Welcome to the 41st 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

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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!
Kristin & Wendy share: Louise manages our Neighbourhood Facebook page and does a fabulous job. She always shares a welcome to any new neighbours who have joined the Facebook group, shares upcoming events, positive news, fun ideas to engage our neighbourhood community (eg. in the summer painting rocks and hiding them so children can find them when walking on the paths and making ice seed sculptures to hang on trees during the winter and for birds to enjoy when de-frosted). She is always extremely friendly and welcoming when you spot her in the neighbourhood and has really formed a strong sense of community. From the moment we moved into the neigbourhood a few years ago, Louise has done a fabulous job at encouraging neighbours to support each other and is so deserving of praise for her hard work and commitment to our community.
Brake for snakes!
Biking or rollerblading on paved trails running through natural areas? Keep your eyes out for small brown snakes that might look like twigs on the trail! Snakes emerge from hibernation early spring and enjoy basking in the sun on trail surfaces. View Ontario Nature’s field guides to learn more about frogs, toads, snakes and turtles found in Ontario!
Caring about youth nearby
A mother and daughter team in the Eastbridge area wanted to do something for neighbourhood youth during the challenges of the pandemic. Jen and London reflected on their own time at home and requested a mini grant to help other kids who may be struggling right now by assembling mindfulness kits. The mindfulness kits included: bubbles, a stress ball, slime, a glitter shaker jar, mindfulness ideas, and a card with a positive message. Youth in the neighbourhood were able to sign up for a porch drop-off to receive a kit from this neighbourly idea and message of hope.
Learn more about reporting Hate Incidents or Discrimination because of Islamophobia, Racism or Anti-Immigrant Sentiment
Call for Expressions of Interest
The City of Waterloo is inviting artists to submit expressions of interest to be part of the Neighbourhood Garden Picnic Table Program. This program will feature the work of up to 18 artists. Artists are invited to submit artwork for consideration to be part of the program.
Selected artists will be invited to paint their designs on picnic tables that will be located in one of six community gardens/parks throughout Waterloo.
The tables will be available for painting mid-August (week of August 16-20) and will be featured as part of a community art program for three (3) years.
Artist fee: $1000 (inclusive of artist fees and supplies)
Deadline: July 8, 2021 by 5:00 p.m.
Public Park & Green Space Use
These are the general rules under COVID-19 restrictions for rental groups and their participants while during a passive park rental:
  • Passive park booking requests need to be received within 5 business days of the requested booking date.
  • Maximum capacity for all passive park bookings is 10 people in accordance with the provincial guidelines.
  • The rental permit holder must consult with Waterloo Region Public Health prior to the date of booking and follow all public health guidelines (e.g. safety plan, contact tracing, screening, etc.) for rentals that that are open to the general public.
  • We recommend participants bring tablecloths, disinfectant wipes, lawn chairs and hand sanitizer if applicable.
  • Groups are to dispose of all garbage in the garbage and recycling containers provided.
  • A distance of 2m distance must be maintained with staff and other park users.
  • All participants and attendees must provide contact tracing information via the contact tracing form supplied within 2 business days of the rental. If changes to the contact tracing occur on the day of rental, an updated contact tracing form is to be submitted within 2 business days after the rental.
  • Participants are responsible for the accurate completion of Ontario’s COVID-19 Customer screening . All participants must have successfully completed this online customer screening form on the same day as the rental/activity takes place.
  • Participants are recommended to wear masks when outdoors and required to wear masks when entering a washroom facility.
  • Participants are responsible for following and adhering to all regulations as issued by the Canadian, Ontario, regional and municipal governments; including facility rules/protocols.
  • If participants do not comply with any of the regulations, rules and protocols future rentals may be cancelled or the organization may lose their ability to book future rentals.

