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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:


  • 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


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


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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” “”
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

VPNA Meeting Minutes – May 2, 2017

2017 May 3
by Melissa

In attendance:

Melissa Bowman, Chair | Anka Brozic, Secretary |  Patrick Gilbride, DNA Liaison |  Rebekah Haynes, Member-at-large| Agnes Das, City | Frank Etherington, Councillor




7:00 Welcome Melissa
7:10 City updates:

City registration is changing to Active net for programs or facility bookings. Blackout period May 24th to June 5th when it goes live. In person cash/cheques only during that time. No longer 20% admin fee. New refund policy 100% refund if withdrawal >7 days before starting. No refund if request is made after the program starts.

Agnes provided lovely treats for all recognizing volunteer appreciation.

7:25 Councilor updates: Boundary changes; zoning; intensification

Affordable housing – unanimous vote in committee to improve Kitchener incentive program. Still needs to be approved by council in 2 weeks. The city will have an incentive program that will have an impact on development fees. Building applications will have a lower fee. Aimed at partnerships of profit and non-profit groups. Houses have to be within 450m of public transit. Arguments against – did not want to see Kitchener do more than Cambridge and Waterloo in this area. Cambridge is leading the charge. Waterloo is just starting with some supportive housing programs.

Reins –  intensification program continues with consultation

Crosby – zoning all neighborhoods and reworking some of them to work with the reins program. Site specific zoning is some of the language that is being used.

Placemaking Plan: Duke to Charles on Queen; Goudie’s Lane will be turned into a well lit walkable area. It will be pedestrianized for parts of this summer.

Shape DTK 2020 – booklet is out and available.

7:40 Finance: no update Melissa
Newsletters: no summer newsletter All
Programming: no update All
7:50 NAP: First meeting will be Wed May 17, at DCC, 5:15-6:15 Melissa
8:00 VPWG: Next meeting is May 11th – Park walkabout. Any concerns we should address with that group? Bridges need a paint job and one is “bouncy”. Not sure when the water will be put in the fountain area. Wondering when sand play area will be added to playground. Drummer in the park is back. Melissa
Partners: Victoria Place; Reception House (May 26th – Open House; donations); Deferred to next month Pre-teen autism group _ Deferred to next month Melissa
8:05 Events: Summary of Earth Day event (approximately 30 attended; made it on CTV news about community clean-ups; lovely weather for it); little library update (need to stain and shingle – or follow up with local artists; will be placed in ground soon hopefully). Hope to add the library near the food forest near the sidewalk and close to Jubilee; local artists can be asked to decorate the library or we may just stain and shingle. Plant swap Sunday May 28th (any tasks needing to be assigned?); Summer lights movies in the park June 4th , June 18 Summer Nights Festival; Neighbours Day Melissa
Miscellaneous: no update All
8:10 Information for future meetings: mailchimp (new subscribers) Melissa
8:15 Adjournment (next meeting: June 6/17) Melissa


Victoria Day in the Park – Change of Venue!

2017 May 3
by Melissa
May 22, 2017
11:00 amto1:00 pm
The speeches at 11am will now be held in the Gallery in the Park near the Pavilion at 83 Schneider, due to the possibility of inclement weather.
The Victoria Park Historical Committee invites everyone to celebrate Victoria Day in “her” park.
At 11am, at the monument, there will be a small celebration of the park’s namesake, how the statue
ended up in the park and how Victoria Day relates to our history. Several speakers will have short addresses.
Then at 12 noon, the Kitchener Musical Society Band entertains with an hour of concert favorites on the
Roos Island bandstand. Following that, set aside some time to stroll through the park and enjoy the first real
burst of spring trees, shrubs and flowers. Visit the Victoria Park Gallery between 1 and 4 for displays on park
and city history.
There is no admission charge for any of these activities but people should bring a lawn chair and maybe a
light lunch. For information contact the Victoria Park Gallery at or 519 742 4990.

The latest from Councillor Etherington: Can’t afford to delay low-cost housing

2017 May 3
by Melissa

 Kitchener councillors have approved  a solid foundation for an affordable-housing program.

Now, with support from non-profit groups and private developers, the city hopes this July  to move ahead with projects offering low-cost shelter  located near public-transit routes throughout the city.

