The Vancouver Foundation and SFU Public Square are hosting the 1st Annual Inaugural Community Summit next week and I am looking forward to hearing some inspiring ideas of how to make community connections in a world where people are more and more becoming disconnected to their neighbours and neighbourhoods!

As part of the Summit, I will be attending the "Mayors Roundtable on Community" on behalf of Mayor Anderson and the Village of Anmore as Mayor Anderson has a prior commitment.  Mayors and council will use this roundtable to discuss municipal strategies for strengthening community bonds, increasing residents’ sense of belonging, and building more vibrant and resilient communities.

For those interested in attending an event at this week long Community Summit, you can find more details here: http://www.sfu.ca/publicsquare/community-summit.html .

From their website: The Community Summit is an annual gathering convened by the SFU Public Square that focuses on a local or international issue of public concern.  The Community Summit creates the space for citizens to come together to jointly research, discuss, identify solutions and take action on emerging and relevant issues. The SFU Public Square works collaboratively with community partners from across the region to build upon their work, support their efforts and amplify their reach and impact.

Our little community of Anmore is celebrating 25 years since incorporation this year.  What's amazing to realize is that while we are 25 years old as an official Village, we have homesteading families that have been in Anmore for almost 100 years. 

The valley of Anmore was first homesteaded in 1914 with parcels of land  going for $5 per acre!  Several of the original homesteading families stayed in Anmore and their children and grandchildren are here today to carry on their legacy.  These families include the Spence's, the Sparks, the Leggit's, the Lazure's and a few more that we are uncovering as we dig deep into our archives.

As a way to celebrate our history, the Village of Anmore has begun archiving family stories  from as far back as 100 years ago, to more recent family stories in a video archive project.  So far we have 2 stories of local families and we look forward to many more.  It's heartwarming to hear from locals about the old Anmore and how much this place is a part of their history.  As a resident of only 9 years, I look forward to the day our family can look back on the history of Anmore in such a personal way.

Here are the stories of the Spence family and the Sparks family. Enjoy!  I will post more as they become available.

Ravenswood connected to Anmore Elementary.
The BC government recently announced a $30 million Community Recreation Grant Program developed to addresss the unique challenges faced by communities in the Province with respect to meeting their recreational infrastructure needs.

The concept of the program is to invest in local government capital projects that make communities healthier, more active places in which to live.  Grant programs like this are an important funding source that can assist our Village in improving our infrastructure and the overall livability of our community.  

In Anmore, we have some amazing outdoor opportunities for recreation, but some of the infrastructure needed to enhance those opportunities or provide more universal access are just not there yet.  After years of planning, we now have a tennis court located at Anmore Elementary School and have recently installed play equipment in our local Anmore Spirit Park.  Both of these items are infrastructure improvements that benefit residents and encourage us to live healthier more active lives.  We've also had community discussions about a proposed community hall, volleyball courts, and current and future joint use agreements between Anmore and School District 43.  These are all projects that deserve consideration and discussion by our community and might be appropriate projects to seek grant funding for.

Another area that I think needs to be addressed is our community trail network.  How easy it is to travel around a community, is an important factor to consider when discussing community livability... Most of Anmore's current pathways that stretch the length of Sunnyside and East Road were build through volunteer efforts and they have been a wonderful addition to our community.  I would like to see more pathway projects like this in Anmore and community consultation on how we want our pathways and trail networks to develop over the coming years.  In particular I think that our community should look at how we can link neighbourhoods through trail networks that encourage walking and cycling within our Village. 

Whistler is a great example of how long term planning can help develop a successful trail network.  Over 20 years ago a few volunteers started planning how they wanted Whistler connected and in 2011 you can take pedestrian and bike pathways throughout the entire valley area to almost every neighbourhood and recreational area in Whistler. 

How can we apply this model to Anmore.. well we certainly won't have the tourism dollars to contribute to a trail network, but we definitely can apply the idea of long term planning. Anmore has clearly laid out their road networks in our Official Community Plan, but there is little mention of pathway planning. I would like our OCP to clearly outline how we want our current and future community linked for pedestrian and bike traffic within Anmore and to the surrounding communities.  Trail networks and access to both bike and walking paths should be a part of our Official Community plan, just like roadway planning is included in any municipal OCP.  

Outlining a pathways plan in our OCP based on community consultation and thorough input from residents will help us identify funding sources, guide development and provide our municipality with the tools to move forward with a long term plan.

What are your thoughts on pedestrian and bike pathways in Anmore? 

**Above is a great example of a completed pathway that is wide enough to accomodate both walking and cycling traffic and links the Ravenswood Development to the Anmore Elementary School area, Friendly Forest Preschool and our Village tennis courts.  
At 10:20 am on October 20th, get ready to Drop! Cover! and Hold On! as part of The Great British Columbia Shakeout!  This is your chance to practice for the real thing, so find a safe place, drop, get cover and hold on!  Drill starts at 10:20!

**Our Village Hall is the central point for an emergency such as a large scale earthquake.  Many assume it would be the elementary school, but that is not correct.  Be sure to discuss your emergency safety plan with your family and get everyone on the same page.