Imagine Kamloops’ first neighbourhood workshop!

Imagine Kamloops team members visited the Heffley Creek Hall on consecutive Saturdays, April 27 and May 4, 2024, to promote and facilitate an interactive “Imagine Heffley” workshop.

On April 27, we hosted a table at Heffley Creek’s first Seedy Saturday, talking to community members about challenges they face in their neighbourhood and actions that might help them meet these and build resilience. We provided blank sheets of paper with general headings for Transportation, Building Community, Food/Gardens/Yards, Water/Drainage and Fire Safety, plus an “Other Ideas” sheet to catch anything we missed (of course we did: one concern, for example, was what to do about dust generated from tilling farm fields).

People dropping by our table enthusiastically shared priorities and ideas and supported notes provided by others. Common concerns ranged from inadequate bus service to improving fire safety by things like underbrush clearing, including around hydrants. Many Imagine Kamloops members live closer to town and its amenities, so when some Heffley residents identified “a local restaurant” as a top priority, we were reminded to park assumptions about what resilience looks like for this neighbourhood. A place to rest and share coffee or food with friends, noted. Importantly, Seedy Saturday also allowed us to compile a list of Heffley volunteers for further idea generation and exploration.

We returned to the Heffley Creek Hall May 4 for a four-hour workshop. Residents participated actively, shared and refined tasks, and volunteered to complete them. One activity involved identifying skills for projects and folks in the community who were not at the table but might be called on to help. A project already underway from this discussion is building and locating benches on community walking trails to allow seniors and others to rest. Concerns around reliable transportation resulted in ideas for coordinated community ride sharing, looking into bike or scooter sharing, and lobbying for improved transit services. Community building included creating ways to check in with new residents, seniors and during emergencies.

The new Heffley Creek team left the workshop with a doable list of projects to start and the experience of having identified steps involved with volunteers to get them rolling. The process of working from idea to goal and objectives was equally valuable for the Imagine Kamloops team, especially given this was our pilot workshop. Though we won’t be directly involved in implementing the Heffley Creek projects, we’re looking forward to staying in touch. We’d like to thank the residents of Heffley Creek, especially Deb McDougall-Bergstrand, volunteer manager of the Heffley Creek Community Hall, for connecting with us both Saturdays and taking part.

The Imagine Kamloops team would like to initiate more of these neighbourhood-focused sustainability conversations. Would you like to see this kind of workshop happen in your neighbourhood? Let us know!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *