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NAP survey – until September 30th, 2017

2017 September 15
by Melissa

Give your feedback on our suggested neighbourhood priorities until September 30th, 2017.

your voice matters

https://goo.gl/forms/mWJALrRTmG2NG14y2

VPNA Meeting Minutes – Sept 12, 2017

2017 September 15
by Melissa
Welcome
Guest speaker: Meals on Wheels, now known as Community Support Connections, update from Yessenia Torres: Yessenia provided handouts and gave some information about all of the different programs and services that are available. They are in need of volunteers. Groups can even take on a delivery route to share. Please pass along that information as appropriate. The VPNA Facebook now follows them on Facebook so we can more easily share some of this information as well. Might there be an option here to connect through their HomeHelp program with our Snow Angel plans? Cathy may have more to add as she is a longtime volunteer with the organization.
Councilor updates: There is a meeting at the Pavilion about the upcoming Nougat development. Frank will provide more details soon. The crossing of Jubilee should be installed soon. Frank is concerned about its location with vehicles turning. Frank will look into why there is a delay with upgrades to the Iron Horse Trail and report back to us. Frank is also trying to find out why the house on West Ave still has not been cleaned up. Region has approved demolition of the 2 houses on Queen Street but it now needs to go to Kitchener Heritage for discussion.
City updates: FoN finale is Nov 19th. Brock street is celebrating the completion of their capital grant projects on Oct 1st. Melissa will write a congratulatory letter to them on behalf of the VPNA.
Newsletters: ideas for Winter newsletter? Update neighbours about NAP progress. Possible Save the Date for a Family Day event. Highlight some of the programming at the DCC. Have Frank write something about Iron Horse Trail upgrades or community gardens. Highlight the Food Forest and possible upcoming improvements such as signage. Should get the newsletter to Agnes by Oct 20th.
Little Library: Any new location suggestions? Need to consider accessibility; winter clearance; likelihood of vandalism. Melissa has asked that the City comes up with a short-list of possible locations that they deem appropriate and we can select from there. Agnes will follow up.
Programming: Updates re: DLC scheduling; DNA programs; Melissa followed up with Melissa Y re: possible ASD drop-in.
VPWG: letter sent regarding poor state of the pathway at David toward the Boathouse. Frank will follow up on this as we have not heard back from anyone as of yet.
NAP: we held our street party Sept 2nd from 12-3pm at the Henry Sturm Greenway. We highlighted our NAP options by: using the shed as a temporary community message board; using chalk on the Iron Horse to create potential crosswalk designs; creating bird feeders to highlight bird/tree initiatives; tree giveaway to highlight the food forest and urban tree initiative; storyboards to highlight historical signage. Discuss options for applying for Placemaking grant. Our tree winner has donated the tree back to the neighbourhood association. We now need to decide what to do with it. Can we plant it in the Henry Sturm area at all? How do we go about this? If not, might we be able to use the donation next year at our plant swap perhaps? If we go this route, we will need to have a discussion with Benjamin Tree Farm since they are the donors. Next NAP meeting is scheduled for Oct 4th from 5-7pm.
Food Forest: Follow up and decide on ideas put forth already, see attached chart. VPNA wants to focus on signage and also possibly ensuring that the food forest gets included on Jane’s Walks. There was also some discussion about the other elements we want to include in that area such as a community board, bench, library, etc. Do we do this in one fell swoop or in tiny steps?
Events: Overdose Awareness Day Aug 27th 12-2pm – Went well. They trained over 100 people.; Pumpkinpalooza Nov 1st – Erin is willing to lead this. We may want to get flyers out to neighbours as the newsletters will not be out by then. We could also advertise the AGM as it is only 2 days later.; AGM Nov 3rd. Do we want to run a Family Day event this year?
Information for future meetings: Have Josh from the NDO join us?
Adjournment

The latest from Councillor Etherington: Iron Horse Trail users won’t use complex regional link to transit hub

2017 September 14
by Melissa

Regional councillors have lost their way as they stumble toward finding a route for a $2-million proposed link between the Iron Horse Trail and the transit hub on King Street West near Victoria Street.
The hub will eventually house Light Rail Transit, GO transit, Via Rail and Grand River buses.
Following the direction of regional staff, most councillors seem to back a bewildering route through the Cherry Park community that exits the popular trail near Gage Street.
At a neighbourhood meeting last night, Cherry Park residents heard the route would go through Raddatz Park, along Waverly Road to Strange Street, through Cherry Park, down a Park Street sidewalk to Kitchener’s Bramm Street parking lot and continue adjacent to a rail line until it reaches the transit hub.
It’s hardly surprising they were confused.
The mangled 1.3-kilometre route is being supported by councillors instead of a direct link adjacent to the CN rail track favoured by Kitchener staff and regional councillors Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic and Geoff Lorentz.
The Iron Horse trail is used by about 1,730 cyclists and pedestrians every day and the indirect route is being recommended for two ill-conceived reasons.
* To qualify for a $1.3-million infrastructure grant offered by the higher levels of  government. Construction deadline for that grant is March 2018 but it is likely to be extended to March 2019.
* Nightmare bureaucratic difficulties any time local government tries to work with CN and the Goderich-Exeter Railway that usually takes  years to negotiate
And while I understand the reasoning, it doesn’t change the fact that if regional councillors want to do the project right and have people actually use the link, the best action would be to use the federal and provincial grant toward a down payment for that direct route alongside the rail track.
A final regional council decision is expected in October.
I would suggest trail users attend the meeting or contact their occasionally invisible regional councillors.
Kitchener voters are also represented by Tom Galloway, TGalloway@regionofwaterloo.ca, Elizabeth Clark, EClark@regionofwaterloo.ca and Karen Redman,  KRedman@regionofwaterloo.ca

