Blueridge Community News | March 2014

newsletter_masthead

 

 

 

 

Eric Andersen Receives the DNV “Award of Honour”

Written by: Colleen Mah
On February 3, the Chair of the BCA Eric Andersen was presented the District of North Vancouver’s “Award of Honour” in recognition of his long-term contributions to our community.
Eric is well known in Blueridge for his dedication, leadership, and community advocacy. His hard work and can-do attitude has benefitted all of us greatly. Eric is an inspiration and we are lucky to have him.

Congratulations Eric!

_____________________

Blueridge Good Neighbour Day 2014
Written by: Angela Duso

Mark your calendars, Blueridge Good Neighbour Day takes place on Sunday, June 8th, from 11 am – 3 pm, on the grounds of Blueridge Elementary School.
What is Blueridge Good Neighbour Day? It is a day where we Celebrate Our Community,  meet our neighbours, and connect with services within our community. It is a day for all ages – we have activities and events that cater to all age groups. There will be food trucks, a parade, bouncy castles, face painting, live entertainment, community tables, and much more. We are looking for local musical acts to perform throughout the day – if you’d like to audition please email us a link to a video of you and/or your group performing.  If you want to book a table please contact us via email. If you would like to volunteer at the event (or with the organizing committee) we would love to hear from you. All emails can go to bgnd [at] blueridgeca [dot] org.  As always, attendance and most activities at Blueridge Good Neighbour Day are FREE! To finance the event, we rely heavily on our fabulous Silent Auction. If you have items you’d like to donate to the Silent Auction, please let us know. “Like” us on Facebook and stay tuned for more updates about the event.

_____________________

Important Dates

March 11th at 7pm – BCA Meeting -library of Blueridge Elementary School– Guest Speaker: Tom Jackson, Canexus.
March 12h at 9 am – Blueridge Creek Clean-up – participants to meet on Bronte.
May 13th at 7pm – BCA Meeting (AGM) – library of Blueridge Elem. School – Guest Speaker: Local Celebrity Mike McCardell.

_____________________

Traffic & Safety In Blueridge – West Coast Camouflage
Written by: Graham Gilley

It would appear that the winter rains are now showing themselves, and with them comes the inevitable decrease in visibility.  Blueridge is a community of walkers whether for fun, fitness or with pets. However, I am amazed at how many people go out at night wearing “West Coast Camouflage” – dark colors head to toe. And yes, blue, green, grey and brown are  all camouflage out there, it’s not just black. Add to that, inadequately lit streets, windshields that maybe haven’t been cleaned on the inside for a while and are being drizzled with rain and you now have a recipe for accidents. Before going out at night, ask yourself  “Am I making myself EASY to be seen?”
Here are a few tricks that I have noticed some Blueridge residents using to stay visible:

  • wear bright, light colored clothing (had to say it)
  • use a white umbrella on rainy days
  • wear a WIDE reflective vest or sash
  • carry a BRIGHT flashlight and wave it around on the ground
  • put reflective vests/flashing lights on dogs
  • YOU are responsible for your safety!

UPDATES:
On ramp at Berkley & Mt. Seymour PKWY: We are glad to report that the District has no intention of changing the current intersection layout.
Stop signs at Hyannis Drive & Sechelt Drive: It was  proposed that the stop sign at the North-east end of Sechelt Drive (@ Hyannis) be removed and replaced by 2 stop signs on Hyannis Drive, on either side of Sechelt – the goal being to reduce the speed through this section of Hyannis Drive. As we suspected, changing this intersection layout would be problematic as it would require an odd deviation from national traffic standards. We would like to encourage Hyannis residents, particularly those south of this intersection and on Dresden Way, to be aware of their speed through this section of road. With no sidewalks and many children living in this area, we must all understand that the roadways are a multi-use system with no one having the right to priority.
4-Way stop at Emerson Way & Carnation Street: This was installed at the request of Seymour Heights Elementary School to help children crossing Emerson. We can see how the tall cedar hedge on the NW corner does limit the sight lines northward on Emerson and we support Seymour Heights Elementary in their concern for student safety. Given the large imbalance in traffic volumes on Emerson vs. Carnation through the intersection, we have suggested to the District that traffic bulges, installed on the NW and NE corners, would open up the sight lines for pedestrians, calm the intersection speeds and keep the larger traffic volumes travelling north and south on Emerson moving smoothly.

The Traffic & Safety Committee is always open to input from residents. Please send your comments to traffic [at] blueridgeca [dot] org.

