SPECIAL EDITION 19
Welcome to the 19th edition of Neighbours helping Neighbours, a bi-weekly newsletter from the neighbourhoods team, with a focus on good news stories, important community updates and an ever growing list of support resources.

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!
Waterloo Park splash pad opened August 17
Photo credit: Bill Jackson/Torstar 

As part of the Waterloo Park improvements, the new splash pad on the west side of the park has opened. The splash pad will operate from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily. Guardians and caregivers are responsible for their children's safety at all times.
The splash pad will be closed in inclement weather when there is any risk for thunder and lightning and when the temperature is 20 degrees or below. Admission is always free.

Procedures for the opening of the new splash pad with COVID-19 include the splash pad being fenced in with a maximum capacity of 39 people, which includes two city staff. Users will be required to line up to gain entry into the facility. To maximize use for all children, please limit family groups to one guardian/caregiver per family.

City staff will monitor patrons in the splash pad. Every 20 minutes staff will blow a whistle requiring everyone to vacate the facility to complete required cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces for 10 minutes at which time the next 37 participants can enter and enjoy the splash pad. You are welcome to line up to re-enter the splash pad. If no one is waiting in line to enter the splash pad, you can return to the splash pad area. 

There is a shaded sitting area for patrons, however please be prepared to be in the sun. Two meters physical distancing is required when lining up and playing in the splash pad. Do not use the splash pad if you have a fever, an open sore or rash, or you are experiencing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or flu-like symptoms.
Visiting our parks and need washroom facilities?
Check our website for a list of washrooms that are open and available both indoors and outside. Please note that the use of washrooms in indoor locations is subject to building entry requirements, including face coverings and screening questions.
Watermain flushing in September
City Utilities will be flushing watermains in the area bounded by Beaver Creek Road to the west, Benjamin Road to the north, Weber Street/Parkside Drive to the east, and Bearinger Road to the south.
 
Watermain flushing will commence Tuesday September 8, and is scheduled to be completed by Monday September 21, 2020. Flushing operations will occur Monday to Friday only, during the schedule. 

Hand delivered notices will be distributed to all residents and businesses in the affected area. 
 
Sharing is caring
In Zach’s neighbourhood, there was a very generously fruiting Red Mulberry tree across the street on a neighbors property. With their permission and help from another neighbor who loaned some tarps, Zach collected many pints of delicious ripe berries through the month of July. Some of the pickings were shared with neighbors. Zach and a roommate also took some chalk to the sidewalk and drew an image with the words below “#KWfoodforest” to draw attention to this spot and what was happening there. Many conversations were had with people who stopped. Some also picked berries.

Sharing food sources is a great way to build community - getting permission from property owners and researching edible foods are great ways to get started.
At home gardening tips from the Waterloo Horticultural Society
Preserving the Bounty – Part One

Now that your garden is producing more than you can eat fresh – what to do? Waterloo Horticultural Society member Kathy Pearson likes to take the extra garden bounty and preserve it to avoid wasting food.

In days gone by homemakers held marathon canning sessions. Long hours of preparation, cooking and preserving resulted in rows of jars lined up in the cold cellar. Today's small home gardens and community garden plots don’t produce enough produce to do this type of large-scale canning but not to worry. These smaller harvests are perfect for small batch canning. By preserving your produce as you get enough for a recipe you can still get a lot of canning done. No need to set aside a whole day or weekend, there are many recipes available that can be made in your spare time after dinner or Saturday morning. Doing small batches also means you can try different or unusual canning recipes so you can have a variety of options in the pantry.
How to get started?
You will still need the basic canning equipment as well as canning jars, lids, and seals. However, instead of a big canning kettle you can use a smaller stockpot. If you have an electric pressure cooker (such as an Instant pot) you can do four pint-size jars comfortably. You will find that many recipes use basic canning ingredients such as salt, sugar, white vinegar and pickling spice so once you have them on hand your preparation is simple. Inexpensive tool kits containing jar lifting tongs and jar sized funnels plus various sizes of jars, lids and seals are available at most hardware and department stores. Recipes are easily available if you look online and there are many recipe books on the topic of small batches. Remember that canning is based on science so it is important to follow recipes to do it safely. Tip for rookies: don’t forget to label your jars so you don’t end up with “Mystery Pickles”.

There are other ways to preserve including freezing, drying and fermenting. A future article in this newsletter will cover those topics.

Crisp Pickled Green Beans
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh green beans
  • 2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 bunch fresh dill weed
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions
  1. Sterilize 6 (1/2 pint) jars with rings and lids and keep hot. Trim green beans to 1/4 inch shorter than your jars.
  2. In a large saucepan, stir together the vinegar, water and salt. Add garlic and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. In each jar, place 1 sprig of dill and 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Pack green beans into the jars so they are standing on their ends.
  3. Ladle the boiling brine into the jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the tops. Discard garlic. Seal jars with lids and rings. Place in a hot water bath so they are covered by 1 inch of water. Simmer but do not boil for 10 minutes to process. Cool to room temperature. Test jars for a good seal by pressing on the center of the lid. It should not move. Refrigerate any jars that do not seal properly. Let pickles ferment for 2 to 3 weeks before eating.

Photo courtesy of foodpreserving.org

Stay tuned for the at home gardening tips in the next edition!
Affordable Transit Program
On Saturday August 1, the application for the new Affordable Transit Program (ATP) opened to all residents living with low income in Waterloo Region.

The Affordable Transit Program offers a 48% discount on the cost of monthly passes and stored value.

You may be eligible if:
  • You are 18 or older
  • You live in Waterloo Region
  • You are not a full time student
  • Your household income is below the income limit

Household income limit (after taxes)
  • 1 person: $18,436 or less
  • 2 people: $26,072 or less
  • 3 people: $31,932 or less
  • 4 people: $36,872 or less
  • 5 people: $41,224 or less

Resources:
Stay tuned for the next edition of Waterloo Neighbourhoods.
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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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