NAP survey

2017 August 26
by Melissa

Give your feedback on our suggested neighbourhood priorities until September 30th, 2017.

your voice matters

https://goo.gl/forms/mWJALrRTmG2NG14y2

 

NAP meeting #3

2017 August 2
by Melissa

VPNA NAP meeting #3 – June 21, 2017 5:15pm – 6:45pm

In attendance:

Agnes Das, Patrick Gilbride, Melissa Bowman, Rebekah Haynes, Erin Toner, Anna Maste, Anka Brozic

Informed team that the VPNA unanimously supported the vision statement for the NAP.

Part One:

Develop goals, objectives, and actions:

We considered the following from the Toolkit – Tool K:

Tool K- How to Develop Vision Statements, Objectives, Quick Wins and Actions

Once your vision statement is complete, do a REALITY CHECK.  ASK: Can this be achieved?

 

Goals and Objectives

Once the Vision Statement is created and endorsed by the Neighbourhood Action Team, the next step is to create the goals for the Neighbourhood Action Plan, based on the main themes developed during the visioning exercise. People often get confused about what is a goal, an objective and an action. Goals are general guidelines that explain what you want to achieve in your community. They are usually long-term and represent global visions such as “protect public health and safety.”

Objectives define strategies or implementation steps to attain the identified goals. Unlike goals, objectives are specific, measurable and have a defined completion date.

Actions are more specific and provide the “how to” steps to attaining the objective.

Here is an example of what a vision statement, goal, objective and action might look like.

Vision: We want our neighbourhood to be known for its safety, walkability and friendliness.

Goal: Create a safe environment for pedestrians in our neighbourhood.

Objective: Increase pedestrian-friendly features on Main Street.

Actions: Plant trees; install benches and calm traffic through bump-outs along Main Street.

Is there a Quick Win? A quick win is an action that can be achieved in a couple of months using minimal resources, shows early success in the neighbourhood and creates a “buzz.”

Important note about the process:

While the final Neighbourhood Action Plan will clearly present the vision, goals, objectives and actions in a way that makes sense to the reader, the creation of this work is often less ordered and cohesive. Often residents will focus on the immediate tasks or behaviours they would like to see change in their neighbourhood to meet their vision, without being able to speak about how these ideas fit into broader goals and objectives. Experience in other cities suggests that sometimes the goals and objectives emerge out of a number of concrete actions that can be grouped together to create the goals and objectives. Because of this, it is important to keep a record of all ideas that emerge during discussions so that no idea gets lost.

Steps to develop goals, objectives and actions:

  1. Start the meeting with a quick reminder of the vision and themes that were created at previous meetings. Present and explain that the dotmocracy tool will be used for each goal statement and each objective.
  2. Re-convene the same small groups and have them review the work from the last meeting, make any changes and then present the goal statement and objectives to the larger group for clarification. Do NOT wordsmith the goal statement during the discussion but do ask “So what?” – what is the difference that this goal/objective could have on the lives of residents or the neighbourhood?
  3. Have each group use the dotmocracy tool for each of the goal statements and objectives. Post each goal statement around the room, give the residents 2-3 minutes per goal statement (so if there are 6 goal statements, allot 15 – 20 minutes for this exercise) to write any comments or revisions on the statement and fill in their dot. Have them initial the sheet.
  4. Post the objectives under the goal statement and again give the residents time to walk around the room, read each statement, add any comments and fill in their dot. Make sure they initial each sheet they vote on.
  5. The facilitator will wrap up the meeting by summarizing where the major priorities in the group are and let the group know that at the next meeting the goals and objectives will be presented back, in order of priority, as identified through the dotmocracy tool.
  6. The facilitator, City staff and one resident from each small group take away the goal statements and objectives, with comments and revisions, to prioritize and wordsmith before the next meeting.
  7. Present back the first draft of the goals and objectives, with preliminary action ideas captured within the objectives. Once agreement is reached that these are correct, it is time to consult with the community to get their input.

This is a good time to take your vision statement, goals and objectives out to the neighbourhood for consultation. You can use this consultation to refine the goals and objectives and collect more ideas for actions for achieving the vision and goal statements. This consultation should let the group know if they are on the right track. If the consultation gives you results that are very different from the vision, goal statements and objectives drafted by the group, the group needs to take this new information into consideration and “course correct” their vision and goals.

