Waterloo is diverse
Welcome to the 7th 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.

We've all been thinking about what life was like before this pandemic put lives and well-being at risk. Maybe now is also a good time to consider a few things: Who we are. What we value.

What are some habits worth keeping post-Covid? Maybe:
  • Making Takeout Tuesday from local restaurants a thing
  • Having greater awareness of how much we're consuming and if it supports local entrepreneurs
  • Texting less, connecting virtually more
  • Having appreciation for people working in positions that didn't seem "essential" before
  • Getting to know our neighbours and having greater understanding of the broader community

What post-pandemic habits will you keep?

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 !
Community Gardens set to reopen
Community gardens across the province have been deemed an essential source of fresh food for community members and will shortly begin opening for the garden season. In each community, gardens will need to follow safety guidelines set out by local public health leaders as well as additional steps for implementation at the specific garden location. The season will look different than a typical year, but gardeners will still have the opportunity to grow fresh produce in their allotted location.

If community gardens are new to you, these spaces include land that is gardened collectively by residents, often involving assigned plots (e.g. raised beds, in ground sections) for interested users to grow vegetables, fruits, and herbs for their own use. Volunteers and/or community organizations often coordinate gardens.

The City of Waterloo supports a number of gardens on municipal land and the Community Garden Council provides a list of all community gardens across Waterloo Region. The Community Garden Council webpage also includes a number of helpful details about how to join a garden, gardening tips, and useful links.

Have you checked out the Stay Connected: journal + activity book?
COVID-19 is keeping many people at home and many on the frontlines as essential workers. Everyone’s experience is different but we have something in common - we’re all neighbours!
Local multi-disciplinary artist Allie Brenner created the Stay Connected: stay at home journal + activity book . This journal + activity book is great for kids and adults alike to be creative. Share your pages on Facebook or Twitter and tag @citywaterloo and #neighbourloo.
Waterloo at Home resources
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change the way we live, the City of Waterloo is pleased to launch Waterloo At Home, an online curation of helpful tips and resources for residents to make the best of their time at home. 

Using  Engage Waterloo  as the platform, Waterloo At Home is a one-stop-shop for ideas, resources and stories aimed at keeping residents active, connected and creative at home. 

A sneak peek at some of the things residents will find: 
Active at home
  • Links to online fitness and yoga classes
  • Tutorials for virtual board games and card games
  • An online Earth Day quiz
Connected at home
  • A fun and engaging neighbourhoods activity book and weekly e-newsletter
  • Links to the Google Classroom created by Waterloo Fire Prevention
  • Helpful reminders from our bylaw team
Creative at home
  • An opportunity to participate in “Through Our Waterloo Windows”, a community art project
  • Online offerings from the City of Waterloo Museum, including a request to help record the history of this unique time
  • Links to Waterloo Public Library virtual programs
  • Links to other community initiatives hosted online

Interactive map showcasing restaurants open during pandemic
A custom Google map of restaurants and food businesses open across the city that offer pick up, curbside or delivery services during the pandemic is available for residents. 

The map is searchable on Google by using the search terms: restaurants open during coronavirus waterloo, and can be found on the City of Waterloo’s  COVID-19 resource page . There are over 170 restaurants and food businesses still open, offering meals to potential clients.

Area municipalities extend closure of municipal administrative and operations facilities
The Region of Waterloo and all area municipalities extended the public closure of municipal administrative and operations facilities until at least May 31. This decision aligns the municipalities with the announcement from the provincial government delaying the re-opening of the province’s schools until May 31 and the “Framework for Reopening our Province” released by the provincial government.

Previously-announced closures that remain in effect include:
  • Municipal libraries, cultural and recreation facilities (which includes arenas, pools, sportsfields and community centres) remain closed until at least June 30, with the exception of Regional museums and libraries, which are closed until at least May 31.
  • Outdoor recreation amenities (including playgrounds and skateboard parks) remain closed in alignment with the Provincial Order.

Residents are encouraged to visit their respective municipal website for the most up-to-date details about critical services and pandemic responses.

Virtual Jane's Walk
The first weekend is traditionally Jane's Walk weekend. The A rchitectural Conservancy Ontario  of North Waterloo Region has suggested a virtual architectural walk to find Victory (pictured above), Mid-Century modern and other architectural styled houses. Share the story of where you found it, by tagging ACO North Waterloo Region on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram
Virtual volunteering opportunities
The Volunteer Action Centre has shared these virtual volunteer roles. If you are interested please contact the organization of your choice below.

Fundraising Researcher - KidSport KW is a committee that provides grants to low income children and youth so they can participate in their favourite local sport or dance activities. They are seeking a Fundraising Researcher to help identify, research and apply for grants that KidSport KW is eligible to receive. 
 ☎️ 519 772-4399 Ext. 7

Youth Musicians - The Kitchener Public Library is looking for Youth Musicians to write, record, and edit one song over the course of the summer (May-August) in exchange for a flexible amount of volunteer hours. This is a great opportunity for someone who is passionate about music and is a youth between the ages 13-18.
 ☎️ 519-743-0271 Ext. 222

Community Career Speakers - The Business & Education Partnership connects local educators with community members who want to volunteer their time and expertise to support students' career development. They are seeking members who would like to be added to their roster of community career speakers and mentors for the 2020-21 school year. This position can be done virtually.
☎️ (226) 642-0880 Ext. 1
Water Education experiments for kids
Since the 25 th annual Waterloo-Wellington Childrens’ Groundwater Festival in May had to be cancelled this year, youth are encouraged to be “water heros” through online resources. A Youtube channel has been developed to share water experiments for kids to try at home.  
Residential Waste drop off centres reopen May 4
Waste transfer stations for residential waste drop-off, will reopen starting on Monday, May 4 for regular residential business hours: Monday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

  • Residents will be able to drop off garbage, large items, yard waste, organics, recyclables and household hazardous waste (HHW).
  • Regular fees, including the $5 minimum fee, will apply (HHW remains a free drop-off).
  • Cash will not be accepted at this time, only credit and debit cards.
  • Residents will not be able to pick up compost or mulch, and at the Waterloo site, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore trailer, Goodwill Donation Centre and bike bunker will remain closed.

Region of Waterloo officials expect the sites to be extremely busy, particularly on Saturdays. Long line-ups and wait times, typical of this time of year under normal circumstances, will be even longer as staff limit the number of vehicles permitted on site at one time and ensure an appropriate distance between drop-off areas.

Residents are reminded to please restrict themselves to essential trips only, and to observe physical distancing.

The Region continues to postpone the curbside bulky and large item collection service for the protection of front line crews; only bagged garbage is being collected. The temporary extension of the every-second week garbage bag limit from (from four bags/cans to six bags/cans) continues, as does the unlimited collection of blue box, green bin and yard waste materials according to the regular schedule.

Coordinated COVID-19 Response Newsletter - April 24, 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.

 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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