I’m doing a course right now on community development, offered through Capilano University, led by the wonderful Yvonne Wallace, called Everything Present in the Seed.
What I’ve learned so far is:
1. it’s invaluable to approach things through an indigenous lens. It’s so enriching.
2. the best place to start, any project, is with your strengths. Your assets. What you have. And build form there.
Deficit thinking tends to drive everything, but it’s dispiriting, depressing and unsustainable – it’s meant to build dependency. “Oh, we don’t have a pool. I guess we need to rely on a developer to come and alter an entire ecosystem, make a lot of profit, and potentially provide a contribution towards recreation. And then we’ll have 1000 more residents, no parking, greater demand on our existing infrastructure and we still won’t have a pool.” (Why not? We started from the wrong place.)
Asset based community development is different. You start with what you have. And amplify.
What we have in this community are some remarkable humans, including a woman with a fantastic ability to write grants, to collaborate, and to see solutions to needs. And we are lucky enough to also have an environmental fund providing community grants, at one of our region’s largest employers.
Ta da! Now, the playground at Signal Hill, which has been observed to be a hot and treeless site when the weather turns, will enjoy new trees.
Great News! The Signal Hill PAC has been awarded $18,700 from the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation Environmental Fund for playground trees and irrigation at Signal Hill! In addition to this, the funding will support 18 full days of stewardship activity and field trips for every student through Stewardship Pemberton Society.We are so excited about this project which is due to be delivered in Spring 2021.