NAP mtg 3 (8) NAP mtg 3 (5)

Goals: these were developed based on our lists of neighbourhood assets and what we would like to strengthen (highlighted in brackets)
1. Safe access to the park (walkable, park)
2. Reduce risks (walkable, park)
3. Preserve the historical character of the neighbourhood – as well as educate/highlight/celebrate it (history)
4. Enhance the neighbourhood’s natural beauty (walkable)
5. Encourage cultural diversity (social/cultural)

NAP mtg 3 (6)

Objectives: based on our described goals (bracketed numbers refer to goals – see above)
• Traffic calming (West Ave; Jubilee; etc) (1)
• Reduce cigarette butt litter (4)
• Control invasive plant species (4)
• Seek cultural diversity on our team (5)
• Make neighbourhood appealing/welcoming to artists (5)
• Be intentional about reaching ALL neighbours (especially marginalized groups) (5)

NAP mtg 3 (7)

Actions: based on stated goals and objectives (bracketed numbers refer to numbered goals – see above)

  • Lobbying for improvements (1)
  • Installing painted crosswalks, stop signs, and/or stop lights (1, 2)
  • Installing signage, storyboards (3)
  • Offer walking tours of the neighbourhood (3)
  • Create neighbourhood profile (3)
  • Educate park users through signage, social media, other (4)
  • Offer trail work days, workshops (4)
  • Support buskers in the park (5)
  • Summer community picnic (5)
  • Connect with specific organizations with the goal of connecting with marginalized groups – including third party connectors (5)

Part Two:
Engaging the community:
We wanted to keep the following in mind, from the Neighbourhood Action Plan Guide, as we developed a plan to engage the larger community.
3. Develop a Communications Plan Keep residents informed.
The creation of a communications plan will help inform residents about their work and engage more people in the process. The communications plan identifies when and how the Neighbourhood Action Team will communicate with the neighbourhood and gather their input. When to communicate should align with the key tasks and major milestones identified in the workplan. Recognizing the diverse makeup of a neighbourhood, it will be important to communicate and seek input in different ways.
Some examples could include events, meetings, newsletters, website and social media.
Tip: Always try to communicate in plain language. Use words and sentences that are appropriate for a Grade 6-8 reading level, so everyone can understand and remember your message quickly and easily.
4. Engage the neighbourhood
Understand your neighbourhood today. Create a vision for the future.
Once residents have developed a complete picture of their neighbourhood, a vision for the future will begin to develop. The vision describes what the Neighbourhood Action Team wants the neighbourhood to be in the future.
Key question: In 5 years, what will the neighbourhood look and feel like ?
Think about the actions that can be taken to make neighbourhoods safe, accessible, connected, inclusive, diverse and engaged. An effective vision will inspire and motivate the broader neighbourhood to work together to achieve it. It will inform all goals, objectives, priorities and actions moving forward.
Remember to get endorsement by the broader neighbourhood so everyone gets behind it. Eventually, residents may want to share their vision with Kitchener City Council. City staff can help with this.
SEE THE TOOLKIT, TOOL K – How TO DEVELOP VISION STATEMENTS, OBJECTIVES, QUICK WINS AND ACTIONS
5. Develop an Implementation Plan
Identify actions to achieve your vision.
Once residents have a vision for the future of their neighbourhood, the Neighbourhood Action Team can fine-tune its objectives in order to develop and prioritize specific actions for implementation based on the feedback from the neighbourhood. For instance, an objective may be to create an inventory of residents’ strengths while the specific steps to achieve the action may include creating and distributing a survey, collecting and analyzing the survey and sharing the information with the neighbourhood.
If necessary, City staff can assist with this step. When refining the objectives and actions, remember to:
• Create objectives that
 use action verbs (such as write, solve, build, produce)
 are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely)
• Ensure the objectives include quick wins, short term actions and long term actions
• Rank the objectives in order of priority (i.e. which ones should be done first)
• Prioritize actions within each prioritized objective
The implementation plan should:
• consider what organizations are available to be involved in specific actions
• identify which individuals, groups or organizations should take the lead on specific actions
• determine what can be achieved within a short, medium or long-term timeframe
• confirm where resources can be accessed

NAP mtg 3 (1)

NAP mtg 3 (2)

Who:

  • Neighbours/residents
  • Councillor Etherington
  • Tannery/Communitech
  • Schneider Haus
  • Business owners, including:

City Café

Dynasty (former Lailai)

Victoria Place

  • Organizations, including:

OneROOF

The Working Centre

Reception House

Downtown Community Centre

KDCHC

REEP

  • Victoria Park Working Group
  • Key neighbourhood stakeholders, including:

Harold Russell

rych mills

David/Schneider group

Leon Bensason

Linden Terrace

Iron Horse Towers

Victoria School

NAP mtg 3 (3)

Why are we engaging the community? To share what information?
• Inform others of NAP
• Invite participation
• Identify priorities
• Identify strengths (what are specific team members able to bring to the table?)