Public Parks and Green Spaces are great places for recreational activities except:
  • operating a powered model aircraft
  • practicing archery
  • striking golf balls
  • skateboarding, BMX bike riding or inline skating (except at a designated Skate Park)
Activities to try instead:
  • enjoy a picnic
  • a family litter pickup
  • throw a baseball or Frisbee around
  • kick a soccer ball
  • read a book under a tree
Growing Community Garden space!
Lakeshore North Community Garden has expanded! After just one season at the garden in Pinebrook Park, volunteers had requests for more involvement and community space to grow. The team has added 6 plots to host more gardeners for the 2021 season and beyond.
Gardening Tips from the Waterloo Horticultural Society
What Tools Do I Need?
Gardening, like any serious hobby, requires some basic tools. There’s definitely a list of some I consider “must haves,” but my first suggestion is about colour. When you get busy in the garden, you will often just set down your hand tool where you’re working; if it’s in a contrasting colour, like yellow or red, it’ll be much easier to find again if you get distracted.
The List:
1. A garden spade is used for digging, dividing, lifting and edging. I suggest you test out a few versions in the store before choosing. Take into consideration weight, length of handle and overall feel. My personal favourite is a long handled, small mouth version. Long handles give extra leverage if you are working in heavy soil.
2. Trowels are used for transplanting, cultivating, measuring and transferring soil or other materials from one container to another. There are various lengths of handles available so choose one that suits your style. Sometimes, trowels come in sets with other hand tools and are a good buy.
3. Gardening gloves are great protection against sharp objects like thorns or irritants like some saps you come into contact with. There are many styles to choose from made of different types of material. Your gloves should fit well and be washable. The palms should have some type of protective material like leather or rubberized synthetic.
4. A garden knife is ideal for weeding, dividing, cutting and removing small stems. The version I use is called a Hori Hori. For removing small weed seedlings, I swipe the blade below the level of the roots in the soil, which loosens them for quick removal. It has a pointed end which can get under the deeper roots of the plants or weeds you are removing.
5. Hand pruners are needed for removing parts of a plant. This is done for various reasons: to control disease, promote growth, control size, and repair damage. This tool is worth a bit of investment. You can buy them for $10 but if you purchase a pair that allows for replacement of springs, with blades that you can sharpen, they will last years longer.
6. A long handled hoe or cultivator is a great tool for weeding, especially in the vegetable patch. You can get weeds out while they are small and easy to remove.
7. Garden forks are good for breaking up hard soil or working in amendments. A word of warning, though - once your garden is established, it’s not necessary to cultivate it too deeply as this disturbs the organisms in the soil.
After using your tools it’s best to clean them and store them out of the elements. It’s also a good idea to hang your long handled tools, if you can, to prevent accidents and keep them organized. Small hand tools can be kept in a container to make it easier to carry them to the garden. Other handy things to have around are a watering can, a bucket of some type to hold your weeds or trimmings, a stool or kneeling pad, and good sun protection (including sunscreen, a hat, and maybe some cooling arm sleeves).
If you are on a budget watch for tools at yard sales, Horticultural Society plant sales, and thrift stores. If the tools are rust-free and the handles are in good repair, they have lots of years of use left in them. Tools can last for a very long time if cared for and used properly.
Your feedback is needed for the Parkland Strategy
Waterloo is home to 134 parks including neighbourhood, community, urban, cultural and sports parks as well as natural areas. The infrastructure in these parks is beginning to age and requires upgrades. As well, service delivery in parks is changing particularly in response to population growth and changing demographics, climate change, intensification, redevelopment, and new trends in leisure. On June 14, 2021, Waterloo Council reviewed the draft parkland strategy and is excited to share it with the community. This document will help guide decisions for our growing inventory of parks for the next 10 to 15 years. We need your input! Please visit our Engage Waterloo topic to read the draft parkland strategy and provide your feedback. We will continue to receive feedback until September 17, 2021.
Explore local heritage with these great tours!
These Four Walls: 200 years of the 1820 Log Schoolhouse
Friday, July 9 & Friday, August 13 from 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Have you ever wondered what stories the four walls of the legendary Log Schoolhouse in Waterloo Park can tell? Then you will want to join the City of Waterloo Museum and the Municipal Heritage Committee the schoolhouse for a peek inside. Throughout the day, we will delve into the many lives of Ontario’s oldest schoolhouse that has found its forever home in Waterloo Park. Don’t miss this rare chance to step inside and learn about these four walls.

Risky Business - Mount Hope Cemetery Walking Tour
Sunday, July 11 at 3 p.m., Thursday, July 15 at 7 p.m., Sunday, August 8 at 3 p.m. & Thursday, August 26 at 7 p.m.
Waterloo was a leader in risky business in the 1860s when insurance companies began popping up all over the city. At one time Waterloo was referred to as the “Hartford of Canada” and home to the headquarters of major insurance companies. Meet up at Mount Hope Cemetery to discover the ‘terms and conditions’ of insurance in Waterloo and the people who built this empire.  
Multicultural Calendar:
  • June 24 ~ St. Jean Baptiste Day. This day is also known as Quebec's National Holiday and is celebrated in honour of the nativity of Saint John, the Baptist of Jesus Christ. (QC)
  • June 27 ~ Canadian Multiculturalism Day. Multiculturalism day celebrates Canada's diverse cultures as well as the country's commitment to equality, democracy, and mutual respect. (Canada)
  • July 1 ~ Canada Day. A day that recognizes the enactment of the Constitution Act in 1867 thereby establishing Canada as a new federation with its own constitution. (Canada)

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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