Published on June 8, 2022
St. Albert Welcomes Back Block Parties and Introduces Play Street to the City!
St. Albert has always prided itself on a strong sense of community, building deep relationships with neighbours, and keeping our blocks comfortable and safe. Below, Lacombe Park resident and registered Neighbourhood Connector, Brittany Wyllie, shares her experience with truly getting to know her neighbours and tells us what it means to be an engaged resident:
Brittany moved to Lacombe Park eight years ago, bringing alongside her a childhood value of knowing one’s neighbours. Pre-pandemic, Brittany organized block parties to get to know her neighbours better than saying the occasional “hello” when passing by someone.
Going door-to-door to deliver invitations was a great way for her to meet with neighbours she otherwise would not have met, gathering contact information to keep in touch. This year, Brittany’s neighbours jumped at the opportunity to help her with delivering invitations and setting up the event.
As a busy person, she very much appreciated her neighbours’ care, stating, “It’s nice to know I don’t have to do it on my own.” Many in the community are eager to go out and reignite relationships that may have faded over the very difficult past few years.
As a Good Neighbour and a Block Party organizer, Brittany values the benefits of neighbourhood events. Block Parties are a way for Brittany to know her neighbours more intimately than simply knowing the names of the two families next door. As a parent of three, she cites knowing which families have kids and knowing and trusting their parents as an added sense of security for her family.
“I like knowing who’s around. I like knowing who my kids are with and I can be an adult that other parents can trust,” she says.
She recalls times when she and her neighbours would ask and borrow ingredients for baking – made much easier by personally knowing the people around her and forming true friendships with them. Having friendly, reliable neighbours has led to a considerably less stressful environment, saving trips to the grocery store or helping to complete tasks that otherwise would not be possible.
Brittany has gathered many great stories and partaken in many activities with her block after getting to know them.
“I was coming home one day and there was heavy police presence a few doors down. I didn’t want to message them or pry into it at the time, so I checked in with the neighbour at the block party we had shortly after. Turns out, the police were at the wrong house! It was nice to check in and make sure that everyone was okay.”
Not only do her neighbours check in for safety, but they also plan small activities to brighten the mood on the street. She recalls last year’s International Children’s Festival of the Arts.
“Since it was all online, we wanted to do something to get people out.” Her neighbours took to the streets, decorating trees and porches with the iconic rainbow butterfly – illuminating the street and building community in the process.
With many of the challenges of the pandemic behind us, neighbours across St. Albert are excited to meet safely once again. Expect to see many Block Parties hosted by friends and neighbours like Brittany.
Block Parties are an excellent way to connect with the people around you and escape the loneliness of the past few years. This year, the City is also proud to present our brand-new Play Street program, in which neighbours of all ages can connect and enjoy an active and fun time with each other. August 27 also marks the Third Annual Good Neighbour Day; make sure to make the time to celebrate the day with neighbours like Brittany, who make our community a friendlier and more compassionate place to live.
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Last edited: June 8, 2022