NAP mtg 3 (4)

How can we best engage others?
• Word of mouth
• Posters/flyers
• Make presentations to businesses/organizations
• Social media
• Surveys
• Email

Once together, we can:
• Brainstorm
• Asset mapping
• Dotmocracy
• Neighbourhood walk
• Structured meeting
• Form committees

 

Part Three:
Create a timeline

NAP mtg 3 (10)

Discussion points:
Agnes shared the Resident-led Traffic Calming Guide as well as the Placemaking Challenge plan for 2018. Both of these resources may be useful in future discussions.
We discussed the idea of quick wins and creating some interest and ‘buzz’ around the NAP. Potential ideas: hosting a summer picnic; a handout for Kidspark; handing out freezies in the park along with a small flyer about the NAP

Decisions agreed upon:
• Goals, objectives, and actions created
• Timeline developed

Considerations:
Do we want to hire someone to create a neighbourhood profile? Here is a link to a neighbourhood profile for the Mount Hope neighbourhood. https://communityedition.ca/if-streets-could-talk-mount-hope/ Melissa also has a hard copy in case link disappears.
Next steps:
• Bring others into the conversation (neighbours, organizations, businesses, etc)
• Identify some quick wins and implement them
• Remember to continually document our processes
• Decide on neighbourhood profile plan
• Develop a specific communications plan to assist in creating interest as well as informing stakeholders
Next meeting:
• July 4th, 7pm

NAP meeting #2

2017 August 2
by Melissa

VPNA NAP meeting #2 – May 31st, 2017 5:30pm – 7:30pm

In attendance:

Agnes Das, Patrick Gilbride, Melissa Bowman, Rebekah Haynes, Erin Toner

Regrets:

Anna Maste, Anka Brozic

Our plan needs to be asset based. Last meeting, we identified many assets and categorized them into 4 areas (walkable, park, history, social/cultural).

Part One:

List of neighbourhood assets based on previous asset mapping activities (done in the neighbourhood), discussion and whiteboard brainstorming ideas by our action team.

Walkable:

  • Trail
  • nature
  • winter lights
  • clean walkways
  • City Café
  • Iron horse Trail
  • geocache
  • park washrooms

Park:

  • Splash pad
  • Food forest
  • Lake
  • swan
  • boats
  • clock tower
  • the Park
  • winter lights
  • clean walkways
  • fountain
  • gardens
  • playground
  • geese
  • Boathouse
  • park events
  • canoeing
  • Kaiser’s Bust
  • park washrooms

History:

  • The Tannery
  • Schneider Haus
  • Boathouse
  • York apartments
  • Kaiser’s Bust
  • clock tower

Social/Cultural:

  • Cafka Art Walk
  • Multicultural Festival
  • Craft beer and Ribfest
  • The Tannery
  • Boathouse
  • park events
  • festivals
  • Working Centre

Other:

  • Harry Class Pool
  • Queen’s Greens
  • Communitech

NAP mtg 2h

Part Two:

Reviewed neighbourhood demographic maps and information:

Agnes provided several demographic maps for us to review. She also provided a sample neighbourhood profile (see link at end of these minutes).

Hood profile 1 Hood profile 2 Hood profile 3 Hood profile 4

NAP mtg 2d NAP mtg 2c

Part Three:

Discussion of vision based on identified assets and neighbourhood demographics:         

A vision statement refers to the desired end state over the long term

We considered the following from the Neighbourhood Action Plan Guide:

  1. Develop a Communications Plan

Keep residents informed.

The creation of a communications plan will help inform residents about their work and engage more people in the process. The communications plan identifies when and how the Neighbourhood Action Team will communicate with the neighbourhood and gather their input. When to communicate should align with the key tasks and major milestones identified in the workplan. Recognizing the diverse makeup of a neighbourhood, it will be important to communicate and seek input in different ways.
Some examples could include events, meetings, newsletters, website and social media.

Tip: Always try to communicate in plain language. Use words and sentences that are appropriate for a Grade 6-8 reading level, so everyone can understand and remember your message quickly and easily.

SEE THE TOOLKIT, TOOL B – ENGAGING THE NEIGHBOURHOOD, TOOL C – VALUING INCLUSION AND DIVERSITY IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD AND TOOL 1- COMMUNICATIONS PLAN

  1. Engage the neighbourhood

Understand your neighbourhood today. Create a vision for the future.

What do residents know about their neiqhbourhood

One of the first Neighbourhood Action Team meeting agenda items should focus on further developing the asset map of the neighbourhood. The team should take some time to review the asset map that the community started at the neighbourhood gathering, discuss the information and add any additional assets that were missed. The asset map is simply one tool that the team can use to help develop a picture that represents what residents know about their neighbourhood.

A review of social and demographic statistical information may help to broaden everyone’s understanding of their neighbourhood. Information about the people who live in the neighbourhood, housing, income levels and land uses can be considered. Information about how safe, accessible, connected, inclusive, diverse and engaged neighbourhoods are will be made available and can also be considered. All of this information can be requested from City staff.

Asset mapping combined with statistical information can serve as an important reference throughout the process because it can help highlight the conditions and experiences of others. Interesting stories from the asset mapping exercise may help put a human face on the statistics.

SEE THE TOOLKIT, TOOL E – ASSET MAPPING: NEIGHBOURHOOD GATHERING, WALK AND ASSET CHART, TOOL F – How TO PLAN AND RUN MEETINGS AND TOOL J – NEIGHBOURHOOD STATISTICAL INFORMATION

What kind of neighborhood d0 residents want

Once residents have developed a complete picture of their neighbourhood, a vision for the future will begin to develop. The vision describes what the Neighbourhood Action Team wants the neighbourhood to be in the future.

