Archive for the ‘Spruce Grove’ Category

Winterizing Hose Bibs

Monday, December 5th, 2016

Here is the step by step directions for winterizing your hose bib correctly, to ensure no breakage or bursting when spring rolls around.
Step One: Take Off The Hose
You can’t winterize the hose bib with the hose attached to it still. No brainer right? Detach the hose from the hose bib and drain it completely. Frozen water in hoses can cause holes and leaks too, so to keep your hose over winter it needs to be properly drained. You can lay the hose down and walk the length of it, picking up small sections and letting the water flow out. Imagine a tube of toothpaste, and try not to miss any spots. Once it’s empty, roll it up and store it for the winter months.
Step Two: Drain the Faucet
This step is quite like the steps you take to winterize faucets in your home. You’ll locate the shut off valve for the outside water line (if you have any trouble here contact a plumber to help you locate it) and shut the water off. Once the water is disconnected go back outside and turn the faucet all the way on. This will drain out any water currently sitting in the line.
Step Three: Drain the Valve
Go back inside to where the shut off was, and locate a small brass looking plug or cap. Unplug that cap, so that the valve itself will drain. Draining the water out, without emptying the valve, is useless. You must do both. Once that valve and all the water in the line have been drained, you can close the valve and shut the hose bib faucet off.
You’re Done!
It’s a simple 10 minute job, but it can save you hundreds in plumbing repairs when spring thaws the frozen winter water.

Celebrate! Reconciliation and Relationships

Monday, February 1st, 2016

Celebrate! Reconciliation and Relationships | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County real estate | Barry TwynamCelebrate as our local libraries, municipalities, and the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and Parkland After Dark Rotary clubs share steps they are making to build relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal neighbours in our Tri-Region area.

As part of our desire to engage with our aboriginal communities, the Rotary Clubs of Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and Parkland After Dark helped organize an event to celebrate reconciliation and build relationships with our aboriginal neighbours. We invite everyone to share in this event.

February 3, 2016
6:30 p.m.
Horizon Stage Performing Arts Centre
1001 Calahoo Road Spruce Grove, Alberta

Tickets $30, plus service fees

  • Join Shelagh Rogers, celebrated host of CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter, Honorary Witness to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and Chancellor of the University of Victoria, as she interviews local authors Patti LaBoucane-Benson, Esther Supernault, Tracey Lindberg and Dianne Meili to explore the importance of Indigenous literature.
  • Enjoy musical entertainment with Juno-nominated special guest Asani who will sing in Cree, French and English.
  • Sample traditional Aboriginal foods and visit with local artisans who will explain their creative process and have products available for purchase.

Thank you to our Sponsors:
Rotary Clubs of Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and Parkland After Dark, together with the Rotary Aboriginal Partnership and Norquest College.

Tickets available at the Spruce Grove City Hall Ticket Centre, 315 Jespersen Avenue, by phone at 780-962-8995 or online at www.horizonstage.com/tickets
Proceeds will support the purchase of books by Indigenous authors. For more information, please call Lisa Smith at 587-986-8758.

There is always so much going on in the Tri-Municipal region, and as a proud Rotarian, I’m happy to promote important events such as this one. Comments or questions? Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Terrorism in Our Own Backyard

Monday, August 10th, 2015

Terrorism in Our Own Backyard | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamThe summer of 2015 has not been a happy one for my neighbors in the Fieldstone subdivision of Spruce Grove as two families deal with the aftermath of damage to their homes caused by arson.

Many emotions go through your mind at a time like this: shock, confusion, anxiety, helplessness, anger, and most of all fear. Home means the comfort and security of family, the building of memories, and the collecting of things that spark those memories. Losing one’s home and what it represents, especially through someone’s cruel and monstrous actions, is devastating to contemplate.  After the initial stages of disbelief and outrage, the question becomes “What can we do?”

What can be done by any neighborhood facing a challenge like this?

  • Recognize that the police can only do so much, and it is up to citizens to help themselves. One of the best defenses against this type of attack is developing a strong neighborhood community. Many eyes on the street may pick up on suspicious activity that might lead to catching and punishing the criminals. Get to know your neighbors, and establish a buddy system for watching each other’s property. This can be done on an informal basis, or by setting up a more formal structure through a Neighborhood Watch program with regular meetings and get-togethers. Annual Block Parties are useful for this purpose too, and encouraged and supported by the City of Spruce Grove. Check out the City of Spruce Grove’s Block Party Guide.
  • Report any suspicious activity to the police. Suspicious activity could be anything that feels out of place or doesn’t look right, such as vehicles cruising up and down the street or oddly dressed individuals strolling along at strange times of the day. Call 780-962-2222 to reach Spruce Grove RCMP for non-emergency situations.
  • Clean up the neighborhood. Have residents check their properties for combustible items that could fuel an arson fire, such as piles of old lumber, old rags and newspapers, excess vegetation, readily accessible cans of fuel for vehicles and lawn mowers and other flammable liquids. These items should either be disposed of or secured. If it is possible to do so, store garbage and recycling bins inside a garage or shed, or attach them securely to a building or fence.
  • Light it up. Encourage residents to leave their porch lights on at night. Adding more and stronger lighting all around properties, as well as motion sensors, is also helpful. (These are the lights I am installing on our property, available from Amazon.ca.)
  • Consider investing in security cameras or a monitored security system for your home. Companies like ADT or AlarmForce have been around for a long time and can be counted on to design a system that works for your home and budget. Or, you can go the do-it-yourself route with cameras in every price range monitored through your computer or tablet.
  • Time to update your home inventory for insurance purposes. Check out my blog article “Home Inventory: Do You Have One?” for help in how to create this important document.

