Remembering 25 years ago: Lynn Valley Little League at the World Series

In 1993 a team of 14 boys from Lynn Valley – just ages 12 and 13 – made their way to Williamsport, Pennsylvania to represent Canada at the Little League World Championship.


A milestone 25 years later


This is was a first for a North Shore team and has not been matched since. It was also a first in Little League history because it was first team helmed by a woman to qualify – a moment so important Coach Kathy Barnard’s Canada hat hangs in the Little League Museum.

The run has been documented in an engaging post by North Vancouver’s Len Corben to celebrate the 20th anniversary. Today, for the 25th anniversary we caught up with player Scott Carlson.

“It was a once in a lifetime sort of thing,” said Carlson, now a investment advisor. “We were playing in Lynn Valley and then provincials and then a couple of weeks later grown men were asking for our 12-year-olds’ autographs in Williamsport. I didn’t even know there was a world series until after nationals.”

The 1993 Lynn Valley Little League all-star team at the Little League World Series. Scott Carlson is back row, second from left.


Local and international history


It was a whirlwind summer for those selected as 11/12 all-stars. They had to win regionals, provincials, turn 12 and 13, head out to Nova Scotia for nationals and after a hard-fought victory head down to Pennsylvania – just three days later – for the World Series.

“Personally I found the Canadian championships more stressful – we were playing to be the best in our country,” said Carlson. “The world series was extremely fun – and extremely competitive. But we got to spend a lot time with the other teams. There was lots of fun to be had. It wasn’t just ballpark – hotel – ballpark.”

The team from LV received special attention from media upon their arrival. Coach Barnard’s glass ceiling-breaking achievement created quite a buzz around the tournament.

“She was the coach of [my regular-season team] the Pirates and her son Spencer was my best friend. They lived three doors up from me,” said Carlson. “She was always there – a great coach.”


Memory of a lifetime


Scott Carlson

Barnard’s milestone, along with the entire team’s journey wasn’t something that hit home until later years later.

“I don’t think I realized how big it was until I was in my 20s when ESPN and TSN started showing all the [Little League World Series] games on TV,” said Carlson.

Now a North Shore dad in his own right, Carlson looks a back – a bit astonished that it has been 25 years.

“It doesn’t feel like yesterday, but it is the most vivid memories I have. It is really hard to reach that level of play – the world championship. It was such a unique experience,” he said. “It is great to sit back and think about it – and to dream of being on of the boys of summer again – just playing baseball.”

Helping hands sought for Princess Park project

Can you help revitalize part of Princess Park on April 28? Many hands make light work. Here is the press release sent to us with all the news you need to know:

The Lynn Valley Community Association and the Lynn Valley Seniors Association are working together on the 2018 Lynn Valley Annual Park Project.

The location this year is an area of Princess Park near the bridge and dog play area. Park in the parking lot off Princess Avenue. Meet at the Lynn Valley LINK Kiosk which is a short walk down the main paved trail in to the park.

The Park Project will take place on Saturday, April 28, 2018, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm (come for all or part).

The focus of this community event will be on restoring a section of the park just west of the bridge. District crews will do some preliminary work ahead of time leaving us to restore the natural vegetation and lay down mulch. We will be doing basic gardening work, removing invasive plants, planting natural vegetation, cleaning litter and anything else that needs to be done with the direction and support of the DNV Parks Department.

Do join us for this fun and productive day. We have work for every level of physical ability but we won’t let anyone overdo it. Dress for the weather, as this is a rain-or- shine event! Sturdy boots or shoes, working clothes and gloves are recommended, as it could be muddy! Coffee and snacks will be provided but please bring your own water bottle.

For more information email: info@lvca.ca

Field Trip! Check out the (old) museum and (new) gallery!

The North Vancouver Museum – the one tucked away quietly at Chesterfield and West Fourth Street for decades – is shutting up shop at the end of April.

That’s good news – it’s all in preparation for the exciting new museum to be built adjacent to Lonsdale Quay – but at the same time it’s always hard saying goodbye to an old friend. So why not pop down for a look at the displays while you have the chance? Take a glimpse into the kitchens, school rooms and shops of early North Vancouver, and peek into the wall-mounted memory boxes that encapsulate the reminiscences of some of our neighbours who grew up here – among them well-known volunteer Del Dimock and North Shore News photographer Mike Wakefield, both residents of Lynn Valley.