Key question: In 5 years, what will the neighbourhood look and feel like ?

Think about the actions that can be taken to make neighbourhoods safe, accessible, connected, inclusive, diverse and engaged. An effective vision will inspire and motivate the broader neighbourhood to work together to achieve it. It will inform all goals, objectives, priorities and actions moving forward.
Remember to get endorsement by the broader neighbourhood so everyone gets behind it. Eventually, residents may want to share their vision with Kitchener City Council. City staff can help with this.

SEE THE TOOLKIT, TOOL K – How TO DEVELOP VISION STATEMENTS, OBJECTIVES, QUICK WINS AND ACTIONS

  1. Develop an Implementation Plan

Identify actions to achieve your vision.

Once residents have a vision for the future of their neighbourhood, the Neighbourhood Action Team can fine-tune its objectives in order to develop and prioritize specific actions for implementation based on the feedback from the neighbourhood. For instance, an objective may be to create an inventory of residents’ strengths while the specific steps to achieve the action may include creating and distributing a survey, collecting and analyzing the survey and sharing the information with the neighbourhood.

If necessary, City staff can assist with this step. When refining the objectives and actions, remember to:

  • Create objectives that
  • use action verbs (such as write, solve, build, produce)
  • are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely)
  • Ensure the objectives include quick wins, short term actions and long term actions
  • Rank the objectives in order of priority (i.e. which ones should be done first)
  • Prioritize actions within each prioritized objective

The implementation plan should:

  • consider what organizations are available to be involved in specific actions
  • identify which individuals, groups or organizations should take the lead on specific actions
  • determine what can be achieved within a short, medium or long-term timeframe
  • confirm where resources can be accessed

 

We also relied on Tool K from the Toolkit:

Tool K- How to Develop Vision Statements, Objectives, Quick Wins and Actions

Vision Statement

The foundation of the Neighbourhood Action Plan is the vision that is created by the people who live, work, learn and play in the neighbourhood. Residents can drive the change that they want to see when they clearly articulate a vision for the future of their neighbourhood. The vision is for the neighbourhood, created by the Neighbourhood Action Team and endorsed by the neighbourhood.

The vision should:

  • Be concise, identify what is possible and create a picture of the future of the neighbourhood.
  • Be inspiring and inspirational.
  • Explain why the neighbourhood is creating a Neighbourhood Action Plan.
  • Explain where the neighbourhood is heading and what they are trying to achieve.

Steps to create a vision statement:

  • Select a facilitator and recorder
  • Make sure sticky notes, pens, flip chart paper and markers are available

The facilitator will:

  1. Explain to the Neighbourhood Action Team the purpose of the vision statement.
  2. Ask the team to review the asset map and neighbourhood profiles. Ask the team to consider the following questions: Based on our assets and issues, what do we want our neighbourhood to look like in 5 years … 10 years … 20 years? How do we build and enhance our assets? How do we address our needs? What is possible?
  3. Give each team member a sticky note and pen and ask them to write down ONE idea of what they want their neighbourhood to look like in the future. Give the team 10 minutes to think, reflect and complete.
  4. Facilitate a “go around” by asking each team member to speak to their idea. Have the team discuss each idea. The recorder will capture the main ideas on flip chart paper. The facilitator will then ask the team to group ideas together into major themes. Get agreement on the major themes. Ask the group, “Did we miss anything?”
  5. Write each theme on a flip chart and post around the room. Give each team member one sticky dot and have them place it on the theme they think is most important. The themes with the most dots are most important for prominent inclusion in the vision statement.

It is important that the team not wordsmith a vision statement as part of this exercise. Have one or two team members, the facilitator and City staff take away the major themes, put some sentences around these themes and bring this work back to the group for discussion at the next Neighbourhood Action Team meeting. This will save the team time and frustration and allow them to move on with the development of goals and objectives. Once your vision statement is complete, do a REALITY CHECK.

ASK: Can this be achieved?

 

Goals and Objectives

Once the Vision Statement is created and endorsed by the Neighbourhood Action Team, the next step is to create the goals for the Neighbourhood Action Plan, based on the main themes developed during the visioning exercise. People often get confused about what is a goal, an objective and an action. Goals are general guidelines that explain what you want to achieve in your community. They are usually long-term and represent global visions such as “protect public health and safety.”

Objectives define strategies or implementation steps to attain the identified goals. Unlike goals, objectives are specific, measurable and have a defined completion date.

Actions are more specific and provide the “how to” steps to attaining the objective.

Here is an example of what a vision statement, goal, objective and action might look like.

Vision: We want our neighbourhood to be known for its safety, walkability and friendliness.

Goal: Create a safe environment for pedestrians in our neighbourhood.

Objective: Increase pedestrian-friendly features on Main Street.

Actions: Plant trees; install benches and calm traffic through bump-outs along Main Street.

Is there a Quick Win? A quick win is an action that can be achieved in a couple of months using minimal resources, shows early success in the neighbourhood and creates a “buzz.”

