THUNDER BAY – Linda Bruins and the Evergreen Neighbourhood are celebrating the group’s first anniversary of the neighbourhood walking club. Over the past year, neighbours have come together to meet and walk. It is an amazing means of getting neighbourhoods together, and making a positive difference in our community.
Under Linda’s leadership, the neighbourhood walk, and the SportsNmore at Minnesota Park on Wednesday nights are helping to transform the neighbourhood in a positive way. Add in the community garden and what is happening is making the neighbourhood a better place.
The next steps are coming, as long as City Council sees the need and the vision that Bruins and her growing group are offering. The group now seeks to take over the former motorcycle gang clubhouse and convert it to a Community Centre. It is a worthy vision.
Here is what Evergreen – A United Neighbourhood does:
- Identifies the neighbourhood priorities and represents the residents of the Simpson and Ogden area;
- Works with partner organizations in the entire community to make effective changes;
- Develops the capacity and skills of the members of the Simpson and Ogden community so that they are better able to identify and help meet the needs of the community;
- Provides opportunities that otherwise would not be available, to learn through experience and to involve members in collective efforts
- Offers an evening walking club for exercise and meeting neighbours;
- Offers a weekly sports drop in night at Minnesota Park.
While in many cases, such an opportunity would be fully embraced, in Thunder Bay it is often the case that some people seem to fear change. Some residents in the area are worried over increased traffic and issues with parking in the area.
One might wonder if those seemingly opposed would prefer a return of the former inhabitants of the building? Putting in a community centre in the area would provide a beacon for young people in the neighbourhood, and provide a place where positive efforts and energy can result in a much better neighbourhood.
All that anyone should do is look at Minnesota Park. The efforts of Evergreen – A United Neighbourhood have led to a cleaner and safer park, the problems with needles in the park as vanished. The time young people spend with positive role models as a part of the Evergreen efforts are going to continue to make a difference.
On Monday, Thunder Bay City Council will have the opportunity to share in the positive effort and vision of Thunder Bay’s future and support the efforts of Evergreen. It is an obvious no-brainer.
Lets hope Councillors are able to support that vision.