Welcome to the 32nd 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

PS ~ We'd like to grow the audience for this newsletter! Our request: Will you forward this issue to at least one other person who shares our love of all things neighbourhoods, then suggest that they subscribe through the link at the bottom or waterloo.ca/subscribe
Spotted: neighbourhood kindness!
Is there someone doing something you appreciate in your neighbourhood?
The City of Waterloo wants to recognize people who do something great, big or small, in their neighbourhood. Nominations will be accepted year-round and every nominee will receive a thank you package.

How can you get involved?

  • Submit a quick and easy nomination to describe your kind neighbour’s contributions
  • Help spread the word about this new program
  • Be a caring and kind neighbour!

Spotted: Neighbourhood Kindness!
Melissa shares: John tirelessly supports Beechwood North Homes Association and our greater Waterloo community every year as the primary volunteer lead for the Stillmeadow Park community ice rink, among other activities he does to build neighbourhood connections in the community. Especially this year, the community ice rink as been a focal point of fun and happiness for our community. Our family and neighbourhood sincerely appreciates all of the dedicated volunteer work that John does to bring happiness and togetherness for our community. 
There's still time to apply for a pandemic focused mini grant! Apply before February 28!
This temporary fund supports emergent and one-time activities that:
  • contribute to community building;
  • encourage neighbourhood interactions;
  • empower neighbours to lead;
  • are new initiatives that have not received support through another funding program, including service agreements, cash grants or the Neighbourhood Matching Fund;
  • demonstrate how the initiative will be welcoming to all populations; 
  • provide clear goals and objectives on how the funds will be used;
  • occur within four months of the application for funds being approved (funds cannot be used to support activities that take place prior to the request) and;
  • comply with all Public Health directives.

Community members, working independently or collaboratively, who are Waterloo residents may request funds between February 1-28, 2021 for project use by May 31, 2021. Applicants:
  • are encouraged to contact staff to discuss ideas for their initiatives
  • can receive funding from this program even if a regular mini grant has been received in the past 12-month period. Mini grants underway may need to be completed before additional funds are rewarded. 
  • can request up to $500 cash and/or in-kind to support eligible expenses for initiatives in neighbourhoods in the City of Waterloo.

Reach out to the Neighbourhoods Team with your ideas or questions.
Laurel Creek Citizens Working Group - volunteers needed
Share your passion for local streams! Since 1990, the Laurel Creek Citizens Working Group has planned and delivered educational experiences and community stewardship activities to create awareness about healthy streams. Meetings held the 2nd Thursday evening of the month from 6-8 p.m. virtually via Zoom and hands-on activities take place weekday evenings or Saturdays from May to October. 

Apply online with resume by February 26, 2021. Interviews will be held March 3 & 4, 2021. View the Terms of Reference and Volunteer position description for more details: www.waterloo.ca/LCC
Let it snow!
Moses Springer Park neighbours have embraced all of this winter's snow with fun ways to get active outdoors. Neighbour and mini grant applicant, Sarah, reported neighbourhood kids have already had many entertaining hours with the winter play items and the opportunity is enhancing families' enjoyment in the neighbourhood. 
Foxhunt snow clearing crew!
Donna from Foxhunt Neighbourhood shared these photos of Micah and Luke clearing snow around the neighbourhood. With the help of a pandemic mini grant, the snow clearing crew are clearing large sections of the neighbourhood sidewalks to help residents enjoy the outdoors more easily, safely and accessibly.
City of Waterloo recreation in Red-Control zone
Waterloo Region is moving into the Red-Control zone of the provincial response framework, the City of Waterloo will gradually re-start recreation programs, services and amenities according to the zone guidelines and protocols.

Limited recreation programming will begin on Thursday, February 18, with the staggered opening of programs, facilities and services over the following 7 to 10 days. Some facilities, programs and services may not be immediately available. Limited capacities and controlled entry will be in place, and the requirement for a pre-arrival health screening will be in effect. The tentative schedule includes:
  • Rinks (for affiliated minor sport group rentals only) at:
  • RIM Park Manulife Sportsplex – February 18
  • Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex (WMRC) – February 19
  • Albert McCormick Community Centre – February 22
  • Moses Springer Community Centre – February 22
  • The Swimplex at the WMRC:
  • for affiliated minor sport group rentals only – February 22 
  • for Swim Leadership Training – February 20
  • for swim lessons, drop-in lane swim and waterfit – February 22
  • for public swim – February 26
  • lane swim, waterfit, and public swims will require pre-registration through ActiveWaterloo.
  • The Fieldhouses at RIM Park Manulife Sportsplex and Bechtel Park will be available for rental (by our affiliated minor sport organizations only) beginning February 22.
  • The Gymnasium at RIM Park Manulife Sportsplex will be available for rental (by our affiliated minor sport organizations only) beginning February 24.
  • The walking track at the WMRC (February 22) and walking program at RIM Park Manulife Sportplex in the Fieldhouse (February 24) will be open, with pre-registration required.
  • Pickleball will open at RIM Park Manulife Sportsplex in the Gymnasium (February 24) with pre-registration required.
  • March Break Day Camp will now be offered the week of April 12.
  • The City of Waterloo Museum will open (with limits) at 11:00 a.m. on February 23.