Important note about the process:

While the final Neighbourhood Action Plan will clearly present the vision, goals, objectives and actions in a way that makes sense to the reader, the creation of this work is often less ordered and cohesive. Often residents will focus on the immediate tasks or behaviours they would like to see change in their neighbourhood to meet their vision, without being able to speak about how these ideas fit into broader goals and objectives. Experience in other cities suggests that sometimes the goals and objectives emerge out of a number of concrete actions that can be grouped together to create the goals and objectives. Because of this, it is important to keep a record of all ideas that emerge during discussions so that no idea gets lost.

Steps to develop goals, objectives and actions:

  • Select a facilitator
  • Make sure flip chart paper, markers, pens and sticky dots are available

Session 1

  1. Using the main themes developed during the visioning exercise; break the Neighbourhood Action Team into small groups (ideally 4-5 residents).
  2. Give each group one theme each and have them brainstorm as many ideas as they can think of that would help achieve the vision/theme. Have the group record all these ideas as clearly as possible on flip chart paper and appoint a spokesperson to present these ideas back to the larger group.
  3. Once all groups have reported back, post each flip chart paper theme with ideas around the room and give everyone a chance to walk around, make comments or additions to each piece and discuss informally.

 

  1. Give the flip chart paper themes, including any additional ideas, back to the small group and have them group the ideas that seem to go together into broad objectives. Next, discuss the objectives and come up with some ideas on potential goal statements. If the group does not have time to refine the goal statement and objectives to their satisfaction, have them get together between meetings to work on the statements (or ask a facilitator or City staff do this).

Session 2

  1. Start the meeting with a quick reminder of the vision and themes that were created at previous meetings. Present and explain that the dotmocracy tool will be used for each goal statement and each objective.
  2. Re-convene the same small groups and have them review the work from the last meeting, make any changes and then present the goal statement and objectives to the larger group for clarification. Do NOT wordsmith the goal statement during the discussion but do ask “So what?” – what is the difference that this goal/objective could have on the lives of residents or the neighbourhood?
  3. Have each group use the dotmocracy tool for each of the goal statements and objectives. Post each goal statement around the room, give the residents 2-3 minutes per goal statement (so if there are 6 goal statements, allot 15 – 20 minutes for this exercise) to write any comments or revisions on the statement and fill in their dot. Have them initial the sheet.
  4. Post the objectives under the goal statement and again give the residents time to walk around the room, read each statement, add any comments and fill in their dot. Make sure they initial each sheet they vote on.
  5. The facilitator will wrap up the meeting by summarizing where the major priorities in the group are and let the group know that at the next meeting the goals and objectives will be presented back, in order of priority, as identified through the dotmocracy tool.
  6. The facilitator, City staff and one resident from each small group take away the goal statements and objectives, with comments and revisions, to prioritize and wordsmith before the next meeting.
  7. Present back the first draft of the goals and objectives, with preliminary action ideas captured within the objectives. Once agreement is reached that these are correct, it is time to consult with the community to get their input.

This is a good time to take your vision statement, goals and objectives out to the neighbourhood for consultation. You can use this consultation to refine the goals and objectives and collect more ideas for actions for achieving the vision and goal statements. This consultation should let the group know if they are on the right track. If the consultation gives you results that are very different from the vision, goal statements and objectives drafted by the group, the group needs to take this new information into consideration and “course correct” their vision and goals.

 

Discussion points:

Do we want to reference the characteristics of a great neighbourhood here? No, but let’s include them in our goals.

Let’s bring suggested vision to VPNA June 6th meeting. Also, what of the 4 categories (walkable, park, history, social/cultural) do we want to focus on? Melissa will add this to the June 6th agenda.

We reviewed the VPNA’s constitution in our discussion of our vision.

ARTICLE II – Aims and Objectives

  1. To be non-denominational and non-partisan.
  2. To create a friendly community spirit.
  3. To preserve and enhance the quality of life in the Victoria Park Neighbourhood.
  4. To promote the availability of a quality residential and social environment in the community of the Victoria Park Neighbourhood.
  5. To study and evaluate the community, its needs, and the services which exist to meet those needs.
  6. To stimulate awareness of community problems and provide consulting and advisory services to the neighbourhood.
  7. To encourage and facilitate co-operation among agencies and organizations providing service to the neighbourhood.
  8. To provide when feasible such common services or facilities as are deemed in the best interest of the neighbourhood.
  9. To engage in such other activities related to planning, co-ordinating and implementing joint action as may be deemed to be in the best interest of the welfare of the neighbourhood.
  10. To promote recreation activities with the community with the objective of encouraging participation of all residents of the area and in all age groups.
  11. To encourage the best use of present recreational facilities and the development of new facilities.To work in close co-operation with the Kitchener Parks and Recreation Department in providing public recreation.

We want our neighbourhood to be known for it’s unique character. We want to preserve and enhance (as per section 3 of aims and objectives) those 4 areas – walkable, park, history, social/cultural in the neighbourhood.

NAP mtg 2e NAP mtg 2f

Decisions agreed upon:

Vision to recommend to the VPNA: The Victoria Park neighbourhood is an inviting community that connects people through history, culture, and nature.