Some other articles on home security and safety from my blog:

Fire Safety in Your Home (includes Fire Safety Checklist)
Should Your Home Have a Fire Sprinkler System?
Home Security Checklist
Automate Your Spruce Grove Home With Your Smartphone

Fieldstone residents have already moved forward in organizing a community group and are actively working with the police to find and prosecute the individuals responsible for the recent fires. Our hope is that no other neighborhood has to cope with this sort of tragic event.

Comments or questions about this article, or information to add? Please call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

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/)

 

Lend a Helping Hand in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain or Parkland County

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015
Lend a Helping Hand in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain or Parkland County | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

(Image by KiddaiKiddee Studio, courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

As a resident of the Tri-Municipal area of Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and Parkland County, you know that life here is pretty good. Our high standard of living and quality of life is much enhanced by the large number of people who give freely of their time and skills to help others. Of course, there’s payback for those friendly, giving folks too. They not only have the chance to do new things and meet new people, but they know that their volunteer contributions are real and appreciated. Besides, it just feels good to help!

If you’re new to the community, or maybe your life circumstances have changed, and you’re looking to make a difference, there are so many opportunities for volunteers to get involved.

How do you find out who could use your help?

Information about how to get involved with the many special events organized by the City throughout the year (such as the Canada Day celebration, or Spruce Up Spruce Grove Community Clean Up, for example), as well as various boards and committees (such as the Economic Development Advisory Committee, Horizon Stage Theatre Advisory Board, Spruce Grove Public Library Board, and numerous others).

See also volunteer opportunities for adults (such as Adopt-a-Driveway program, Meals on Wheels, Community Volunteer Income Tax Program, Horizon Stage opportunities including Stagelighters, Tech Team and Horizon Players, etc.) and volunteer opportunities for youth (Summer in the City, Canada Day Street Performers Festival and more).

  • Check out the Community Resource Directory (Green Book) for a listing of organizations throughout the Tri-Municipal region that use volunteers. Resources here include service clubs, groups, associations and societies of every type.

This centre acts as a hub, connecting organizations in Stony Plain and Parkland County needing volunteer assistance of every variety with people willing and able to help out. The range of volunteer jobs available at any one time is vast, ensuring a volunteer job for every skill and interest.

At the end of January 2015, volunteers were needed for health and social service organizations (such as the Alberta Cancer Foundation, WestView Health Centre, Elizabeth Fry Society, Victim Services Society), youth concerns (Big Brothers Big Sisters, Zebra Club), sports (Special Olympics, Stony Plain Amateur Minor Ball Association), education and culture (Forest Green School, Parkland Adult Literacy, Stony Plain and Parkland Pioneer Museum, Multicultural Heritage Centre, Friends of the Stony Plain Library), and many more.

Check out also the opportunities listed on www.govolunteer.ca

  • Another good source of information is the weekly local newspaper (Grove Examiner in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain Reporter in Stony Plain).

Many volunteer opportunities aren’t advertised because the need is ongoing. Think of all the places you go in any given week. Could your child’s school use your skills? What about your church, or the local public library? How about joining Stony Plain’s volunteer fire department? All you’ll have to do is ask “Need some help?”, and you can bet that someone can put you to work!

Comments or questions about all the interesting things to do in our local communities? Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Life in Spruce Grove, Alberta: A Brief Look at October Events Throughout the City

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Life in Spruce Grove Alberta - A Brief Look at October Events  | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamThroughout the CityWhen the fall weather rolls around it usually puts a stop to any big events that would normally be planned. That is not true for the lucky residents of Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region who have these great events to look forward to taking place in Spruce Grove this October.

A Trip Down The Vegas Strip

The Horizon Stage Performing Arts Centre will be presenting a showcase of the top Vegas acts on October 16. This is an opportunity for people to see Spruce Grove transformed into a Vegas showroom and enjoy a night of Vegas acts like Elvis, Roy Orbison, Tom Jones and Neil Diamond without having to travel to Nevada. Tickets run $40 each for the night of entertainment.

The Annual Mini Monster Bash Celebration

October 25 will be a scary day in the city as the kids of Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and Parkland County will gather together at the Heritage Park Pavilion for a fun day of activities. The event is for kids under the age of 8 and they are asked to dress in their favourite Halloween costume. Although entry is free, donations will be taken for the Parkland Food Bank at the entrance.

