Saturday, May 7, marks the return of community events to Lynn Valley as the Outdoor Safety and Emergency Preparedness Open House comes to Argyle Secondary School and Lynn Valley Park from 11 am-2 pm. From helicopters to search and rescue dogs, from food trucks to instructional workshops, the family event aims to bring the community together and make it a little safer.
Education and engagement
“We are so excited to welcome the community again,” said Lisa Dalla Vecchia, communications manager for SD44. “We provide education to K to 12 students but we have a strong connection to the community. We always think of what we can do, and this builds on our partnership with North Shore Rescue.”
Last year SD44 and North Shore Rescue worked together to bring local families a “Survive your own adventure” interactive video. Building on that success, coupled with the lack of engagement opportunities during the pandemic, the idea of a community event was born. The small team, Dalla Vecchia, Adam Baumann, director of instruction, and Maddy Phillips, communications assistant, have been working for months with the previous Superintendent Mark Pearmain, Acting Superintendent Syliva Russell, Argyle staff, the DNV, and numerous organizations to kick-off endemic community events again.
“We are craving connection,” said Dalla Vecchia. “Some of the events of the past few years – wildfires, floods – have raised interest in emergency preparedness. Lynn Valley is a tight community. Since its launch, we have viewed Argyle Secondary as a community asset and we are excited to welcome the public.“
Helicopters, boats and booths
One of the biggest draws for families – besides education booths – will be access to a variety of rescue vehicles – land, sea and air – available for up-close interaction.
“Just before the event begins at 11 am, North Shore Rescue’s helicopter will be landing at Lynn Valley Park,” said Dalla Vecchia. As the helicopter arrives and departs there will be very temporary traffic and pedestrian control.
There will be much more to see at Argyle. North Shore Rescue is planning to bring most of its fleet, along with a boat from the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, a ladder truck for CNV Fire Department, and the wildfire resources from the DNV Fire Rescue Service, said Dalla Vecchia.
With limited parking at Argyle’s upper lot, Lynn Valley Elementary and St. Clement’s Anglican Church. Visitors are encouraged to take advantage of the free bike valet at Argyle or walk to the event.
Fourteen community organizations will be onsite with education booths covering everything from earthquakes to community biking. There will be opportunities to ask questions, participate in interactive exhibits and perhaps take home some knowledge or a prize or two.
Six organizations are also offering educational workshops for pre-registered participants.
“The workshops will take place inside Argyle,” said Dalla Vecchia. “It is a fully accessible school. There are still some workshop spaces available and we have been able to add a few more spaces for North Shore Rescue presentations that had been ‘sold out.’”
The DNV Fire and Rescue Services presentations on protecting, preventing, and preparing for wildfires, and the North Shore Black Bear Society’s cohabitating with bears presentations will be especially relevant to residents of Lynn Valley.
“NSEM is truly excited to join the North Vancouver School District for this amazing family event and to celebrate Emergency Preparedness Week,” said Emily Dicken, director, North Shore Emergency Management. There’s never been a better time to ‘get prepared’! Our staff and volunteers will be there, eager to answer all questions, and help attendees give our prize wheel a spin.”
Fun and food
Conscious of creating a family experience the Girl Guides will be offering crafts for kids – and selling their cookies! There will also be four food trucks on-site to keep tummies full. Another family highlight will be a chance to meet the working dogs of North Shore Rescue.
“A thank you to the community and residents for their support. We hope people come, have fun and learn something.”
The Outdoor Safety and Emergency Preparedness Open House takes place Saturday, May 7 at Argyle Secondary School, 1131 Frederick Road, from 11 am-2 pm. For more information or to register for presentations visit the event webpage.