Archive for June, 2015

25 Easy Ways to Green Our Community This Summer

Friday, June 19th, 2015

25 Easy Ways to Green Our Community This Summer | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County real estate | Barry TwynamWhether you have just a few minutes or are planning a large community project, every action can have a positive impact when it comes to greening our communities of Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or Edmonton. To help you get started this summer, and in celebration of its 25th anniversary, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation is sharing 25 easy ways to green where you live.

1. Volunteer for community greening projects
2. Pick up garbage at a local park
3. Volunteer at a community garden (or start one in Spruce Grove or Stony Plain)
4. Help build or teach at an outdoor classroom
5. Plant a tree (or many trees) that are native to our region
6. Put up a bird feeder or plant a butterfly garden
7. Plan a local shoreline cleanup
8. Host an eco-friendly party using biodegradable cutlery and food from local sources (Remember that Spruce Grove will help you host a Block Party.)
9. Walk, bike or take public transit instead of driving
10. Participate in your community’s recycling program
11. Upcycle old or out of date items around the home
12. Compost leftover food waste
13. Donate proceeds from a garage sale to local greening projects or your TD FEF chapter (tdfef.com)
14. Use organic fertilizer on your lawn
15. Collect rainwater and use it for your plants
16. Get a push mower for your lawn
17. Water your lawn deeply only once or twice a week
18. Participate in Meatless Monday
19. Learn about invasive species of plants and help with their removal
20. Add raised planters or container gardens to help green a paved play space
21. Start a “friends of” club to help protect your local parks and green spaces
22. Make sure to properly dispose of items like batteries and paint
23. Organize a carpool to work, school or day-camp
24. Create an adopt-a-tree program in your community
25. Use more natural cleaning products in your home

Donating and volunteering with an environmental organization can make a big difference. TD Friends of the Environment Foundation uses 100 per cent of funds donated to directly support local environmental projects. Since 1990, over $70 million has been raised to support more than 23,000 community initiatives. To learn about volunteering opportunities to help green where you live, visit www.tdtreedays.com.

What are your favorite ways of helping the environment?  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

(Most of the content of this article courtesy of www.newscanada.com)

YouCanRide2: A Great Way to Help Kids

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

I’ve written before about some of my activities with the Rotary Club of Spruce Grove. I enjoy helping other people, and I find that this club allows me to get involved in causes I might not have otherwise been aware of.

Recently, Spruce Grove Rotarians were asked to volunteer in support of a local organization called YouCanRide2.  This organization held an event a few months ago at Broxton Park School in Spruce Grove that was both rewarding and inspiring.

You Can Ride 2 | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamYouCanRide2 adapts bicycles for kids with special needs and teaches them to ride. These kids suffer from conditions such as Down syndrome, spina bifida, cerebral palsy and autism. In some cases, these kids may never walk, but they can be taught to ride a bike. This one thing can have a major impact on these children and their families, bringing mobility to children who may have never experienced it before, and improved mental health to the most vulnerable in our community.

At the heart of YouCanRide2 are 3 pediatric physiotherapists: Janine Halayko, Melanie Harris, and Trent Magis. These three core people coordinate the large team of dedicated volunteers needed to run the “Borrow a Bike” program. The need for this program became evident when Janine was working with a child with cerebral palsy to teach him how to ride a bike. After 8 months of effort, and trial and error, she realized that no ordinary bike even with adaptations would do. The $3000 bike this child needed to be independent was far too expensive for the family, and could not be covered by any other agency. With the support of the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters Society and Trent’s help, the idea for the “Borrow a Bike” program was born.

You Can Ride 2 | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamThis story is not just about the children and families who are helped. It is about determination and volunteerism. Determination happens when everyone around you tells you what you are trying to do is too difficult to accomplish. And this is also about volunteerism – on steroids! Two of YouCanRide2’s core people are working moms with 3 children each of their own. Yet, they can volunteer 20-30 hours a week supporting this cause, and inspiring and leading dozens of other volunteers to help needy children.

YouCanRide2 is unique to Alberta and probably unique to all of Canada. Some of the bikes are donated, but they still require adapting to a specific child’s needs. For some of the more severely challenged, specialized bikes can run as high as $5000. Money is also needed for storage and transport of the bikes. This year, the goal of YouCanRide2 is to adapt 100 bikes for kids in the Edmonton area.

At the Rotary Club’s annual Lobsterfest, held this year on May 30, 2015, I made a video appeal for funding for this worthwhile organization, and I am delighted to report that the astounding sum of $91,000 was raised! I am overwhelmed by the compassion and generosity of Spruce Grove and area residents, and I know that YouCanRide2 will be able to do so much good with the money.

If you would like to contribute money, bikes that could be adapted, or expertise, please contact me, or get in touch with YouCanRide2 directly through their website.  Believe me, you’ll feel good for helping out!

Can you help? Please call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

(Photos used in this post are from You Can Ride Two’s website at http://www.youcanridetwo.ca/)

 

Barry Twynam, Realty Executives Leading
#1 14 McLeod Avenue, Spruce Grove, Alberta, T7X 3X3
Tel: 780-962-9696 Cell: 780-910-9669 Fax: 780-962-9699
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