Considerations:

Do we want to hire someone to create a neighbourhood profile? Here is a link to a neighbourhood profile for the Mount Hope neighbourhood. https://communityedition.ca/if-streets-could-talk-mount-hope/  Melissa also has a hard copy in case link disappears.

Next steps:

  • Bring others into the conversation (neighbours, organizations, businesses, etc).
  • Remember to continually document our processes.

Next meeting:

  • June 21st, 5:15pm

NAP meeting #1

2017 August 2
by Melissa

VPNA NAP meeting #1 – May 17th, 2017 5:15pm – 7pm

In attendance:

Agnes Das, Patrick Gilbride, Anna Maste, Anka Brozic, Melissa Bowman, Rebekah Haynes, Erin Toner

Agnes provided a snapshot of NAP principles, budget, parameters, focus on documentation, and engaging community

The plan needs to be asset based. So what are our strengths? (See part one).  How might we build on these strengths? (see part two)

Part One: Assets (based on discussion and whiteboard ideas – pics below)

 

NAP May 17c NAP May 17d NAP May17b

Part Two:

Brainstorming based on assets identified above and categorized:

Walkable:

  • Traffic calming strategies (at Highland/West)
  • More crosswalks (in and around the park. For example, on Jubilee near the Boathouse)
  • Lighting (in and around the park and trails)
  • More benches/resting areas

Park:

  • Signage (wayfinding, stories of place, etc)
  • Fitness training circuit
  • Alternative adult play equipment
  • Community board
  • More benches
  • “Butt Stops” and information

Historical:

  • History ‘stories’ shared in a variety of ways (plaques, pictures, signage, events)
  • Music and stories shared in the bandstand once a week
  • Story maps
  • Photos of what used to be in specific spaces

Social/Cultural:

  • Free classes in the park (for example: tai chi, fitness, art, music)

Decisions agreed upon:

  • Our boundaries for this project will reflect our current VPNA boundaries.

Considerations:

  • We have access to some money if needed to support the work of this project. Potential uses for these funds include: hiring someone (writer; photographer; students to obtain and analyze needed data)
  • City wants to see the breadth and depth of possibilities so we need to document everything to help ‘tell the story’ of our experience.
  • We can reference the VPNA aims and objectives to identify the vision for the NAP.

Next steps:

  • Refer to previous asset mapping exercises done in the neighbourhood and bring that information into this discussion. Melissa to follow up on this for next meeting.
  • Bring others into the conversation (neighbours, organizations, businesses, etc).
  • Remember to continually document our processes.

Next meeting:

  • May 31st 5:30pm at the DCC

Street Party! September 2nd, 2017

2017 July 31
by Melissa
September 2, 2017
12:00 pmto3:00 pm

Join us for fun and games, treats, crafts, and prizes!

NAP party ad

VPNA Meeting Minutes – July 26th, 2017

2017 July 27
by Melissa
5:30 Welcome
5:35 Councilor updates: Frank away
5:35 Newsletters: have been sent to print
5:40 Little Library: Any new location suggestions? Need to consider accessibility; winter clearance; likelihood of vandalism. Perhaps we could partner with Reception House (have it near that end of the lake and the newly installed bench); Near the clock tower was also suggested (perhaps partner with THEMUSEUM if it is over there)
5:45 NAP: we are having a neighbourhood party! Sept 2nd from 12-3pm at the Henry Sturm Greenway. We will have events that highlight our NAP options, potentially including: using the shed as a temporary community message board; using chalk on the Iron Horse to create potential crosswalk designs; decorating small birdhouses to highlight bird/tree initiatives; tree giveaway to highlight the food forest and urban tree initiative. It was suggested that Dollarama birdhouses are not the most eco-friendly option. Let’s consider making bird feeders instead with pinecones/sticks, fat/lard. sponge brushes, birdseed, twine (for hanging). Would also need cleaning up materials such as wet wipes. May also want to make nesting balls with bright coloured materials that birds use to build their nests.
6:55 Food Forest: Let’s brainstorm! Some ideas put forth already, include: offering a food foraging workshop; signage; “What’s a food forest?” section on the website; rain barrel sale; partner with food bank, JF Carmichael, Schneider Haus; offer other educational times such as canning, recipes, etc. See ‘ideas’ list below. Our goals in creating this list was to create awareness of the food forest and help it to become better used.
6:20 Events: Overdose Awareness Day Aug 27th 12-2pm; Pumpkinpalooza Nov 1st; AGM Nov 3rd. The AGM is earlier this year so we will not get the Winter newsletter out prior to the AGM. Will need to take extra steps on social media and at other events to remind people of the AGM. We could have flyers at the street party about Pumpkinpalooza and the AGM as well. We will have the newsletters at the street party as well.
6:25 Information for future meetings: Pumpkinpalooza; AGM; Have Josh from the NDO join us?
6:30 Adjournment (Next meeting Sept 5th)

 