_____________________

 Street Tree Planting Program
Written by: Eric Andersen and Susan Rogers

At our regular BCA meeting on January 14 we had Gavin Joyce (who actually lives in Blueridge) and Susan Rogers from District of North Vancouver (DNV) as our guest speakers. Other than discussing the possibility of a Sharing Garden in Blueridge/Seymour Heights, they came to discuss the DNV’s Street Tree Planting Program.

The DNV’s goal developed a Street Tree Master Plan and Inventory over the past years. One of the goals is to plant up to 50 trees per year, subject to annual funding. The cost per tree, depending upon size and species is in the range of $400.00 per tree which includes labour and installation.  There is a relatively low street tree population in the DNV with about 3,000 trees, partly due to the existing forested character of many DNV boulevards. Blueridge/Seymour Heights is actually one of a handful of communities that the DNV’s Parks Department is considering, which means that we have relatively good chances of getting street trees if we would like to have them. In 2013 a couple of streets chose not to proceed with street tree planting in our area, but the offer remains for those streets where trees would be a good fit.
If a majority of a neighbourhood supports the street trees, staff co-ordinate street tree planting, and issue more details on health and care of trees.  If individual residents prefer not to have a tree in front of their house, no tree is planted. The rationale behind the street tree planting is that it addresses the loss of trees associated with development and also maintains and enhances streetscape values and urban forest canopy at a sustainable level. Street trees have many values, and can improve air quality, reduce storm water impacts, provide temperature modifications and assist in carbon sequestration.
The selected tree species are based upon site conditions, for habit and  size, aesthetic qualities and their ability to withstand concerns such as insects, disease and local conditions.
The first year following planting, DNV Parks Staff inspect the trees to prune and modify in order to maximize their long term health and survival.
This program is available for any interested streets in Blueridge/Seymour Heights, but may work the best on streets that already have a sidewalk.
If you are interested in pursuing this, please discuss this first with your neighbours, and then please contact Susan Rogers from the DNV.

_____________________

Come And Be Part Of The Blueridge Sharing Garden
Written by: Colleen Mah

This past November, the BCA Board of Directors met to discuss some possible new initiatives to engage with the members of our community. One of many great suggestions was to have a community garden in Blueridge/Seymour Heights. However after doing some research, we found out that the District of North Vancouver has already approved two new community gardens in the District and felt that the possibility of having one in Blueridge might not be in the budget for several years. We also discovered that even though a community garden is located in a certain neighbourhood, each plot could be assigned to people living anywhere within the North Shore. At that point, we approached Cultivate Projects (cultivateprojects.com) to help us evaluate, design, build a sharing garden.
The difference between a sharing garden and a community garden
The sharing garden will be built by Blueridge for Blueridge.
The garden will act as a gathering space for community members to meet (since we don’t have a walkable coffee shop).
All garden beds will be worked on collaboratively. So if life gets busy, there will be others available to pull up the slack.
The focus of the project will be on educating people on how to grow your own food.
We will give partial proceeds of the garden away to a local food charity, like the Harvest Project.
How can you get involved?
The amount of time you would like to commit is totally up to you. You can sign up to be on our email list and we will let you know when we are in need of some heavy lifting (construction) or gentle watering (maintenance). Cultivate is also a registered non-profit, so the time can be counted as community volunteer hours by high school students. To get on the list, email info [at] blueridgeca [dot] org. You can also join our Facebook group by searching Blueridge Sharing Garden.
We are currently in the planning phase of the project. We are looking at potential locations, applying for grants, and coordinating volunteer efforts. For updates and photos on how things are coming along with the garden, visit the BCA website at blueridgeca.org.

_____________________

“Adopt a street” spotted in Blueridge!
Written by: Angela Duso

All over the Blueridge/Seymour Heights neighbourhood, strange signs have sprouted from the ground. In addition, adults and children have been seen wearing bright yellow vests, picking up litter and recyclables from the sides of roads. “What is going on?” you ask. Well, these are families, individuals, and groups who have come together to “adopt” their street.
From the DNV website “The Adopt a Street Program was created from a desire to work together with community members to keep our roadside areas litter and trash free. Community members can adopt a street that they are then responsible for keeping clean. By adopting a street you agree to pick up litter at least once a month, or as needed, and to report vandalism and graffiti to the Community Beautification Coordinator.”
The District will provide Litter Collection Kits that include the following supplies:
• garbage tongs
• kitchen tongs for children
• high visibility vests
• disposable gloves
• garbage bags
Pick-up can be arranged for large amounts of garbage.
Are you interested in Adopting your street? Its a great way to get to know people in your neighbourhood, and if you have children and teens, it is a great way to engage them in their own surroundings. For more information contact the DNV’s Community Beautification Coordinator, Courtenay Fraitzl at fraitzl [at] dnv [dot] org. You don’t have to adopt the street on your own, join in with other neighbours on your street and make it a group effort. Streets that have already been adopted in Blueridge/Seymour Heights are: Carnation Street, Bryon Road, Arroyo Court, Cactus Court, Whitman Ave, Tompkins Crescent, and Derbyshire Way/Place.