In a unanimous committee vote yesterday that requires final approval at the May 15 council meeting, I was pleased to see councillors approve a variety of incentives to boost construction of affordable housing and hopefully take advantage of long-overdue dollars offered for low-cost shelter by federal and provincial governments.

In council I said city incentives, plus additional support  from regional government, will benefit some of the estimated 10,000 adults, children and an increasing number of seniors who have been waiting up to six years for affordable shelter. In addition, across the region, there are at least 1,500 people waiting for supportive housing where they receive help from various agencies.

I also argued that money taxpayers currently spend on health, justice and social services for many of those in need of shelter is likely to be reduced through the provision of affordable housing.

Meanwhile it’s great to hear that Kitchener Housing already has one low-cost housing project ready to go and city planners have seen similar interest from private developers.

Now we have built the foundation, let’s move quickly to construct the rest of the program.


VPNA meeting minutes – April 4, 2017

2017 April 12
by Melissa

In attendance:

Melissa Bowman, Chair | Anka Brozic, Secretary | Anna Maste, Newsletter Editor |  Cathy Lumb, Communications Coordinator | Patrick Gilbride, DNA Liaison | Erin Toner, Member-at-large | Frank Etherington, Councillor | Agnes Das, Neighbourhood Liaison




7:00 Welcome Anka
7:05 Guest: Steve Vrentzos, City of Kitchener by law office

Steve Vrentzos is a Supervisor with the City of Kitchener’s By Law Enforcement Office.  The City of Kitchener’s By Law Division is in the process of reviewing and re-writing our Property Standards By Law.  They are reaching out to Neighborhood Associations and attending meetings to gather some feedback on current bylaw, proposed bylaw and any other comments we may have.  They are also interested in hearing from residents regarding “proactive” enforcement and what that means/looks like to citizens. The process is currently complaint based and there has been some interest over the last few years in having the bylaw division look at taking a more proactive approach. Steve shared a handout of bylaws that will be changing.

Currently there are 6 bylaw officers for the city of Kitchener. A proactive approach is not possible with given number of staff. The last bylaw review was in 2002. Steve will follow up with information about a general meeting for anyone to attend if they want to provide feedback. Our group felt that a proactive approach would be good. General questions were asked about property maintenance and the process and follow up to complaints. Bylaw offers free mediation services for neighbours. Bylaw focuses on the education of residents and try to remain positive (i.e. Thank you for not doing such and such). Perhaps we want to highlight things on our Facebook page about by law regulations to help educate as well. It was suggested that neighbourhoods could have ‘beautification’ volunteers – people willing to help neighbours clean up their lawns, etc to stay in line with bylaw expectations.

8:00 City updates:

DCC – Easter Weekend DCC is closed April 14th and 17th

May 12 – Volunteer appreciation event – Apollo Cinema. Need to RSVP for self and 1 guest. Event fills up quickly.

Volunteer Senior of the year award – deadline for nominations April 12





Earth day clean up – April 22 10 am start – Lead Cathy and Erin – garbage bags and gloves will be provided

Plant swap- Charlotte is happy to lead this event but would like a co-lead;

Sign off on event leaders – Melissa shared the list and leaders and co-leaders for upcoming events signed off.

Momentum meeting- Melissa will send notes regarding this meeting to VPNA members


Neighbourhood Strategy: Neighborhood Action Plan (NAP) pilot for 2017

-neighbors get together to improve or change something in their neighborhood

– VPNA members are interested in initiating this process. A committee was struck and will meet soon to begin discussion on what our projects might be. One idea is traffic slowing on certain streets. There are resources available and once we have completed the NAP we will present to council likely by the end of 2017.

