Community Leagues and the spaces they steward act as community hubs throughout Edmonton, and at the heart of those hubs are volunteers. Over the course of my term, I have heard growing frustration around the red-tape associated with completing community projects and the parkland change process. As a result, many of these volunteers have reached the point of giving up on these community projects, which is why I made a motion at Council directing Administration to complete the following:
- A detailed outline of the process in which Community Leagues must go through to apply for grant funding and to complete a community project, as well as the City of Edmonton supports (internal and/or external) provided to Community Leagues when they are applying for grant funding and completing a community project
- Options to engage with Community Leagues to work towards developing a more volunteer friendly approach to applying for grant funding and completing a community project aimed making the process more citizen/volunteer friendly.
I want to understand the pitfalls that community leagues must go through to complete community projects. We need a simpler strategy to allow us to create a more volunteer friendly approach to applying for grant funding and completing a community project. We need to make the process more citizen/volunteer friendly. It is my goal that by lessening red tape, we will encourage volunteers and citizens alike to take on projects that ultimately benefit their communities.
Additionally, for newly built neighbourhoods like Callaghan, funding playground development takes years of community effort to obtain the necessary funding needed to build a community playground. Funding this type of infrastructure should not fall on the backs of hard-working volunteers. The developers of these neighbourhoods should be footing the bill. Currently, there are limited rules as to what developers are required to build in the neighbourhoods they develop when it comes to recreational amenities. Next term, I will look to explore how we as a City can ensure that when new neighbourhoods are built in Edmonton, recreational opportunities and community gathering spaces are a requirement when the zoning for a new neighbourhood is approved at Council, thereby taking the pressure off of community volunteers.