The Uptown West Neighbourhood Association is a friendly, open and inclusive organization established to expand the
organic relationships already present in our close-knit community. Representing the historic, gardened streets bordered
by Union, Westmount, Erb and King Streets, Uptown West is made up of families, couples, singles, and students benefitting
from a vibrant and creative, safe and connected life at the urban core of the City of Waterloo. We welcome all community
members to join our efforts to consolidate our resources and skills in order to help fellow neighbours, people beyond our
borders, and the planet.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

September 2012 Meeting Minutes

1. Website – should we go ahead with a website? Ben suggested that if we get a domain we can have our own email (e.g It would cost approx. $50 per year. Pat applied for funding for a domain name and an honorarium to help put something together. Ben is interested in volunteering to help put the website together. Tenille is going to ask a friend who just moved into the neighbourhood if he is willing to help put together a website in conjunction with Ben. Tenille, Pat and Ben volunteered to be on a web sub-committee. Jenn suggested that is should easily updateable – Tenille suggested using Wordpress. It was agreed that this would be a good CMS for the website.

 2. Sign – We received $1850 for a sign/notice board. The City wants to have a standard look and feel – but there isn’t one at the moment. Still some questions about design of sign and who builds it that the City of Waterloo needs to approve and also decide where the sign will be located in Alexandra Park. Pat asked if we could also have a book exchange library ‘nook’ built in but the City didn’t like that idea. Pat built in $200 for fridge magnets – but we are not obliged to get magnets – it just has to be related to the neighbourhood association.

 3. Update from Tamarack on Summer Activities. The students have put together a summary of what they did this summer. Handed out approx. 1000 newsletters and got 112 people to sign up to get UWNA news. No major issues. Talked about how to get information to the people who live in the Seagram Lofts to make sure they are included. Paul said they have their own newsletter – maybe we could tap into that. Jenn offered to talk to a colleague who lives there to see if he has any ideas. Historical stories – interviewed one man over on Erb. Others who were interested in sharing stories about the neighbourhood. Looked at a lot of initiatives that other neighbourhood organizations are doing. Will suggested talking to a man on William who has been living there since the 60s to get stories from him. Carmen asked if anyone showed interest in being involved in the UWNA (e.g. as a board member). Emerson and Sara noted one or two who seemed interested. Carmen - maybe we could add this to our next newsletter (i.e. asking people if they want to be more involved). Sara mentioned that it is a large and diverse area to try and get people to feel the sense of place. Different areas have different issues (e.g. closer to Erb St. the issues are more related to students; other areas, the issues are more related to organizing street parties). Sara suggested that if we were doing this again, having a specific event to publicize or focus on with the visits, that would help direct the conservation. Paul discussed how things went with the canvassing – he thought things went well but that they perhaps needed to be more methodical about keeping track of response from each household. Paul thinks this should be an annual event – we could almost make it a set weekend each year where we go out with 40 volunteers. We could also try to get a volunteer responsible for each street. It would be an interesting exercise to create a plan to map the neighbourhood (as one would map an ecosystem). Paul is suggesting recruiting 40 volunteers who are our ‘super-board’. Will help us plan what we want to do long term. How can we support people in need? If we are in need, how do we get support (e.g. one goal could be to keep older people in their homes five years longer by giving them the support we need).

 4. Fall Harvest Event - Venue – we have outgrown the venue on Dunbar – looking for other options, Erb St. Mennonite only holds 80 seated – need to look at Lourdes church; First United is another option but there is a cost. Looking at possible dates – right now we have penciled in Tuesday October 23 (or sometime that week depending on availability of venue). Tennille to look into Lourdes church; Pat to look into First United).

 5. Pumpkin Patch – meet at 6:15 in playground of Lourdes School for 6:30pm departure; event goes between 6:30 and 8pm. If people don’t want to do the parade, they can go straight to the park. Have prize for best pumpkin – vote.

 6. Possible future events:
 a. Book exchange - Wed. Nov. 28th - Carmen to organize -maybe towards the end of November with some refreshments – Erb St. Mennonite Church;
 b. Neighbourhood garage sale - Spring – Plan at a later date c. Lourdes – sports/games nights (Lisa) – she has booked a few Monday nights – badminton? volleyball? Dodgeball? – Oct 4th (sport); Nov 1 - might possibly change this to the Nov 8th (cards and board games); Dec 6th (sport). Carmen to promote via our various communication mediums. 6:00pm-8pm. Dodgeball at 6pm – Volleyball at 7pm. Make sure to communicate that people need to bring non-marking shoes.

 7. Sponsors - Christa (who was absent at the meeting but passed on questions to Tennille about getting sponsors). She was wondering how many newsletters we would need to get advertising for. We think we will have a few electronic newsletters and one printed one per year. Perhaps we could see if we could get sponsors for the UWNA as whole and then we would say that we would get ‘x’ advertising (at events, newsletter etc).