Food Forest Idea What that looks like/requires Lead
Food foraging workshop
Signage One sign in each guild listing the more ‘permanent’ plants; Can we simply ‘stake’ some signs or do we need something more official/stronger? Rebekah does wood burning and could create a simple sign for the area “Food Forest” “www.victoriaparkna.com”
Website: What’s a food forest? Add a ‘page’ to our website under Food Forest. Here we can add recipes, info about what food forests are, and photos of our food forest Melissa can start updating this now.
Website: Plant Photos and Identification Take photos of specific plants in our food forest. Post them to our website and identify them and their uses Anka to take photos. Charlotte to identify the plants. Melissa to add them to our website.
Rain barrel sale
Partner: Food Bank Could offer a community dinner at the picnic shelter. Anka can explore this as an option
Partner: J.F. Carmichael May want to connect with Melissa Y re: options
Partner: Schneider Haus
Partner: Working Centre Since the working centre is well established in running community gardens/markets, etc, they may be a good resource for us as we move forward
Education: Canning workshop
Education: Recipes (book?)
Website: Recipes
Creating a Food Forest Team Need to identify what the specific roles might be as we develop a team (visioning, working in the food forest, advertising etc)
Add information to any community board(s) we eventually have installed
Host a monthly work time for interested parties to work in the food forest
Use sidewalk chalk on nearby paths to let people know about the food forest Could keep sidewalk nearby and if you are in the area, simply write a message about the food forest Charlotte to supply a small ziploc bag of sidewalk chalk
Include the Food Forest on any Jane’s Walks in the area
Add other features to the area such as benches, perhaps a patio type area, picnic benches

VPNA Meeting Minutes – June 6, 2017

2017 July 3
by Melissa
7:00 Welcome
7:15 Councilor updates: Frank away – City staff are looking at installing a crosswalk on Jubilee at Water. This will be presented at a committee meeting on June 12, 2017.
7:30 City updates: Agnes informed the board that Cathy L. received the Sirius award at May’s volunteer appreciation night for being ‘ever ready to step in where needed’. The Traffic Calming Guide was approved yesterday at Council (part of the Neighbourhood Strategy). Neighbourhood development office is now fully staffed with Darren, Carrie, and Josh. These three will work with staff throughout the City. We may want to invite Josh to a future meeting especially in regards to the NAP.
7:45 Finance: $8427.71 That includes our portion of the DNA annual payout ($447.58).
7:50 Newsletters: no summer newsletter but need ideas for the fall newsletter which gets distributed in August: Save the date for the AGM; NAP blurb; update on the little library/food forest area; reminder about our Facebook page and Twitter; reminder about 3rd annual pumpkinpalooza (Nov 1st)
7:55 Programming: No updates
8:05 DNA: AGM was May 24th. Need more board members still, esp. members-at-large. Fabienne joined us to discuss the potential of boundary changes. If the DNA thought it worthwhile to extend existing NA boundaries to absorb those without an NA (such as the Business Improvement Area) then it is worth having a larger discussion within the DNA to develop that process more clearly. The VPNA also received the profit-sharing cheque for this past year, which was for $447.58.
8:10 VPWG: Annual walkabout in the park occurred May 11th. Any issues were noted and will be followed up on but once again, the park is really looking great and staff have obviously made the park an area of focus. There were some questions about the long-term plans around the food forest so a date will be set up for VPNA members to meet with City staff to discuss further.
8:10 NAP: the vision for the NAP was presented to the board and approved unanimously. We discussed other points that the board hopes the NAP will incorporate, including: our neighbourhood as a hub for celebration; that it’s for all ages (grandparents, teens, babies, singles, families, etc); that it gets people moving and active as it serves as a catalyst for health; we contribute to healthy food in our city through the food forest.
8:20 Food Forest: see under events; Charlotte and Melissa meeting with City staff June 16th at the food forest to discuss plans for it
8:20 Events: Movie in the park – does not seem to be happening as I have not heard back at all from the organizers; 2nd annual plant swap (Few attended, maybe 10-15 – we should brainstorm ideas around this such as workshops; signage; recipe books, etc); Little library (Theresa has stained and shingled it. Just waiting for next steps from City staff); Neighbours Day: wear T-shirt from last year; we will provide outside activities (chalk, bubbles, and Todd is making a photo challenge board as well); Junk Music Jam – moved to near Boathouse to avoid wedding photo time; Gillian wondered if the VPNA would offer support around National Overdose Awareness Day (Aug 27th; 12-2pm memorial in the park) – Gillian will forward more specific details soon. OneROOF is also participating in this.
8:45 Miscellaneous: mailchimp (new subscribers); publicity policy – we had a brief discussion about this. We will bring a couple more people on board to help get information out on social media. We wondered if it is worth having a VPNA Instagram account as well. Also, need to look at some consistent hashtags such as #VPNA, #VPNAfoodforest, etc. Melissa, Cathy, and Anna to discuss how to make these things happen smoothly.
8:55 Information for future meetings: Devon from the Tool Sharing library has been in contact with Melissa; there may be future opportunities for the VPNA to support this initiative. We also discussed some possibilities around the food forest. Melissa will send out a doodle poll with possible meeting dates for July for a casual get together (picnic in the park perhaps) to brainstorm ideas. Some ideas put forth already, include: offering a food foraging workshop; signage; “What’s a food forest?” section on the website; rain barrel sale; partner with food bank, JF Carmichael, Schneider Haus; offer other educational times such as canning, recipes, etc.
9:00 Adjournment
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