of neighbouring.

1) Privacy. It’s imperative to respect boundaries and privacy when interacting with your neighbours.

2) Reciprocity. It’s equally important for neighbours to know they can not only offer when help is needed, but ask when they need help. Some people who are always serving the community, forget that they can put out an ask when they encounter a situation they might need help with.

There has been a great deal of research done on “the strength of weak ties” and even just a friendly wave in the morning can improve someone’s mental and health and well-being.

Susan Pinker who wrote “The Village Effect” shares that she neighbours for the same reason she exercises, because she knows it’s good for her, and yes, it takes a little effort.

The pay offs can be very big. For example, last month when a senior with dementia was lost in Highlands. The police had the helicopter out and patrol cars looking,  but it was the over 100 volunteers that immediately mobilized that found him in a very short time.

There are so many benefits to neighbouring. Peer reviewed research has shown neighbouring meets complex needs Some of the benefits of neighbouring are inclusiveness, increased health and well-being, social care, supporting mental health and spirituality, sense of belonging, companionship, crime reduction, safer spaces, environmental protections, higher scholastic achievements in children, and so many more.

If you would like to know more about neighbouring in Beverly/Rundle, please drop me a line, or text, or call. We are also brainstorming ideas for a (Covid-19 safe) neighbouring initiative for this spring. Last year we delivered a small posey of fresh flowers. So if you have any ideas, please share!

Lastly, here is a link to the City of Edmonton’s “Age Friendly” program for anyone who is interested. 

I hope everyone is beginning to enjoy coming out of the deep freeze, and are getting ready to enjoy spring time soon.

Take care,

Rayna Haythorne

Neighbourhood Connector

Learn more!

Watch the Susan Pinker TED Talk video “The secret to living longer may be your social life”:  here.

Read the news article  Just an acquaintance? What we’ve missed as the pandemic robs us of our ‘non-friends’.