Three neighbours from unceded K’omoks territory applied for a Neighbourhood Small Grant in the fall of 2021. Our intention was to create more connection and belonging in our neighbourhood by inviting people to celebrate light and hope during December with an outdoor gathering. As happened with so many events since 2020, we were thwarted by COVID.
We were determined to start having seasonal neighbourhood gatherings, so we pulled out our calendars and found a date in April. A fourth neighbour joined our planning committee, and the Neighbourhood Spring Thing was born.
We made a poster and had kids deliver them to all of the houses in the neighbourhood. We also relied on word of mouth. We put a poster at the entry-way to the green space where we gathered.
On the day of our event, we were not graced with lovely spring weather. Instead, it was seven degrees celsius and a wind storm strong enough to warrant a wind warning blew through. Not to be thwarted, we crossed our fingers that the weather system would pass for our 4:00 start.
We didn’t have clear skies, but the calm after the storm had people willing to come outside. Fifty people attended our event, and enjoyed the pizza, seedlings, and paint-a-pot craft. We had one person join who didn’t live in our neighbourhood, but who walked through regularly with her dog, so she felt a sense of belonging. We welcomed her along with the many individuals and families who stopped by. Many folks met each other for the first time.
We are excited that we were able to create a low-pressure event with minimal barriers to introducing people to each other in the neighbourhood. It’s also been great to give families with children the chance to meet and connect, as we have families at different schools as well as home schoolers and transient military families.
We’re looking forward to hosting another gathering for summer!
Thank you for helping us make it all happen!