Featured currently is an exhibit on Chief Dan George: Actor and Activist, and it’s a thoughtful window into the chief’s extraordinary life that played itself out here on the shores of Burrard Inlet, on the ancestral lands of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, as well as in Hollywood where George was best known for his role as Old Lodge Skins in Little Big Man, playing alongside Dustin Hoffman. Chief Dan George’s voice continues to be heard in his evocative writings about the indigenous experience of the land, as in his collection of verse that includes the title poem, My Heart Soars.

The North Vancouver Museum is open by donation, from Thursday to Sunday, noon to 5 (closed stat holidays) and the address is 209 West 4th St.

From the old to the new, you can then take a trip into the much different environment of the Polygon Gallery, the modern silver-sided building located on a new inlet-edge walkway between Tap & Barrel and Lonsdale Quay. Open by donation until the end of 2020 with the support of BMO Financial Group, the Polygon Gallery is showcasing photos and artworks that reflect North Vancouver – past and present – back to its citizens in myriad forms and styles. Be sure to pick up the info-packed guide to the N. Vancouver exhibit, and visit the second-floor bookshop for photo and art books on a range of topics and places.

The Polygon Gallery is open from Tuesdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. More info is right here.

 

 

Got a great idea for your neighbourhood? Funds available to make it real

The deadline for the Vancouver Foundation’s Neighbourhood Small Grants is fast approaching. You have until April 9 to take advantage of this growing program. Each year many locals take advantage of the $50 – $500 grants given to fund community initiatives.

Kathy Rothnie at an Evelyn Park Canada 150 celebration last summer

“The goal is about connecting and engaging the community,” said Tricia Alsop, of the North Shore Neighbourhood House which oversees the program in North Vancouver. “Community doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. It doesn’t need to be a project with your neighbours. Last year we gave out about 80 grants.”

Since 2011 the North Shore has been apart of the Vancouver Foundation’s Neighbourhood Small Grants program. The grants are given to projects that bring people together, share skills and knowledge, build a sense of belonging, responsibility, and respect and celebrate diversity, according to the Foundation.

“We had hosted a block party – a potluck kind of party the first year we moved here,” said Lynn Valley’s Shannon Samler, a recipient of a 2017 grant. “Someone told us about these grants so we thought – why not [apply]? It was very easy to do.”

Easy access

“The goal is to make it available to everyone,” said Tricia Alsop. “The application is online but we also have paper applications. If people need help, we can help them work through it. It is supposed to be easy.”

For most projects the most labour-intensive piece is creating a budget.

“It’s a simple process,” said Samler. “Putting together the budget help me think about what I wanted to do. We wanted to take on the responsibility of the main course part of the food and provide a few extras – like face painting.”

The Samlers’ block party was one of a handful in Lynn Valley last year funded by the grants and is a typical project that the Foundation funds.

Other projects on the North Shore included gardening, food, beekeeping, emergency preparedness and craft workshops, invasive weed pulls, intergenerational programs, Little Free Libraries and others.

“It was a great way to meet people,” said Samler. “We learned the names of people we see – not just families with kids that same age as ours. We were able to set up a neighbourhood email list to connect and share concerns.”

Lasting impacts

Samler says the – now annual – event has fostered a more open neighbourhood. Sometimes the grants are what give legs to an idea, said Alsop.

“The grants can help give people the initiative to get started on an idea they have always had,” she said. “We see lasting relationships grow out of the projects – sometimes they can be a help with conflict resolution by bringing people together.”

Organizers welcome more applicants

“We would like to see some new people with new ideas,” said Alsop. “If it fits, there is a good chance they will get the grant.”

The deadline for applications is April 9th. For more information or help with applications contact the North Shore Neighbourhood House at 604-987-8138.

Out of the school yard and up to ‘Big House’

Suddenly there is quiet – 50 formerly noisy, energetic Grade 3 students have just stepped into the forest. Since they started school, the students have been told they would go to the Big House, now known as the longhouse. For months, they have been working with their teachers and special Aboriginal instructors to gain a base of knowledge they hope will transform into appreciation. The moment they begin their time at  Cheakamus Centre, it is clear this not a typical school day.

For decades, parents in the North Vancouver School District have been sending their children to Paradise Valley – first on trains; now in school buses for the unique programs offered at Cheakamus Centre – remembered by many as the North Vancouver Outdoor School. But unless you check out the Centre’s Open House, only a few lucky parents get to experience this themselves. Thus it was that LynnValleyLife tagged along with Lynn Valley Elementary on a recent visit to see firsthand what this Indigenous Cultural Program is about.


