Welcome to the 40th 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
Learn more about Reporting Hate Incidents or Discrimination because of Islamophobia, Racism or Anti-Immigrant Sentiment
Neighbour shout-outs!
Is there someone doing awesome near you?

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!
Jill shares: "Marian was an eager volunteer as we planned for upgrades to our local park. She was part of the parks committee, helped to source in-kind donation of our logo, and runs our neighbourhood Instagram page to help bring a better sense of community and connection. Marian keeps everyone up to date about the happenings in our neighbourhood on Instagram, as well as shares lots of photos (our official photographer!) to help us create a greater sense of identity within our neighbourhood. She is a great community ambassador!"
Safety first in Glasgow Heights II
Neighbours in Glasgow Heights II wanted to remind drivers to slow down for pedestrians in their area. With the help of a mini grant Slow Traffic signs were purchased and installed.
Mini grant funds
If you have an idea for your neighbourhood that would benefit from support money, consider applying for a mini grant.

The City of Waterloo mini grants for neighbours program is open year-round from January 1 to December 31. Eligible applicants are Waterloo residents working independently or collaboratively on a project that benefits neighbourhood cohesion.

Applicants may receive funds twice in a 12-month period, the maximum funding per project is $300 cash and/or in-kind support for eligible expenses.

Contact the neighbourhoods team with your ideas.
Official Plan open house June 17
The City of Waterloo has started a review and update of the Official Plan. The Official Plan is an important document that guides land use decision-making for the city. It represents council’s vision for growth and change within the city, guided by the public interest.

You are invited to attend an online open house to learn about the study process and to help identify priorities for the review.
Thursday June 17, 2021
5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Game on in Beechwood North
Beechwood North neighbours will be enjoying these locally made cornhole boards this summer thanks to a pandemic mini grant. Neighbours can reach out to the association to book them for at-home use at any time!
The neighbourhoods team is exploring ways to communicate with diverse neighbours in Waterloo. As a starting point, we are conducting a focus group to explore how the WeChat platform is used locally. 

If you are a WeChat user in Waterloo and interested in participating in this paid focus group, please express interest by completing this online form by June 20. 

Please contact us if you have any questions about this opportunity. 
Community planting projects in parks!
The City of Waterloo and neighbourhood groups work together to host small community planting events within neighborhood parks around National Forest Week to enhance the urban forest.

The 2021 program is offering up to five neighbourhood groups a chance to host a community planting event. Each park project will involve the planting and maintenance of 15 (10-16 gallon) deciduous trees by the community for shading a playground, trail or seating area, and/or trees around the park perimeter. A recommended tree species list that meets our Bee City objectives will be provided upon submission of the application form.

Project criteria
  • community commitment to host an event and water the trees for 1-2 years
  • parks with a nearby water source (e.g. ice rink hydrant or other)
  • parks that have had significant tree removal or low tree canopy cover (i.e. minimal shade)

Review this 2021 community planting information sheet, select a park that meets the criteria, then communicate with your neighbourhood to gauge interest. Two project coordinators can complete the online application form beginning June 21 to July 1, 2021 to express interest.
City of Waterloo Museum tours and events
Explore the city this summer with the City of Waterloo Museum. They've got summer tours and events scheduled throughout June, July and August. We hope you will join us! 

Let's get active!
This month, we're supporting the ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge. Let’s get active to support Waterloo’s quest to be Canada’s Most Active Community and win $100,000. Every move counts!

Gardening tips from the Waterloo Horticultural Society
Basil is probably the best known and most grown herb in North American herb gardens. This strongly-scented plant is native to tropical regions from Central Africa to Southeast Asia and has been cultivated for over 5000 years. A member of the Lamiaceae (mint) family, basil is related to many other common herbs including rosemary, sage, and oregano.

There are many varieties of basil, among them the sweet basil that so many gardeners grow, sweet Thai basil, purple Thai basil, lemon or lime basil, and lots more!

One of the basic requirements for growing basil is 6-8 hours of sun daily. Morning sun is preferable to the intense heat of the afternoon. If possible, keep the plants on the east side of your garden or on an east-facing balcony or patio to give them a bit of shade in the afternoon. Basil leaves will burn and discolour easily and can become bitter-tasting.

Another important element for growing basil is good drainage. The plants like plenty of moisture in the soil but, like most plants, they don’t like wet feet so be sure your container has good drainage. After the seedlings have produced their first six leaves, prune to above the second set. This encourages the plants to start branching, resulting in more leaves for harvest. Every time a branch has six to eight leaves, repeat pruning the branches back to their first set of leaves. After about 6 weeks, if you notice flowers forming, just pinch them off.

You can start harvesting the leaves once the plants are about 8” (20 cm) tall - morning is the best time to harvest, when the leaves are at their freshest. You should continue to pick leaves even if you have no immediate need for them, as your plant will benefit from regular harvesting. Extra basil can be dried or stored in ziploc bags in the freezer. If you choose to freeze the leaves, be sure they are completely dry before sealing the bags.

While there are loads of ways to use basil in the kitchen, the number one use is pesto. You can make a lot of pesto at once, put it in ice cube trays to freeze it, then place the little cubes in a ziploc for use all winter. Here is a great basil recipe!
Multicultural Calendar:
  • June 13 ~ International Albinism Awareness Day. The is a day to stand in solidarity with people living with albinism through their triumphs and challenges. It is a day to stand up for the rights of persons with albinism to live a life that is free of stigma, discrimination, fear and violence.
  • June 19 ~ Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day, is a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States.
  • June 20 ~ Father’s Day. A day to celebrate and honour fathers and recognize their contributions to their families and the community. (International).
  • June 20 ~ Summer Solstice. This marks the beginning of Summer – although it was originally conceived by Wiccans as a celebration of midsummer – and marks the day with the longest period of sunlight in the northern hemisphere. (International)
  • June 20 ~ World Refugee Day. A day which recognizes the rights of forcibly displaced persons be it- refugees, asylum seekers, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and to remind the public that refugees can contribute to society and that every action counts in the effort to create a more just, inclusive, and equal world.
  • June 21 ~ National Indigenous Peoples Day. National Indigenous Peoples Day honours the unique cultures, heritage as well as achievements of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis population of Canada. (Canada)

Source: Canadian Centre for Diversity & Inclusion
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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