Tuesday, October 25, 2011

#92... Join your Community League

Ever been to a community league barbecue? Ours this year had tasty burgers, facepainting and free nerf-like footballs for the kids, music for all ages, a Bouncy Thing, tethered hot air balloon rides, and lots of other activities that I didn't get to take in. It was also THE place to pick up a community league membership at $25 for a family, $15 for singles and $5 for seniors. What a deal!

Here in Edmonton, the benefits of belonging to a community league are many:
  • It's a great place to meet and get to know neighbours. Most leagues offer social activities and events that involve many people from the broader community as well. My hubby and I had a lot of fun learning some Scottish country dances at our community's Robbie Burns party this year.
  • Community leagues plan and offer programs and recreational activities year round. In May, we had the Urban Farmer come and give a session on permiculture for all interested gardeners. The hall was full!
  • League membership gives access to free community swim times at the city's leisure centres and free skates at community rinks, as well as discounts at some tourist attractions. My girls love those community swims! And with the rink only two blocks away, we skate more than we used to before we were members.
  • Many community leagues participate in Neighbourhood Watch and other safety programs that offer tips for homeowners.
  • Through community leagues, many public use facilities have been constructed and maintained, and community members have been able to offer important input toward the planning of parks, green spaces, and local developments. Our community is currently redoing its green space. Last year a new playground was installed, and next year we hope to have a spray park, which is a perfect thing on a hot summer day!
  • Some communities offer hall rental privileges, which can come in handy if you want to hold a party for 100, as one of my neighbours did for a recent 50th anniversary.
  • A number of Edmonton community leagues offer Reuse Fairs, Rummage Sales, Community Gardens and other ways that we can be more self-reliant and less wasteful.
Before our community league hosted a yearly barbecue to sell memberships, I used to go door-to-door to offer them to neighbours. Inevitably, I would run into a new neighbour and give them the spiel about all the benefits of being a community league member. Some would buy in immediately, and others I would encourage by saying, "If you buy this membership, you don't HAVE to do anything I just mentioned, but you are supporting your community's ability to offer all these great opportunities."

That's the beauty of community. If we're too busy to be really involved, there are others to take up the slack. Being part of a larger group makes it easier to live more simply without having to individually buy all our solutions. Even a silent presence at some community events can be seen as a form of support.

If there's no such thing as a community league where you are, I'd encourage you to connect with your community through different events or activities, or just by getting to know a few neighbours. We never know when those community connections will benefit us, or others.

P.S. Looking for more Simple Suggestions? Try here.

1 comment:

  1. Community Leagues are one of the coolest things about this amazing city of ours:)


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