The Forest


Dusted with snow, the forest glowed as the sun shone through a light fog as students were divided into groups for an interpretive walk. Indigenous Cultural Program Coordinator Sarah Davidson-James and Indigenous Cultural Program Staff Member Mathew Siýámken Williams took the groups along the Ch’iyákmesh (Cheakamus) River. It was clear which children frequently visit the forest and for which this was a rare experience – some walked tentatively on the uneven icy ground while other bounded through the snow. Every couple of minutes Mathew would gather the group to share some ecological or cultural knowledge. Students were encouraged to pick up fallen materials – like moss, lichen or horsetails – to feel or use them as Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) people did.

750-year-old cedar

We learned what plants made what pigments for art or ceremonial purposes. Quickly there were 20 children sputtering into horsetails after Mathew shared they were used as whistles. As the walk continued to a 750-year-old cedar tree, a few clear notes rang through the forest.

The trees in this area are stunning, but the second growth looks nothing like the ancient stumps that dot the forest or one of the few remaining ancient cedars. It took about 17 students to encircle the base of towering tree.

The walk emphasized how First Nations people used and respected the forest. The students were keenly interested in how the Skwxwú7mesh people chose to use cedar trees based on their gender. Women would use female trees and men would use male trees. Another fact that resonated with the students was how Skwxwú7mesh children are taught to harvest cedar bark – people were taught to harvest a strip of bark only as wide as their two hands. If children were gathering, their strips were obviously smaller. The students could identify trees that had been harvested by Sḵwx̱wú7mesh people about their age. Experiential moments like this throughout the day seemed to foster connection – students were relating to information in a much different way than what they learn in a classroom.


The Programs


Skw’une-was (the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh word for partnership), the overnight Grade 3 program is a provincially recognized program tied to the BC Curriculum, said Sepideh Tazzman, communications and marketing manager for the Cheakamus Centre. It began after a conference in 1985 of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh people, North Vancouver District educators, and a few non-First Nations guests knowledgeable in Northwest Coast First Nations culture.

“During the conference that was the impetus for the program, participants listened to the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh people speak of their values, attitudes and ways of life as well as traditional family roles and structures, and the approach to educating by example. It also included discussions about religious beliefs and language, as well as sharing experiences of the past and hopes for the future of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh people,” said Sepideh. “Both First Nations and non-First Nations came away from the conference with a heightened understanding of and respect for one another. The sharing that had taken place developed into the longhouse curriculum and embodies the same sense of partnership between cultures.”

Within the halls of NVSD schools the program is known as Skw’unw-was and a much anticipated highlight of the year. The program is based on three major ideas that underlie the activities at the longhouse: respect, sharing, and seasonality, said Sepideh.

Those themes ran throughout the experience, from respecting the elders by serving them their food first, to respecting the forest by leaving any souvenirs that students had gathered; sharing of knowledge and cooperating to make lunch; to discussing the changing forest and work needed to survive there throughout the year.

A big takeaway for all the students was how Sḵwx̱wú7mesh people had to be patient and plan – nothing was instant like today’s culture. If you wanted a blanket it took five years to gather the wool and another year to weave, according to Mathew. If you wanted to weave hats or mats the cedar had to be harvested and dried for a year before you could get to work.


The Longhouse


The whispers begin even before the field trip forms go home. They have heard from older students…. The smoke…. The fire….The longhouse. In a day of many memories, the longhouse at Cheakamus Centre leaves the most lasting impression. The imposing – yet cozy – structure is the centerpiece of the program.

The students were greeted by Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Elder Henry Khapquolanogh Williams at the bridge leading to the longhouse. Students announced their arrival and he welcomed them to the longhouse and invited them in. The dark, open room was hazy from smoke and warm from fire.

Inside Mathew explains the history, some basic building techniques, the core ideas of communal living, the astounding fact that longhouses were moved – sometimes on canoes – to different parts of Howe Sound and Burrard Inlet seasonally. Students were given an overview of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh life, beginning with food.

Cooking box

If you ask the kids, the most exciting moment of the program was seeing parent volunteers pull glowing rocks from the fire. Students carefully wiped ashes from the stones with cedar bows, before they were placed inside a pot with water and vegetables. Within a cooking box the veggies boiled and cooked while the children roasted bannock over the fire.

