Submitted by Lorne Cutler –
Since our last AGM, Hampton Iona Community Group (HICG) has been very active, focusing on local development issues, community engagement and a number of activities associated with Iona Park.
This year our community skating rink opened earlier than ever. Due, however, to challenges with the weather and our local park trailer, we did not hold our annual winter event but are planning a number of events for this spring. Thanks to our rink volunteers and attendants for maintaining the rink through the season. One of our newest board members, Sjors Reijers, stepped up as assistant rink manager. Unfortunately, this was the second year that we have had problems with mold in the trailer. The trailer had to be completely gutted and rebuilt and could not be re-opened until the City could confirm that the air quality was safe in late January. This limited supervised skating hours.
A number of gardening and yoga events were held in Iona Park this year thanks to the energy and leadership of Eileen Hunt and Marg Hillier. In conjunction with Ottawa Garden Days, we hosted a garden working bee where volunteers built a border around our garden and planted new flowers. In the fall, we had a tulip-planting day featuring the yellow World Peace Tulip. Volunteers received small bags of tulips to take home. On April 22, 2018 (Earth Day), we will be participating in Clean Up the Park. Please join us. See the HICG website hamptioniona.ca for details.
We continue to work with the Federation of Citizens’ Associations (FCA) and in January our association co-hosted for the first time a meeting of the FCA in our area. A number of local residents attended. HIGC also developed a basic guide to assist organizations in preparing all-candidate debates.
In October, we held a highly successful forum with Councillor Leiper to discuss the future of our ward organized by Judith Shane and Ken Hoffman. The major development approved for our area is the new rental building behind the Loblaws Superstore. Feelings were mixed among residents. Based on mixed feedback from the community, our comments at Planning dealt more with the planning process than the actual developments being approved. That being said, the development of the Convent site continues to be challenging and uncertain. We are watching this closely!
I would like to thank our dedicated board members who have served our community well over the past year: Marg Hillier, Ken Hoffman, Grant McSheffrey, Judith Shane, Mira Svoboda, Joey Drouin, Eileen Hunt and Sjors Reijers.
On Wednesday April 11 at 7 p.m. we will be holding our AGM in the Community Kitchen (2nd floor) at the Superstore on Richmond Road. At our meeting we will be looking for approval for spending on some park improvement projects as well as making a few minor amendments to update our constitution.
We are always looking for new volunteers. From organizing social and gardening events and all-candidate debates to development issues, there is a wide range of issues for which we need volunteers. We have also been exploring various options for a community garden. We also need to replace our old constitution with more modern bylaws consistent with the incoming Ontario Not-For-Profit Corporation Act.
As per our rules regarding elections, anyone interested in running for an executive position (President, Vice-President, Treasurer or Secretary) must submit their names by March 28 so that candidates can prepare for an election. All are welcome to join our board the night of the AGM. For general inquiries about the AGM, please go to hamptioniona.ca.
Lorne Cutler is the president of the Hampton Iona Community Group.