_____________________

Blueridge Area Trail Map
Written by: Anni Danielson

In our November 2013 News Letter we included a map showing all trails in the area. Unfortunately a gremlin erased the trail between Cactus Court and Sechelt Dr. This is the trail volunteers and students from Blueridge School have been clearing and replanting with native plants. We recommend that you add it to the map.
The trail crosses the creek from the cul-de-sac end of Cactus Court and then runs south, on the west side of the creek to Sechelt Dr.

_____________________

JUST A REMINDER
Written by: Anonymous

Spring will be around the corner soon (we hope) and our lawn and gardens will begin to call for our attention as they do each year. This is just to remind those who may need some help, to please, not be afraid to ask a neighbour. We are all more than willing to lend a hand if needed and would rather you ask than suffer the consequences when trying to push your physical limits.
Neighbours also keep an eye out for those who may want help but are too shy or proud to ask .
This doesn’t just entail yard work. Please ask a neighbour to help load that suitcase into your car, or help get that item from the top of that cupboard or shelf as it only takes five minutes of our time. On the other side it might take months for someone to recover from a pulled muscle or a fall when trying to do some strenuous thing that could more easily be done by others.

_____________________

Who do YOU want to see?
Written by: Eric Andersen

The BCA’s director, Angela Duso, who is also the party responsible for sending out our e-mails, initiated a most interesting survey at the end of last year. 48 residents responded to her on-line questions about the BCA meetings, volunteering and communication.
There was a possibility of adding comments in the survey, and a couple of residents responded that they would like to attend our meetings ‘if the guest speaker was of interest’, or ‘did not find that the guest speaker was of interest to him/her’.
We take this very seriously as we, obviously, want to invite guest speakers who are of interest to the entire community. Picking our guest speakers is always done after a good discussion with our members, usually at the first meeting of the season in September. This year our guest speakers included the North Shore Mountain Bike Association, representatives from the District of North Vancouver (to discuss tree planting on streets and a sharing garden), Canexus (in March) and local TV celebrity Mike McCardell (at our AGM in May).
In the past years we have had Seaspan, the Deep Cove Heritage Society, North Shore Emergency Management Office, Port Metro Vancouver, Harvest Project, Metro Vancouver (on water projects) and North Shore Streamkeepers to name, but a few of the guest speakers. We really need to hear from our members whom YOU want to see and hear as guest speakers at our meetings. As you can tell the range of speakers is very wide and we want to keep it this way.
Rather than hearing that the guest speakers are not of interest to you, we would much prefer to get some good and proactive suggestions for guest speakers.
As a principle we are not paying for our guest speakers.
For our September 9 meeting we have already invited the District’s Mayor Walton, but we need YOUR input as to which other guest speakers you would like to see at our bi-monthly meetings.
Please contact us with your suggestions at: info [at] blueridgeca [dot] org.

_____________________

SCHOLARSHIP
Written by: Anni Danielson

Exciting News! If you have ever wanted to recognize someone for their contributions to this community but had no means of doing so, then let this be your chance in the near future.
At our very first Blueridge Community Association workshop, Nov 2013, we decided to set up a committee to discuss establishing a modest scholarship fund with some surplus money available. The recipient must be a Blueridge resident and the scholarship will be awarded to a student who has contributed to the community life of the Blueridge and the Seymour Heights areas. We have enough seed money to establish the fund but may require some fund-raising in the future to keep the fund going.
The committee has come up with some recommendations and the criteria to award such a scholarship and we will discuss this at the next Blueridge Association meeting on March 11,2014.
Valid suggestions are welcome. Please provide that information to our email address: blueridge [at] gmail [dot] com
When all criteria are established and finalized we will post the guidelines on our website http://blueridgeca.org/.