Inside and outside the longhouse students cooked their bannock while Mathew explained Sḵwx̱wú7mesh people originally made bread from a flour made from the alder tree and a lichen commonly called old man’s beard. The memorable meal was topped off with salmon prepared by Cheakamus Centre staff.


The Work


Another key piece of the program is experiencing the traditional day-to-day tasks of the Coast Salish people. Groups of students were able to participate in two experiences, choosing from Plant Gatherers, Wood Workers, Cedar Bark Workers, Wool Weavers, or Hunters/Fishers.

Mathew took the Hunters/Fishers down to the river. It was a humbling moment to learn Sḵwx̱wú7mesh means “People of the Fish Weir” while learning about how they would traditionally fish. The students were awed seeing Mathew pull an obsidian arrowhead from his pocket. They scoured the beach looking for basalt, that flakes in a similar way, and a rock to make their own. After seeing an American Dipper fish on the river it was time to head back and try their hand at weaving.

Alongside the longhouse and the outdoor cooking fire, students settled into patiently weaving cedar strips. The slow practice was carefully guide by Elder Henry. He shared photos of elaborate projects inspiring the students to focus harder on their works.


The End


Time at the longhouse flies by. Students, parents, teachers and cultural staff gathered around the longhouse fire one more time to share thoughts of the experience. The take-away from the program is that it fosters an appreciation and understanding of First Nations. The personal stories and anecdotes from indigenous cultural staff and elders help students understand that while they are experiencing a portion of history, they are still learning about issues relevant today – jaws dropped across the fire when Mathew shared there are only seven fluent Sḵwx̱wú7mesh language speakers left. These experiences push some kids out of their comfort zones and invigorate others with a deeper understanding of the forest they love.

With hair scented with wood smoke students filed back on to the bus with exclamations of this being the “best trip ever.”  Osieum (“Oh-see-em”) to Cheakamus Centre and NVSD for sharing it.

The 49th Annual Cheakamus Centre Open House is on Sunday, May 6th, 2018 from 10:30 a.m. -3:30 p.m..

Hatching a new bylaw means more backyard hens in LV

Last September the District of North Vancouver adopted a bylaw allowing for the raising of chickens in single residential homes (RS) zone. You or your neighbours can raised between four to six chickens, given the right enclosure, an electric fence and a animal permit from the district.

While the bylaw maybe new – chickens in Lynn Valley are not. It is estimated there are between 50 and 100 chickens roosting here. For now those chickens are running a-fowl the bylaw, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t thriving in our mountain community.


Happy Hens, Happy Kids


lynn Valley Chickens“Lynn Valley is a pretty cool place,” says Mike, a local chicken owner. “The neighbours have been quite excited about the chickens. They come visit them. When we go away the neighbours’ kids look after the chickens – they get to collect the eggs. It is quite fun.”

For about four years chickens have been a part of their home after his children won over thier parents with some hard fought lobbying and Mike completed some research.

“My wife’s cousins are ranchers and they have 30-40 chickens,” he said. “When the kids were little we would go visit them a lot. And they would play with the chickens. There were dogs, and cattle and haystacks but they would play with the chickens. Eventually they decided they wanted chickens here.

“The ranch up in Cariboo is surrounded by wolves and caribou and all sorts of critters – so we did a lot homework about who was going after urban chickens. We talked to people and heard we needed to keep the ‘coons and the skunks out.”


Keeping ‘coons out of the coop


Between the family dog and the wildlife, using the children’s old playhouse and plenty of chicken wire, Mike got to work.

“We started down this road with a huge amount of chicken security – it was basically a high security prison,” he said. “There was a double-fence system, so if something broke through one, they’d have to break through another. Since we have socialized the dog I have rebuilt everything and made it much more friendly – a minimum security prison for the chickens.”

For his family, the biggest knock against getting chickens was their dog.

“I had family members with dog – and I thought dogs and chickens didn’t necessarily mix,” said Mike. “I have since learned that dogs can be trained to not eat chickens. We worked at it and got the dog to understand it couldn’t eat a chicken.”

In fact the dog is helpful, keeping large birds like eagles and other predators away.

