January 2020 began, as most years do, with hope. Here in Alberta, positive steps were being taken to rejuvenate the economy with some concept that we could collectively stumble forward. Then, whispers of the unknown cast the world into uncertainty and, ultimately, in March there was a new word in our vocabulary and in the life of the whole world. The Pandemic has changed many aspects of what we do and how we do it, yet there remains that thread of the human timeline that is especially poignant in the last month of each year, as we review the immediate past seasons and prepare for the incoming New Year. This is true whether you celebrate the 8 days of Hanukkah (10th), The Winter Solstice itself (21st), Christmas (25th), the 7 days of Kwanzaa (26th), or simply anoint your waffles on National Maple Syrup Day (17th). We pause our usual routines to celebrate the best of the years’ harvest, reconnect with family and friends, and collectively batten down the hatches to begin again. Speaking as the President of an exceptional Board, and on behalf of ECA’s dedicated Staff and our many volunteers; we wish all Edgemont residents a safe and rewarding holiday season!
Here at the ECA, there are some notable events to reflect upon. Most pervasive in its effects was the full closure, re-tooling and re-equipping of the ECC to meet COVID-19 responses. There has to be a prize for the most effective reorganization of a community centre and it goes to Director Rick Wierzbicki (Mr. COVID, for our ECC) and our Staff. I would consider it a success if the Edgemont community acknowledged that, like so many other public service organizations, our ECC staff are frontline workers keeping the doors open during an uncertain and volatile period. Not only has the Staff met the test of closing and re-opening our facility, they have adapted to resume the additional impacts of the Edgemont Elementary School re-opening; using ECC spaces during the school day. Unfortunately, there were some COVID-19 cases linked to ECC and the School. Reassuringly, a visit by an AHS representative found our sanitizing methods and distancing protocols to be effective. High praise for our Staff and the work they do!
Another notable event, with very broad implications for our community is the five year (quinquennial, I checked!) vote to re-affirm the Enhanced Landscape Management (ELM) program and the $84 per year it adds to our property tax. On a breezy, but unseasonably warm day before Halloween, a total of 470 residents voted 90 % in favour of the beautification of Edgemont. What many may not know is that ELM works to constantly improve the infrastructure of the community, as well as the decorative side of the equation. The dedicated volunteers of ELM, led by Director Jo-Ann Wither, can take a well-deserved bow for the work of the past five years and look forward to, after the City Council likely ratifies the vote next March, to building on the remarkable success of ELM!
Our magnificent, but aging, ECC was discovered to have an underlying skin condition and exploratory surgery is underway. This has been written about in past editions so, suffice it to say that a Grant from the City is in place to have a review of the ‘envelope’ and the required work will likely take place in the summer of 2021 to resolve the issues. The best news is that the interior of the ECC has been unaffected and the ECC can operate fully, within the restraints of COVID-19.
This edition of Inside Edgemont contains part 3 of a total of 4 sections celebrating 20 of our dedicated volunteers. It must be stressed that there was real work in winnowing that number down to 20! Not-for-profit Boards like the ECA are charged to organize and give operating and financial structure to the initiatives in our community, but it is the actual work of many volunteers that truly breathes life into those plans which touch every member of our community.
As I write this note, in early November, the ECA is about to resume the annual budgetary process for our 2021 year. I am sure every reader can sense the excitement that builds around this special event that is the fiscal high point we so anticipate! Our able and good-humoured Treasurer, Terry Meiyeppen, is ramping up to find the needs and wants of our teams to create a budget that the Board can get behind. As always, it is the budget that is the fun part (tongue firmly in cheek); it is the ‘fiscal responsibility’ piece that leads to tears. Watch this newsletter and our website, Edgemont.ab.ca, for Requests for Proposals (RFP’s) as our budgetary process comes to fruition!
And, finally, great news that ECA’s Communications Committee, chaired by Elspeth Kirk, is at last able to embark on the redesign of the ECA Website. Director Anil Garg helped a committee winnow a number of website developers down and select BluBrown Communications, a local company, to develop our site. This is long overdue and expected to dramatically increase the interaction between the ECA and the community.