Site Development

by | May 26, 2021

Hey Whyte Ridge!  I decided to join the Board again as Site Development Director to help to kick start things over the next year or so. Our Constitution says that the community centre is to “provide a broad range of recreational and leisure activities for persons of all ages . . .” and to “promote a positive identity for the residents of this area through these recreation and leisure programs.” As you can imagine, with all the COVID-19 worries right now it’s been tough to try to fulfil that mandate.

HOWEVER, we’re trying to put a positive spin on this difficult period. We’d like to think of this next year as a chance to get our community ready to enjoy each others’ company again, in person, once COVID-19 is no longer such an issue. In terms of the community centre, we’d like to treat this period as downtime where we can make the facility as good as it can be when we’re all ready to come back. I’m really hoping we can inspire some other people to feel the same way!

We need to give the community centre a facelift. We need to fix up some of the old components and bring in lots of new things we can enjoy next year. We need help tidying, painting, “handy-manning” and weeding. We already have a growing list of gardeners who visit the site to weed the flower beds. There are a couple of Master Gardeners in the group, so I’m guessing the volunteers are learning lots they can apply to their own yards.

And we need help planning!  I dusted off the Site Development Wish List the Board developed a few years ago and as a community, we need to do some collective brainstorming and develop a good list of workable projects that we can start fundraising for and building over the next few years. The WRCC Board will be developing ways that you can provide input, with maybe an online survey and/or a virtual open house to chat about options. Hopefully, a few people will get inspired enough to volunteer to help get things going.

There are about 20 potential projects so far on our Wish List. We already have a new area of tallgrass prairie being installed this spring, with more flowers in the butterfly garden, trailhead and planters. We have most of the funding in place for a splash pad, but we need to decide where to put it and what features it’s going to have. As part of moving into our community centre, the Pembina Active Living (PAL) group has ideas for landscaping by the west pen and a community (vegetable) garden at the north end of the site. We have lots of ideas about trees and picnic areas, another basketball court, or portable nets in the east hockey pen. PAL also has ideas about changes to the building, and there’s even talk of a scaled-down version of the building expansion.

As Kim says, we have two great additions to the Board. Sandeep Singh has jumped into Fundraising with both feet and is anxious to start generating funds for all of the exciting projects. Jim Dear has joined as a Director at Large and is already providing incites on dealing with COVID-19. But we could use more help!

We can use the community centre as a chance to show some optimism that we can get through this difficult phase and get ready to enjoy our community again. Please contact us if you want to come along for the ride, and let’s see how much we can get started by the fall!

 

Nick Barnes
Site Development Director
sitedev@whyteridge.ca