The DNV bylaw requires an electric fence to protect household chickens from wildlife. The District has been working with Wild Safe BC to create a framework for urban chickens that doesn’t habituate wild animals to an easy food source. The District has also been working with CLUCK (Canadian Liberated Urban Chicken Klub).  CLUCK North Vancouver is quite active online with local events, get togethers and its website has a wealth of links including info on a veterinarian in Westview who helps exotic pets including chickens.


Everyone has a job


Back at Mike’s, Hipster and Flopsy a more than just farm animals and more than just pets.

“On a farm they don’t necessarily draw the distinction that urban pet owners do,” says Mike. “Farmers care about every animal in their herd – they will go out in the middle of the night, they will bring them into their home if they need to. To me our chickens are like an animal on a farm but they are also a pet where there is relationship with them. They do work – they produce eggs and they have other jobs.”

While there is work in caring for the chickens, they work they do makes up for the effort, he says. In addition to eggs they eat food scraps, eat weeds, gobble up chafer beetles and dig and fluff the lawn creating healthier grass.

“They produce an egg a day – that is one tenth of their body weight,” says Mike. “They eat a lot and make an egg a day – if you think about that it is like giving birth to a kid everyday. So I have a lot of respect for them.”


The fowl-side of hens


Caring for chickens isn’t all meringues and the best quiche you’ve ever had.

Lynn Valley Chickens“The biggest challenge is they are rather indiscriminate with bathroom habits,” said Mike. “If they are eating that much to make eggs, they have a lot of by products and that is good – we compost it. You have to compost it for a year to get really good garden fertilizer. They wander across the patio and leave little things there and have even escaped into the house on occasion.”

Other challenges include protecting the birds from rats. Apparently rats are common in Lynn Valley compost piles. Mike has taken care to – and the bylaw requires – make the coop inaccessible to rats and to make sure rats don’t partake in the chicken feed.

Another challenge stems from chickens being a bit bird-brained.

“Because we have a dog we don’t leave gates open very often, but the chickens do wander around in the yard and they know where their coop is so they don’t go very far,” says Mike. “But they do disappear and we have chicken panics. There is a lot of things that could happen in the real world. They are not smart enough to not run out in front of a car. They are pretty dumb.”

The most common question the family gets and the number one concern of chicken opponents is noise.

“The chickens make a noise – they don’t do it that often and it’s not an unpleasant noise,” says Mike. “It’s way better than a rock band practicing badly or a diesel [truck] warming up in the morning, or kids screaming or dogs barking or a whole bunch of other things you hear in a human neighbourhood. We were worried about… it’s just part of the background and none of the neighbours seem to care – and I’d hope they would come talk to us if they did.”

The other thing to be aware of, says Mike, is that chickens are fragile – they have been bred to do one thing.

“We made the mistake of getting farm chickens, not ones bred to be pets. The first ones we had were quite weak – one died of an infection and one died of leukemia. We have two now.”

With several years as a chicken owner, Mike insists he doesn’t love them – but he does speak about them with a lot of affection.

“I’m still rather indifferent to them – but my kids would have a different answer. They are entertaining,” says Mike. “There is nothing like a fresh egg – let me tell you. An egg that is made by a chicken that is eating bugs and wandering around eating plants is a completely different thing than what you get in a store.”

Rules on raising hens in Lynn Valley can be found on the DNV website.

An Egg-citing Way to Celebrate Easter in Lynn Valley!

It sounds like there will be a mix of sun and clouds in Lynn Valley’s future, but whatever the weather we hope the Easter weekend is joyful for all!

easterWe are having our annual FREE family Easter Egg Hunt April 2 from 10 a.m.-noon at Viewlynn Park. There will be prizes, plenty of eggs to find and lots of family fun — think face painting and balloon twisting too.

If it is rainy, there’s no better way to spend the time than in painting some Easter eggs to give out to family and friends. Here are few novel ideas to get you started – you probably have everything you need at home already!

Easter Egg 2017

Another tradition that will keep the kids busy is to bake hot cross buns on Good Friday, or to make an Easter bonnet for Sunday. And if you’re really having fun, why not make some homemade chocolate Easter eggs as well?

Easter Egg 2017Easter Sunday is the culmination of the Christian Holy Week, and is preceded by Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Special services are being held on all three days at many Lynn Valley churches, and all are welcome – should you want more information, contact info and church websites are listed on our Clubs and Associations page. Happy Easter, everyone!

Spring Break Fun!

