From the desk of Peggy Trendell-Jensen, LVLife editor

It’s no accident that Lynn Valley has become one of the North Shore’s most family-friendly places to live – the fact is due in large part to the efforts of our neighbourhood groups, schools and other volunteer organizations who put community building at the top of their agenda.

So it was with great anticipation that LynnValleyLife helped convene a gathering of community representatives at a wine, cheese and visioning event that took place last Wednesday in the cosy wood-cabin lodge within the Laura Lynn townhouse development. The aim of the event’s steering committee (which also included Alecia Greenfield from St. Clement’s Anglican Church, and Shauna Grinke, Blair Odney and Sophia Ducey from Lynn Valley United) was to get in one room a cross-section of Lynn Valley people whose vocation – whether paid or voluntary – is to make this neighbourhood happier and healthier.

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We knew that by  getting to know each other – in person, not just via email – and keeping in touch about our groups’ goals and activities, we would be able to offer mutual support and discuss all sorts of interesting potential partnerships.

To that end, the steering committee was delighted to welcome a diverse group that included the principal and a teacher from Argyle Secondary, representatives from the Lynn Valley Community Association, Lynn Valley Services Society and Mollie Nye House, the Lynn Valley Legion, the RCMP community police officer, two North Van District councillors who are Lynn Valley residents, North Shore Disability Resource Centre, Lynn Valley Lions and others with many neighbourhood ties.

The meeting was very ably facilitated by Alecia and Shauna (Royal Roads business grads who first met in their North Van study group). Those gathered shared what we love about our community, and what would make it better.

We also heard about some great success stories already in play… like the program in which Argyle Secondary students pair up with seniors from Mollie Nye House to teach them computer skills. Celeste Whitaker, program coordinator for Mollie Nye, had just come from one of the sessions and told us that two of the students had taken it upon themselves to walk one of the senior participants home to her doorstep through the dark afternoon. Liz Bell, Argyle principal, told us that if Argyle is rebuilt she’d love to see it include community space for use by neighbourhood groups to facilitate more integration between the school and its surroundings.

Also raised for discussion was a pilot project that will facilitate neighbours  helping neighbours through a small grants process. We look forward to bringing you more information on that plan as it comes to fruition.

Lizz Lindsay, left, receives her Good Neighbour 2014 plaque from LVLife editor Peggy Trendell-Jensen.

Lizz Lindsay, left, receives her Good Neighbour 2014 plaque from LVLife editor Peggy Trendell-Jensen.

Given the community spirit at work amongst all the attendees, the meeting was the perfect time to recognize Lizz Lindsay with a plaque honouring her achievement as the LynnValleyLife Good Neighbour for 2014, and inviting people to submit nominations for this year’s award. (It’s easy, and there’s a treat given to the nominators, too!)

All attendees agreed that the meeting was an inspiring first step in forging new relationships and strengthening ties between the people and groups who are working hard to make a positive difference in this community. LynnValleyLife will be proud to help facilitate further partnerships, and to support local citizens and organizations in whatever way we can.

One way we do that is by spreading the word about their local events, fundraisers, challenges and successes on our website and Facebook page. We’ve been told that our postings really help the cause, whether it’s in soliciting volunteer help or boosting attendance rates. So please let us know if you have a Lynn Valley news tidbit that needs spreading – just email us at info@LynnValleyLife.com. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!