SPECIAL EDITION 10
Waterloo is adaptable
Welcome to the 10th edition of Neighbours helping Neighbours, a weekly newsletter from the neighbourhoods team, with a focus on good news stories, important community updates and an ever growing list of support resources.

As restrictions slowly start to lift, there is a feeling of freedom. Adaptability will be important as we continue to support vulnerable populations and maintain physical distancing protocols. Let's stay connected to each other and the individual values (and habits!) we have developed over the last ten weeks.

If you have ideas for resources to share or shareable stories of kindness, please send them to: neighbourhoods@waterloo.ca

P.S. Was this email forwarded to you?  You can get your own !
Photo credit: Bill Jackson
City of Waterloo at-home garden program ‘sells out’ in just over an hour
With less garden kits available than the number of applications, city staff accepted applications on a first-come-first-serve basis by ward. This spring, 100 lucky Waterloo residents will be growing vegetables and herbs in their backyard or on a patio or balcony. 

The City of Waterloo’s free at-home garden program is an opportunity to support resident health and wellbeing during this difficult time. Each garden kit is the same and includes soil, containers, assorted vegetables and herbs and planting information.

The Waterloo neighbourhoods team will stay connected with residents growing their own produce, whether it be through an at-home garden kit, community garden, or their own backyard garden, by sharing tips and resources from the  Waterloo Horticultural Society  in upcoming Waterloo Neighbourhoods e-newsletters. The Waterloo Horticultural Society is celebrating their 125th anniversary in 2020 and has a wealth of gardening knowledge.

Waterloo Fire Rescue urges residents to keep fire safety top of mind during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since January 1, 2020 there has been a 65% increase in fire fatalities in the province compared to the same time last year.

Waterloo Fires suggests to test all of your smoke & carbon monoxide alarms to make sure they are working. This is a perfect time to develop and practice a home fire escape plan.

Area municipalities relax rules at parks and open spaces
Effective May 14, access to municipal parks and open spaces is permitted for some recreational purposes.

Examples of recreational activities that are now permissible include:
  • Playing catch, throwing a frisbee, kicking a ball, flying a kite with members of your household
  • Park visitors can bring their chairs or blankets for sitting
  • Individual activity including personal fitness exercises or yoga practice (not a group class)

Region of Waterloo Public Health continues to warn of the broad circulation of COVID-19 in our community. Residents should assume COVID-19 transmission can occur anywhere in Waterloo Region.

Lakeshore North has a new community garden!
The Lakeshore North Community Garden in Pinebrook Park is ready for its inaugural gardening season. This garden is already generating a lot of interest, with all in-ground beds and raised beds accounted for and a growing wait list. The first season will look a bit different, with all gardeners and garden volunteers following COVID-19 public health guidelines.

The City of Waterloo's Neighbourhood Matching Fund helped make the project possible along with local businesses in the area (Mitchell Plastics, Creative Landscape Depot, Canadian Tire - Sunrise Shopping Centre, Sobeys Northfield, Ontario Seed Company, and Vivo Pizza + Pasta). A big thank you was also expressed to several neighbours who donated materials such as a hose, some lumber, patio stones, and composter. The Lakeshore North Community Association was also able to offer assistance with planning. Matthew, the garden leader, was particularly heartened to see such generous support during these difficult times.

The Lakeshore North Community Garden volunteer leaders and a number of community volunteers helped make this project possible. Without their efforts, great community projects like this would not be possible!
City reopens several outdoor amenities
Consistent with revised regulations from the Province of Ontario, the City of Waterloo has reopened the following:
 
  • Tennis and pickle ball courts (open now)
  • Basketball courts (open now)
  • Dog park (open now)
  • Picnic shelters and benches (open now)
  • Parking lot at Waterloo Park (open now)
  • Skate park (opening soon)
 
Sports fields remain closed at this time as these areas have not been groomed or lined. Individuals, even if from the same household, are not permitted to use these fields, and team sports, such as soccer or baseball are not permitted on these fields.

While some City amenities can be reopened right away, in some specific cases, it may take several days or weeks to reopen following provincial announcements.
 
Provincial orders require that individuals using these amenities, except for members of the same household, are to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres or six feet. Public Health continues to encourage members of the public to follow good personal hygiene and regularly wash and/or sanitize their hands.
 
 All playgrounds, park washrooms, outdoor gym equipment, splash pads and pools remain closed. 
 
Coordinated COVID-19 Response Newsletter - May 15, 2020
These weekly newsletters keep everyone informed about
the coordinated response to the evolving COVID-19 situation. The Region, area municipalities and local community partners are meeting regularly to make sure pandemic response efforts
are coordinated and aligned.

Resources:
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Waterloo Neighbourhoods is published throughout the year to keep residents informed about the good things happening in neighbourhoods across Waterloo. If you have any questions or comments, please call 519-747-8515 or email communications@waterloo.ca . If you’re reading Waterloo Neighbourhoods as a non-subscriber, visit our subscription page to sign up for future editions.

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