Spring Break is a great time to get active and have fun in Lynn Valley. There are lots of drop-in activities to have some spur of the moment fun. Check out our picks from the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre and the Lynn Valley Branch of the North Vancouver District Library. 


Drop-in activities and a couple of mini-camps


March 17

12-4 p.m. Scales and Coils, Lynn Valley Ecology Centre

Presented by the Westcoast Society for the Protection of Reptiles. Visit with reptiles from around the world and get a peek into their fascinating lives. Suggested donation $2 per person or $5 per family.Plan to arrive early as space is limited and on a first come basis.

http://www.lynncanyonecologycentre.ca/Gen_public_children.html

March 18

1-2:30 p.m.  NatureKids – Stream Sleuth, Lynn Valley Ecology Centre

Register at eventbrite

What can streams and rivers tell us about the health of our local environment? Visit a small stream to search for aquatic insects and learn how to protect your local streams.

About NatureKids

Are your children inspired by nature? Take part in the NatureKids programs and soak up nature knowledge. To take part in the NatureKids programs you must become a member of NatureKids BC www.naturekidsbc.ca.

March 19-21,

9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Wildlife Week Mini Camp  — Nature Investigators, Lynn Valley Ecology Centre

Come and be a ‘nature detective’ as you spot the signs of spring in Lynn Canyon Park. Learn about tracking, uncover the hidden habitats of animals, play games, and create nature crafts as we ramble along the forest trails. For children ages 5 to 8. Cost: $68 Register at 604-990-3755

http://www.lynncanyonecologycentre.ca/Gen_public_children.html

March 20

beaver1:30 p.m. Leave It To Beavers! Lynn Valley Ecology Centre

Presented by the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals. Discover why our national animal is also an ecological superhero. Suggested donation $2 per person or $5 per family. Plan to arrive early as space is limited and on a first come basis.

http://www.lynncanyonecologycentre.ca/Gen_public_children.html

3-4 p.m. Kids Knit Lynn Valley Library

Do you want to learn how to knit? Do you want to practice your knitting with others? This is your chance! Bring your favourite grown-up knitting buddy and join us for a cozy afternoon of knitting. Some supplies will be provided. Adults are asked to please stay and participate with their children. Ages 6 +.  

March 21

10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Spring Break Family Dance Party, Lynn Valley Library

Come shake your sillies out and wiggle your waggles away at our family dance party. Half an hour of music, dancing and fun! No registration required.

March 26-28

9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Wildlife Week Mini Camp  — Buzz, Wriggle, and Crawl, Lynn Valley Ecology Centre

Creepy crawlies don’t need to be creepy! Watch worms and woodbugs, grow food for bees, and learn about the amazing superpowers of the tiny inhabitants of Lynn Canyon Park.For children ages 5 to 8. Cost: $68 Register at 604-990-3755

http://www.lynncanyonecologycentre.ca/Gen_public_children.html

March 22

10:30-11:30 a.m. Spring Break Baby Party, Lynn Valley Library

The library loves babies! Join us to sing along with songs and rhymes, visit our baby photo booth, and play fun games. This is a great chance to meet other families in the neighbourhood and get your baby their very first library card! Drop in. Recommended for ages 0-2

Shows at 10:30 & 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Coyote – A Trickster’s Tale, Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre.

Presented by the Ecology Centre Black Light Puppeteers. The boastful coyote pays a price when he takes on the raven king. Suggested donation $2 per person or $5 per family. Plan to arrive early as space is limited and on a first come basis.

http://www.lynncanyonecologycentre.ca/Gen_public_children.html

2-4 p.m. Spring Break Lego Drop In, Lynn Valley Library

Do you love Lego? We do! Join us for an afternoon of Lego building and creativity. No registration required. Recommended for ages 4-12.

March 23

1:30 p.m. B.C.’s Incredible Wildlife, Lynn Valley Ecology Centre

Presented by the Northwest Wildlife Preservation Society. Learn about beautiful BC’s unique habitats and incredible wildlife. Suggested donation $2 per person or $5 per family. Plan to arrive early as space is limited and on a first come basis.

http://www.lynncanyonecologycentre.ca/Gen_public_children.html

March 26

1 p.m. Birds of Prey, Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre

Presented by OWL Rescue. Learn about OWL’s work saving injured raptors and meet an owl and a hawk. Suggested donation $2 per person or $5 per family. Plan to arrive early as space is limited and on a first come basis. http://www.lynncanyonecologycentre.ca/Gen_public_children.html