_____________________

GOOD NEIGHBOUR’S GREETINGS
Written by: Lesley Brooks

The BCA has introduced a welcome program for new residents to our community. We would like our new neighbours to feel at home and comfortable in their new homes as soon as we can and to show them that they have moved to a unique, friendly, supportive environment. We also hope to encourage their involvement in our many community activities.
One of our committee members works in Real Estate so is able to notify us when homes have been sold. A couple of weeks after they move they will be visited by one of our volunteers who will chat to them about the amenities of our beautiful neighbourhood and will help with any problems or queries that they may encounter. We tell them of our Association, our meetings and welcome their assistance in our activities.
This initiative is very new but so far we have felt that this is a program that is needed and useful. The reception has been excellent.
We are proud to believe that we are the only Community Association on the North shore which offers this service. If you have any comments about, or suggestions for, this initiative please contact me, welcome [at] blueridgeca [dot] org

_____________________

The Thank You Corner
Written by: Eric Andersen (Thank you Eric!)

One person, who has not been getting enough credit, is our newsletter editor.
Sonia McLeod has been the editor for the BCA newsletter since October 2008. For the last number of years this means editing two newsletters in the spring and one in the fall.
It is a huge job getting articles and comments from many contributors who present their articles in very different fashions. All the drawings you find in our newsletters are Sonia’s work. She puts the articles together and makes it all fit into our newsletter. Sonia is also the (only) person who has the important power to decide what goes into the newsletter and what doesn’t! A big responsibility that Sonia handles elegantly.
Over the years our newsletters have for the most part been four pages, but more recently we have a few times gone to eight pages which is a wonderful achievement for a small community like ours, and kudos to our editor.
Occasionally Sonia will also throw in a Blueridge/Seymour Heights recipe.

Sonia and her family have lived near Seymour Heights Elementary School since 2000 and works for a large company on the North Shore. She is a very busy mom with two girls, was on the local school PAC for 5 years and enjoys running, cooking, hiking in her spare time. Travelling to warm locations such as Mexico for her vacations is right up Sonia’s alley!

In spite of the often rigid deadlines, we have had to deal with for our newsletters over the years, Sonia has always been wonderful to work with. She takes it all in stride and always manages to put things together, so the deadlines are met, even if some of us (this writer included) have been very late with our submissions. She does it all with a smile and nothing, but friendly comments.
And as if that isn’t enough… Sonia ALWAYS volunteers to take a route to distribute our newsletter!
Sonia: the whole community of Blueridge/Seymour Heights thanks you for your wonderful work as our editor for the last six years, and we hope to see many more BCA newsletters from you in the coming years!

_____________________

Oops, we did it again…
Written by: Eric Andersen

We are very sorry to report that three of our generous sponsors from Blueridge Good Neighbour Day 2013 were inadvertently left out of the list of sponsors in our newsletter in November. It was plain and simple an oversight on our part, so we would like to list them here – better late than never – and thank them for their valuable support and hope to see them back at our event on June 8:

Cori’s Kitchen and Stong’s Market
Julia Kenneth, Prudential Sussex Realty
Bridge Church

Again, our apologies for this unintended exclusion in our previous newsletter.

_____________________

New to the neighbourhood?
Written by: Angela Duso

Are you new to Blueridge? Are you wondering what exactly the Blueridge Community Association (BCA) does? Are you interested in volunteering in your community? We have recently created a brochure that we can hand out to newcomers to Blueridge and Seymour Heights neighbourhoods. If you want a copy of the brochure, or know of someone who has just moved to Blueridge/Seymour Heights please contact us at info [at] blueridgeca [dot] org. To view the brochure, please go to our website www.blueridgeca.org and check it out under the GREETINGS tab. If you are interested in volunteering, please let us know.
Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy.  You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day what kind of community you want to live in. – Marjorie Moore

_____________________

Babysitting
Written by: Angela Duso

Are you looking for a babysitter? Are you a babysitter who would like to advertise your services? The BCA website has a convenient Babysitter Directory that parents can use if they would like to find a babysitter located in the neighbourhood.
http://blueridgeca.org/what-we-do/babysitter-directory/
Babysitters, please send your information to babysitter [at] blueridgeca [dot] org if you would like to post to the directory. Parents can then contact you through our website. For the safety of all parties, please make sure you meet with prospective babysitters/parents prior to the babysitting appointment. Confirm the rate of pay, time of appointment and contact information in case of emergency.

_____________________

Lynnterm Tour
Book an appointment today for a presentation and tour of our Lynnterm facilities located at 15 Mountain Highway, North Vancouver.
“On the Waterfront – Proud to be on the North Shore” an opportunity for members of the community to see first-hand the important work that we do at Lynnterm.
Contact Jennifer DeMarco to make an appointment at 604-904-2800.
Tour dates/times:
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 10:00 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 22, 2014 9:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m.
See the Future of the Waterfront! Join the Tour!

Posted in Newsletter