Oct 022012

Last night the Hammond Neighbours Ad-Hoc Self-Appointed Disorganized Organized Committee (HNAHSADOC) got together for a potluck dinner and chat about recent and upcoming events. Dinner featured left-over pop, chips and candy from the July party, big bowls of popcorn, and, yes, some actual real nutritious food. (We feel it’s important to set an example regarding good nutrition.)

Most of the usual suspects were in attendance, plus a couple of new faces. Dave Speers, our handy-dandy municipal liaison and go-to guy was there, as was Tony Cotroneo, Recreation Manager Youth & Neighbourhood Services. Here’s what we talked about:

Painting the Pool House

The meeting started with a standing ovation for Cyndy’s incredible job of getting the pool-house painted. For those who haven’t seen it, it looks great! Bright and cheery, with big kid-friendly murals on the front. (The murals were adapted from submissions to the kids’ colouring contest at the July party.) Even the rusty chain-link fence and the life-guards chair got painted.

We can’t thank Dulux Paints enough for their contribution of advice, volunteers and materials. We estimate that they supplied about 300 hours of labour and well over $1500 in supplies. Their generosity was incredible and they were lovely people to work with. The light blue used on the pool-house has been christened “Hammond Blue” – you can ask for it by name at the Dulux Paints store at 11990 – 207th Street (the plaza with the Value Village).

We are also very grateful for the support of the Maple Ridge municipality, including David Boag, Director of Parks and Recreation Services, who took great interest in the project and is following  up on the little snags we encountered. Dave Speers is going to look into ways that the municipal government can thank Dulux Paints for their generosity and community spirit.

Many folks are chatting about how great the pool-house looks and how much it brightens up the community centre grounds. We  encourage folks to write letters to the newspapers thanking Dulux.

Next Steps

  • There are a few touch-up and cleaning tasks that need to be done. When Cyndy is ready for volunteers to help with the final bits of touch-up and cleaning, I’ll put a call out on the website and on Facebook.
  • We (Hammond Neighbours volunteers) are going raise funds to buy paint and then get a work-party together to paint the washrooms to match the pool-house (probably in the spring).
  • When weather permits, we’ll be planting drought- and shade-resistant plants in the garden beds. We’re going to ask the city for some soil, bark mulch, etc.
  • We are going to ask the municipality for a few upgrades (lights, bench, parking-lot repainting, etc).
  • We want to put up a plaque that thanks Dulux and recognizes the kids who contributed the concept for the design.
  • You know those “Stream of Dreams” fish decorations you often see on school fences? We are thinking about making wooden blocks that kids can paint, and then, over the winter, whenever we have a Hammond Neighbours event we can put the kids to work painting wooden blocks that will decorate the chain-link fence around the pool.
  • We intend to have a grand-opening pool party when the pool opens next season.

Awesome New Idea: Recreation Programming

Tony Cotroneo and Dave Speers suggested that we decide as a group what kind of recreation programming we’d like to see at the Hammond Community Centre and then bring those suggestions to the Parks and Recreation folks at the municipality. Neat! I’ll come up with some kind of a poll and advertise here (on our website) and on Facebook.

Awesome New Idea: Youth Representation

Another great suggestion from Tony Cotroneo and Dave Speers: get a couple of youth representatives involved with Hammond Neighbours. There’s a young fellow (Alex? about 10 or 12?) who, at the party in July, jumped in to help and organized his friends and was generally totally great. Cyndy also talked to him while doing the pool-house project. He’s very enthusiastic and has great ideas and we think he’d be a great youth representative.

We’d also like to have a teen representative to tell us about teen issues and help us come up with events and projects that would appeal to teens. If you know someone (a teen) who is involved in the Hammond teen community and would like to take part, please ask them to email admin@hammondneighbours.ca.

Upcoming Events and Projects

Our schedule is pretty empty – there are no more upcoming projects or events. To some degree, we are heaving a sigh of relief. On the other hand, we’re considering new projects. We only have one formal idea we’re pursuing at this time – otherwise, we’re going to play it by ear and see what comes up. Remember – if you have an idea, DO IT!

Our one idea, though, is…

Sunday Night Soireé

Notice the fancy-schmancy “e” on the end. That’s how you know this is gonna be a fancy-schmancy event.

Not really. Quite the opposite, in fact. The idea is to have an open mic night at Hammond Community Centre where musicians, poets, actors, performers of any type can drop in and perform. We’ll have coffee / tea / cake to raise money for Hammond Neighbours, and, if we have a “feature” performer, we’ll pass the hat around for donations.

There’s a number of preliminary things we need to check out:

  • The main room at the Hammond Community Centre has a lot of acoustic reverb. Will it work as a performance venue? Is there some cheap way we could improve the acoustic qualities?
  • We probably need a small PA, and possibly a performance riser.
  • We need to figure out how to secure the best rental rates for the venue, and whether or not we can cover our costs.

Miscellaneous Stuff

  • Knotweed: We’re waiting on the recommendations from the municipality, and then need a champion to run the eradication project.
  • The Trash-Sharing Project: As discussed on Facebook, the idea is to get neighbours to initially chip in to share garbage pick-up (via reduced waste), and then eventually to do dump runs ourselves for those who want to participate.
  • Heritage Walking Tour: Expected sometime this fall.
  • Hammond 130 Anniversary Party: Sat Aug 10, 2013 (pending Community Centre availability).
  • Hammond Elementary Playground: As discussed on Facebook, the Hammond PAC is building a new playground for the smaller kids. It looks really cool. Material donations are needed and welcome!
  • Katzie Cemetery / Empty Lot: The Katzie continued work on the cemetery clean-up last week-end. Leanne has been invited to be involved with the Katzie in planning what will happen to the empty lot. A municipal park planner is also engaged in the process.
  • Financial Matters: This issue was tabled, as we didn’t have time to discuss it last night and it’s complicated. In a nutshell, while Hammond Neighbours can currently raise funds, we have no legal status and can’t apply for grants. There is a nascent Maple Ridge Association of Neighbours forming (made up of representatives from neighbourhood groups, with input from the municipality) that may provide all the neighbourhood groups with blanket Association or Charitable Organization status. It’s complicated, and we need to talk about it more.
 Posted by at 9:39 pm

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