March 27

Mason Bee

10:30 a.m. Mason Bees, Lynn Valley Ecology Centre

Presented by Taren Urquhart. Attract friendly mason bees to your garden by making them a bee house. Suggested donation $2 per person or $5 per family. Plan to arrive early as space is limited and on a first come basis. http://www.lynncanyonecologycentre.ca/Gen_public_children.html

March 29

10-11 a.m. Spring Break Family Stories and Fun, Lynn Valley Library

A Spring Break session of Family Stories and Fun!  Children of all ages are invited to enjoy a Saturday morning of stories and fun at the library. There will be stories, rhymes and songs for the whole family. Drop in.

10:30 a.m. Bear Aware, Lynn Valley Ecology

Presented by the North Shore Black Bear Network. Learn how to stay safe and get along with our black bear neighbours. Suggested donation $2 per person or $5 per family. Plan to arrive early as space is limited and on a first come basis.

http://www.lynncanyonecologycentre.ca/Gen_public_children.html

2-4 p.m. Spring Break Lego Drop In, Lynn Valley Library

Do you love Lego? We do! Join us for an afternoon of Lego building and creativity. No registration required. Recommended for ages 4-12.

March 31

10-11 a.m. Spring Break Family Stories and Fun, Lynn Valley Library

Join us for a Spring Break session of Family Stories and Fun! Children of all ages are invited to enjoy a Saturday morning of stories and fun at the library. There will be stories, rhymes and songs for the whole family. Drop in.

How a local playground fell victim to class size and composition

Lynn Valley Playground Looking for Donations and Sponsors

Lynn Valley Elementary PAC President Kyla Shore

When the courts reversed the province’s right to impose class sizes without negotiating with teachers, many parents let out a sigh of relief. More teachers, smaller classes — it seems win-win. As the North Vancouver School District struggled to conform to the changes, one local school’s playground became an unfortunate victim in the shuffle – and they hope you can help.

“Last summer the district added two portables to our school,” said Kyla Shore, president of the Lynn Valley Elementary Parent Advisory Committee. “The only space to put them was where our swings used to be.”

In August out went the swings, in went two temporary portables.


Another hurdle for playground committee


Unlike most other schools in the community, Lynn Valley Elementary has little more than pavement and gravel, said Shore. There aren’t any natural spaces. This prompted parents more than five years ago to start a committee to revamp the area with more natural features and improved playspaces. The process of fundraising and planning began. In the meantime, almost 100 students were added to the school.

Swings are the number one feature students requested in a poll the PAC did three years ago to help guide playground plans. At the time Lynn Valley Elementary had three swings and one accessible swing.

Today there are zero.

“[The school district] took out the swings with our hope being that they would move them,” said Shore. “When they were taken out there was significant corrosion so they couldn’t be reused. Once they were out of the ground it became our cost to replace them.”

This began a process of assessing school yard space, consulting with other community users and construction.

“The [school] district has been very helpful over the last few months,” said Shore. “They had to talk to groups they have agreements with for field use. They ended up removing two goal posts and changing the fields.”

This has freed up some of the gravel to be returned to a playspace.

“We would also like to see paths, boulders, logs, trees to reflect the natural beauty of the North Shore. Something that kids can use during school and after,” said Shore.

The first step is to replace the swings and add a few features to physically engage students. This is a chance to make the space better, more accessible and to allow more students to play at the same time, said Shore.

“We are going to install eight swings and two disc swings that can be used by more than one student or by a child with special needs,” said Shore, adding the first phase will also include horizontal bars, plus all the framing and fill needed for safety requirements.


Adopt a Piece of the Playground


The Lynn Valley PAC is hoping the community will help. To take advantage of available timelines from the school district they have temporarily reassigned funds from other projects to cover costs and is hoping families and community members will sponsor a piece of equipment to finish off the project, said Shore.

“We know most people maybe can’t afford a swing ($500), but maybe they can sponsor a wheelbarrow of wood chips ($25) or post ($100),” she said. “A lot of money we raise goes to things the community don’t usually get to see – like technology in the classroom, or field trips, or special guests. This is something where you will see the impact every day and for years to come.”

As a registered charity, the PAC is able to issue receipts for donations of more than $25 or offer public recognition to donors. More details and how to donate are on the PAC’s website.

 

(Photos courtesy of Lynn Valley Elementary PAC)