Community Gardens

One of my favourite times of year is spring, it brings everyone out of their houses after a long winter. Neighbourhoods come alive again with outdoor events, children playing and neighbours chatting together. For some, it may be their first summer in Edmonton, something that we have all come to love, for others, it might be the first time spending summer in their new neighbourhood, but for everyone, it’s a time that we can celebrate community. Just as people come out of their houses, so plants begin to make their way out of the soil. In Edmonton, we are fortunate to have many wonderful community gardens that bring people together with a common goal of growing food and meeting others.

Community gardens and urban agriculture can provide many benefits, including family-friendly recreation opportunities, beautification of neighbourhoods, increased availability of healthy food, and community/relationship building. These connections help neighbours get to know one another, which increases the safety and wellbeing of the community by increasing awareness of your neighbourhood. And the reality is that gardening can be a fun activity that is family friendly and can help teach children the benefit of growing healthy and delicious food.

Community gardens are one way to help residents reduce the impact of neighbourhoods that have little-to-no access to stores and restaurants that provide healthy and affordable food options.

In Edmonton, we currently have 80 community garden sites that are led and operated by community groups and leagues. Some great Ward 2 options include:


Inglewood (Blue Gecko) Garden
Dovercourt Community Garden
Griesbach Community Garden

I recognize that some neighbourhoods may not have an established community garden. Thankfully Sustainable Food Edmonton, a local non-profit, and the City of Edmonton, has resources for individuals and leagues to start their own garden.  


As you plant your garden remember, the more you sow into your community the more you will reap the reward of friendships with neighbours that will last many seasons.

My thoughts on Residential Speed Limits

There has been all kinds of discussion surrounding what to do with residential speed limits, its coming back to Council on May 14th.  Making our City safe is a priority, but I recognize and have heard from many that whatever we do it needs to be simple, consistent, cost effective and that we need to …

Vision Zero

A few years ago we realized as a City that we needed to take action to ensure that no matter which way that individuals and families use the road, or interact with it, they know that they will be safe. We unanimously decided as a Council to implement Vision Zero. The Vision Zero program involves many areas working together to achieve the goal of zero traffic fatalities by 2032.

In 2018, the City installed pedestrian scrambles at busy intersections on Jasper Avenue, on Whyte Avenue, and around Ice District. We added 65 feedback signs informing drivers to stay within the speed limit, which now totals 215 across Edmonton. We invested in rapid flashing beacons, zebra crosswalks, reflective pole wraps, and no-left-turn signs for 27 schools areas. We improved signals at 19 pedestrians crossings and made existing traffic signals easier to see at 12 other intersections.

And it’s working.

By The Numbers

Collision data over a three-year period, from 2015 before Vision Zero was launched to 2018, showed a 41% decline in traffic fatalities and a 17% decline in serious injuries, even though the number of vehicles on the road has increased. As well, we saw collisions involving vulnerable road users including pedestrians decline by 21%, cyclists by 27%, and motorcycles by 31%.

But Vision Zero is more than just flashing amber lights and speed limit signs. It is an attitude and a value system that guides the way we live in Edmonton. It is the belief that life and health should never be exchanged for convenience, that we need to put safety first. It is the belief that everyone deserves to leave and come home safely every day. It is belief every single Edmontonian can adapt and contribute. When you slow down at a playground zone, stop at the pedestrian crossing, encourage your peers to drive to conditions, ensure the road is safe before crossing, you contribute to Vision Zero.

Let’s continue succeeding together.

Waste Management Changes

Do you ever think of waste? As individuals it’s important that we do all that we can to reduce the waste that we create, and as a municipality it’s important that we keep pushing for a better waste management system. This is why we are rethinking the way we approach how household waste is sorted and managed. Since January of 2018 the City has been hosting public engagement throughout the City and what we have heard time and again is that people want to do their part in reducing waste. Many feel that participation is the right thing to do to bring change however, we have also heard that the less complicated the system, the better.

We are heading into our next round of engagement and we would like to have your thoughts and perspectives on specific topics such as cart sizes, recycling, waste reduction and more, even if this is your first time participating in discussions. For in person engagement head to the Telus World of Science on April 6 11am-2pm, or go to edmonton.ca/futureofwaste to fill out the survey online and to get more information.

Part of our goal as a City is to try things out on a smaller scale to work out kinks before making final decisions on big changes. That’s why on April 15, 8,000 homes across 13 neighbourhoods will begin testing out various garbage cart options as a pilot program. In Ward 2 Kensington has been selected as the pilot community.

The Edmonton Cart Rollout will help inform the 25-year waste strategy for Edmonton and ensure that we get user feedback so that the system can be refined and implemented well. If you live in Kensington or are interested in how the pilot will work there will be a drop in session hosted on April 4 from 4-7pm at Kensington Community Hall.

If you’re looking for a way that you can help reduce waste before we switch to a new system, composting is a great option. Composting is the most effective way the average household can reduce their waste. It is a great soil conditioner that can help your gardens, grass and trees grow. If you’re not sure where to start the City puts on some workshops throughout the summer called Compost ‘S cool, you can register here.

Good neighbours

As the snow continues to fall, the days get shorter and the Christmas trees go up, it’s a reminder to me that winter is here, and it’s here to stay. For me the change of season brings with it a sense of excited anticipation; of spending time with family, having my grandchildren help me decorate and buying gifts for loved ones. It’s also the time of year that reminds me of all the changes that winter brings.

Edmonton is a winter City, the results of which affect many parts of our lives, one of the biggest being winter driving. As a Vision Zero City we have a goal of reducing traffic fatalities to zero, it’s important to remember that no matter how good of a job our road crews do clearing our streets, areas still remain slippery. Giving yourself a few extra minutes to drive to wherever your day leads can eliminate many traffic problems, and help protect our vulnerable road users such as children and the elderly.

Winter also brings with it the Holiday season. It’s a time of giving gifts and celebrating the warmth of family and friends. However not all Edmontonians have the same experience over Christmas, there are many individuals and families who can’t make ends meet and will not be able to afford gifts or a Christmas meal. The food bank is a wonderful organisation in our City that aims to provide anyone in need with essentials. This year their goal is to raise 350,000 kilograms of food and $1.8 million between now and January 11, 2019.

We have a lot to be thankful for and as we get into the season of giving lets do all that we can to lend our neighbours a helping hand. Many longtime Edmontonians in our neighbourhoods may need help shoveling and clearing ice, but very few will ask for help. The best way to help is by asking if they need a hand. There are also some resources for those looking for help at edmonton.ca/snowangels

This time of the year may be cold outside, but the way that so many Edmontonians give makes our City such a warm place to be in the winter.