This schedule is subject to change and a new protocol for program participants is the completion of the City of Waterloo Online COVID-19 Health Screening Form prior to arrival at the facilities.

More information on the City of Waterloo website.
Check out these Workshops for Neighbours
From February to April, the City of Waterloo will connect neighbours through a virtual Neighbourhood Workshop Series.
These workshops will engage neighbours in discussions and help them strengthen communication, conflict resolution, and inclusion skills. All workshops will be facilitated by local community leaders.
The remaining workshops include:
  • Communicating with Neighbourhood Audiences during COVID - February 24, 7-8:30pm
  • Best Practices For Moderating a Social Media Community - March 9, 6:30-8pm
  • Active Bystander Training - March 23, 6-9pm
  • Anti-racism in Neighbourhoods - April 14, 7-8:30pm

All Waterloo neighbours are welcome to attend! The workshops are free and registration is required on Eventbrite.
People standing around a community garden
The next Neighbourhood Matching Fund deadline is quickly approaching!
The Neighbourhood Matching Fund is a great opportunity to fund neighbourhood projects that address social isolation, support community wellbeing and build neighbourly connections in safe ways.
Some ideas include fun park features, playgrounds, murals, community gardens, message boards, little libraries and more! All you need is an idea and we can fund it.
The next deadline to submit your project idea is February 22.

Neighbours have what it takes to bring a project to life. Any two people with a simple idea can make it happen!

In light of the pandemic, we've made some small changes to the application process.
There is $7500 per project up for grabs and while applicants are encouraged to show how the community will contribute to the project, they are not required to match the funds requested. We've made this decision because it may be difficult to secure volunteers under current public health directives.

Have a question or need help completing the application? Contact us! We are happy to chat and guide you along to help make your project a success!

Please visit waterloo.ca/NMF for more information. 

The Neighbourhood Matching Fund is a grant program that supports grassroots neighbourhood place-making. It is funded by the City of Waterloo and Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation. 
Follow us on Instagram!
The City of Waterloo Neighbourhoods content will soon be on Instagram! Follow us @citywaterloo and tag us #CityofWaterloo to share stories and content from your neighbourhood.
Multicultural Calendar:
  • February 20 ~ World Day of Social Justice. A day which recognizes the International Labour Organization’s ‘Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization’. It is premised on the tenet that social development and social justice are indispensable for the achievement and maintenance of peace and security within and among nations. This is done by promoting gender equality, or the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants or by working in concert to remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, or disability.
  • February 21 ~ International Mother Language Day is a worldwide annual observance to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism.
  • February 24 ~ Pink Shirt Day. An international awareness day to promote anti-bullying. (International)
  • February 25-26 ~ Purim. The festival of Purim commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people from Haman during the ancient Persian Empire. (Jewish)
  • February 26 ~ Magha Puja Day. This festival commemorates the important teachings of the Buddha that were relayed to a gathering of disciples that were not summoned. The spiritual aims of the day include doing good and purifying one’s mind. (Buddhist)
  • February 26 ~ Lantern Festival. The first significant feast after the Chinese New Year, named for watching Chinese lanterns illuminate the sky during the night of the event.
  • February 27 ~ Chotrul Duchen. Also known as Chonga Choepa or the Butter Lamp Festival, is one of the four Buddhist festivals commemorating four events in the life of the Buddha, according to Tibetan traditions. (Buddhist)
  • March 1 ~ Zero Discrimination Day celebrates the right of everyone to live a full and productive life—and live it with dignity. It highlights how people can become informed about and promote inclusion, compassion, peace, and a movement for change in order to end all forms of discrimination
  • March 1-19 ~Nineteen Day Fast. This period of fasting immediately follows the Bahá’í New Year and is meant for adult Bahá’ís to focus on their spiritual lives.

Source: Canadian Centre for Diversity & Inclusion
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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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