 8. Clothesline initiative – think about partnering with REEP and getting some funding through TD Friends of Environment; KW Community Foundation; OPA Conservation Fund. We will ask people at the AGM who is interested in being part of a committee to build this initiative. Carry Forward Items: 1. Website sub-committee to meet to talk about design of website and get back to the board. 2. Tennille to ask new neighbour if he is interested in helping to put a website together 3. Need to decide whether we want to go ahead with fridge magnets or with another ‘business supply’ to hand out to UWNA residents. 4. Jenn to ask colleague how to reach out to residents of Seagram lofts 5. Reflect on what we did accomplish over the past year and prepare a short report to present at AGM. 6. Send a call out for additional volunteers for the Board. 7. Emerson/Sara to send an email version of the report they put together from the work they did this summer. 8. Firm up venue and date for Fall Harvest Event Items to add to AGM/harvest event - ask people how many meetings a year to be open to everyone (two, four?...) - give report of what has been accomplished, plans for 2012/2013 – celebrate accomplishments - call for additional board members - announce upcoming events - possible craft for kids related to Pumpkin Patch – lantern

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wednesday Drop-In Soccer

Drop-in soccer went better than we could have expected! Despite it being out first time meeting for soccer at Lourdes, the turnout was great. In all, sixteen kids came out to play. Here are some all-stars:

Drop-in Soccer will continue at Lourdes every Wednesday from 3-5. All ages and all skill levels are  welcome.

Join the fun or come to cheer them on!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Story of Change

This video might help inspire some people (and we needed something new here!).

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Highlights of the November 8th Meeting of the Board

Why are we here?

* a place for young people to meet and hang out
* to be integrated into the community and meet more neighbours
* to rediscover a sense of community in our neighbourhood
* to get to know neighbours and form strong relationships with neighbours as the need for food/fuel security within a community increases.
* to have fun together; take care of each other; change the world together for the better.

Who's in charge?  (for official recognition as an association - not to be hierarchical or bureaucratic)

Fourteen of the representatives people elected to be on the board (by a shout out at the potluck) elected the following members to serve as executives until December 31, 2012:

President: Nina Bailey Dick
Vice-President: Carmen Everest Wahl
Treasurer(s): Kristin Howard and Ben Hudson
Secretary: Jennifer Lynes Murray

What do we do now?

If you want to help out on any of the activities below, let the organizers know.  Highlighted names have their name and contact info on the directory.  If you have any other ideas, start a discussion!

* Figure out if we can get a facility up and running!

Who can help:  Stuart; Will; Pat; Paul and potentially a planner (e.g. Dan Murray or Brenna MacKinnon who are both UWNA residents and also town planners – Jenn to ask them if they are interested in participating on this committee).

* Plan some events!

Who can help:  Tenille; Pat; Rachel; Jenn.

January 31st - A Soup Sampler
A skating event
A swimming event
A snow sculpture competition

* Get the word out!

Who can help:  Ben, Marie, Daryan.

There's a twitter feed now, and a facebook site.

A conundrum:
It's hard to make something everyone can follow.  Some people want password protection so they can post photos of their kids without worry, but others don't want to have to remember a password.  Some people love Facebook, but others don't want to be on it and feel very strongly about it.  If we find many ways to post information, then we hit more people, but we'll also have to update in many places, and some people will be left out of discussions on sites they don't follow.  Some people don't have computers at all, so newsletters on paper are still necessary.

A creative way to distribute the newsletter (e.g. only hand out 40 copies that neighbours then have to pass on to other neighbours; post them on hydro poles around the neighbourhood).

* Develop a Constitution and Bylaws and a Budget

Who can help:  Kristy


** There are 106 people on the i-neighbours directory, which is really cool, but it would be even more amazing if people could add their photos and street so we can get to know everyone's name and face! **

For complete and official minutes, see the discussion section of the website here.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Uptown West News and Events

Neighbourhood LAUNCH coming up!

Join us on Tuesday, October 4th at 5:30 for a potluck meal at Christ the Saviour Church (96 Dunbar between William and Alexandra) to celebrate the burgeoning development of the Uptown West Neighbourhood Association.  Bring your own plate, forks, and cups and a dish of food to share for the meal.  Don't forget your kids and friends.  Then, if you want, stay afterwards to help us decide how to choose the "board of directors."

Why become an association?  There are a few reasons a small group of us wanted to take on this task.  Mainly we wanted to get to know our neighbours better to make the streets feel friendlier and safer.  And being a formal association means we can get help from the city if we want to block off streets for a party or if we need a little money to help fund an event.  And we can get some help if we want to create a community centre in our area.

There are NO FEES involved with being an association.

It will cost you nothing to join.  Ever.  It's a win-win deal!