Committee members are – Melissa, Agnes, Patrick, Anna

Rolling out the “love my hood” project




8:50 Publicity: newsletters; social media plan – deferred to next meeting Melissa
8:55 Information for future meetings: boundary changes; pre-teen autism group; Victoria Place/Revera; RIENS Melissa
9:00 Adjournment (next meeting: May 2/17) Melissa


VPNA Minutes – March 7, 2017

2017 March 15
by Melissa

In attendance:

Melissa Bowman, Chair | Anka Brozic, Secretary | Charlotte Keeler, Program Coordinator| Steve Burrows, Event Coordinator | Patrick Gilbride, DNA Liaison | Erin Toner, Member-at-large | Rebekah Haynes, Member-at-large |

Time Item Owner
7:00 Welcome Melissa
7:05 Councilor updates: Frank is away this meeting Frank
7:15 City updates: Neighborhood Strategy update – the plan has gone to council. The roll out will happen quickly. The neighbourhood matching grant has been tripled. 3 themes – connected people, working together and great spaces – action plan proposals will be needed i.e. for the theme of working together each neighborhood can do a vision of what that would mean in their neighborhood and create an associated action plan. The goal is to create improvements to our neighborhood. Community consultations will happen. This could include other agencies and businesses in our neighborhood. Grants are open ended. We can apply once/yr. 2017 we will work on an action plan. There will eventually be a Neighborhood website where neighborhoods are linked and we can share ideas.

Neighbors day- June 10th, 2017. We will do activities outside, not inside. The DCC will offer a pancake breakfast. Firefighters may be here. It will run 9-12.

Programming update – new idea – cooking club for kids. This would be mainly for the home school community but it could be opened up to anyone. It would be cooking experiences for children 8+ yrs. Lots of support for this idea from parents. Charlotte would run it. This would run at the DCC (not co-op) for lunch or maybe 3:30-5 pm for dinner. There could be partnerships with Queen St Commons and the seniors day program. This could start very soon. Charlotte will explore opportunities at DCC for space to run this. This could run monthly or bi-weekly.

AT the last meeting, Steve (guest speaker) spoke about incorporation. We are likely too small to need to incorporate. VPNA is not going to do the kung fu classes but DNA may do it and the thought is that DNA may want to incorporate and we and other neighborhood associations could be covered under them.






Presentation: Jessica from Bridges to Belonging presented a program that supports people with developmental disabilities to find appropriate housing.

VPNA is considering a boundary expansion as there are areas around our neighborhood boundaries that have no neighborhood associations. Melissa will connect with other bordering neighborhood associations to see if there are any conflicts. Check in with BIA to see why certain areas are not linked to a neighborhood association.


Earth Day– April 22 at 10am interested people can meet at the gallery to pick up their garbage bags. Provide advertisements at this event regarding our upcoming events.

Plant swap will happen on May 27.  At the plant swap we can show case the little library, and advertise regarding stay tuned for more event info for Canada 150 events and Neighbours Day – June 10.

David St- street painting-this is something that may be presented to us at some point;

Sneaky cards– Melissa will drop a few off or provide at next meeting.

April 7 – There will be a Ceili dance at DCC Parish hall 630-9pm – everyone welcome.




8:30 Publicity: newsletters; social media plan(see Cathy’s email); mail chimp
8:35 Information for future meetings: RIENS; Little Library; Kung Fu Melissa
8:45 Adjournment Melissa

Next Meeting is April 4 at DCC 7-9PM

VPNA Minutes – February 8, 2017

2017 February 22
by Melissa
In attendance: Melissa Bowman, Chair | Anna Maste, Newsletter Editor |Cathy Lumb, Communications Coordinator |Patrick Gilbride, DNA Liaison | Erin Toner, Member-at-large| Agnes Das, DCC

Guest: Stephen Grant re:incorporation process

7:00 Welcome Melissa
7:05 Councilor updates: No update Frank
7:15 DCC updates: Agnes
7:30 Incorporation presentation Melissa


8:45 Publicity: newsletters; social media plan: Cathy will create a draft proposal regarding social media/publicity guidelines and we will circulate it to the group for feedback.

We will finalize the details for the Family Day event through email.

8:55 Information for future meetings: mailchimp Melissa
9:00 Adjournment Melissa

Much of the evening was dedicated to learning about the process of incorporation. Some of the key points were:

Incorporation means: we would be our own entity (therefore not personally liable, especially for programming and events that we run); the City is generally very supportive of NAs as long as we don’t display negligence or malice; directors (board members) can technically still be sued in some cases such as willful blindness or fraud; incorporated organizations tend to have a greater sense of credibility but that also comes with greater accountability (ie. financial statements and filing taxes). Receiving grants is often easier/possible through incorporated organizations.

A final decision regarding incorporation will be made at our March meeting.


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