TANGO: A Passion of a Lifetime

South America’s biggest dance is being brought to Spruce Grove by some of its biggest and most successful names. On October 24, the Romulo Larrea Tango Ensemble will perform TANGO: A Passion of a Lifetime at Horizon Stage. They are a small group, comprised only of one vocalist, 2 dancers and 3 musicians, but their power and energy are enough to sweep audiences away.

Relive History With The Man in Black Show

The life of Johnny Cash comes alive in this tribute show at Horizon Stage on October 23 starring Shaw Barker as The Man in Black. The goal of the show is to give the audience a glimpse into what it was like listening to the man as he performed in 1960, taking them on a journey about the man through his music. Tickets can be purchased online for $44.95.

Every month brings more events to the city and this is just a sampling of what can be expected. The City of Spruce Grove does everything it can to provide great entertainment to its residents and that’s just one of the things making it one of Alberta’s best cities.

I take great pride in representing Spruce Grove and keep myself available to anybody who wants more information about the city. Any home buyers looking into Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region are welcome to call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Spruce Grove Specialized Transit Service

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Spruce Grove Specialized Transit Service | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamThose of us who live in the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, and Parkland County region are dependent on our vehicles to get around.  Most of us prefer the independence and freedom this gives us but what about people with physical and developmental disabilities, or seniors?  If you can’t drive yourself and you don’t have family, friends or neighbors willing to do chauffeur duty, what do you do?  Luckily, Spruce Grove’s Specialized Transit Service provides transportation in all sorts of situations.   Another good reason to call this area home!

First of all, what is the Specialized Transit Service?  Information from the service states that “STS is a non-profit door-to-door public transportation service for seniors 55+ and members of the public with physical or developmental disabilities. STS provides services for medical, business, personal or recreational group trips.  Service operates:  Monday – Friday [7 a.m. to 4 p.m.]  For reservations call: 780-962-2456.”

In addition, “STS is available for use by residents of the City of Spruce Grove, Parkland Village and defined limits of Parkland County.  STS operates three wheelchair accessible vehicles. Two small vans accommodate individuals and / or small groups, while the 20-passenger van serves larger groups including a maximum of four wheelchairs. Special event trips are also planned.”

Rides for individual appointments are one thing, but the service provides much more.  Take a look at the December 2013 calendar:

Tuesdays & Thursdays – Local shopping (STS 20-passenger bus; call for pick up)

December 04 – WEM Shopping

December 09 – Senior Fun Night (Parkland Village)

December 11 – Dinner @ The Orient and Christmas Light Tour (Sponsored by Spruce Grove Rotary Club)

December 12 – Christmas Light Tour (Sponsored by Spruce Grove Rotary Club)

December 16 – Dinner @ The Orient and Christmas Light Tour (Sponsored by Spruce Grove Rotary Club)

December 17 – Christmas Light Tour (Sponsored by Spruce Grove Rotary Club)

December 18 – St. Albert Shopping

December 19 – Dinner @ The Orient and Christmas Light Tour (Sponsored by Spruce Grove Rotary Club)

December 25, 2013 – January 01, 2014 (Closed for the Holidays)

If this sounds good to you, and you think you might be eligible for service from the Spruce Grove Specialized Transit Service, call 780-962-2456, or visit the City of Spruce Grove website Specialized Transit Service page for more information about the service and the registration process, including an application form.

Looking for accessible or barrier-free housing?  Let me help.  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Christmas in Spruce Grove’s Central Park

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
Christmas in Spruce Grove's Central Park | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

Central Park and Lions Log Cabin on King Street. Photo from City of Spruce Grove website: http://www.sprucegrove.org/programs_events/events/annual_events/christmas.htm

Those of us who live in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and Parkland County know that the tri-municipal region has much to offer residents no matter the season.  One of my favorite things in December as the darkness closes in and the days get shorter is to drive past the magical light show that is Central Park.

Christmas in Central Park is an annual FREE event sponsored by the City of Spruce Grove.  Lots of activities for the whole family help kick off the festive season and get Spruce Grove residents into the holiday spirit.  This year, the celebration runs from 2:30 to 5:30 pm on Saturday, November 30, 2013.  Take a stroll through the lights, strap on the blades, enjoy a hot beverage and experience the beauty of the park.

2:30 to 4:30 pm:

  • Photos with Santa (bring a camera)

2:30 to 4:45 pm: 

  • Skating with the Spruce Grove Saints
  • Cookie decorating for the first 500 guests
  • Crafts and games
  • Sugar Shack (Cabane à sucre)
  • Complimentary hot dogs and brats from Johnsonville (while supplies last)

2:45 to 4:45 pm:

  • Wagon rides

4:30 pm:

  • Stage entertainment with Jeff Miller on guitar

5:00 pm:

  • Light up ceremony begins, followed by a mini fireworks show

Spread the Christmas cheer by bringing an unwrapped gift item for the Kinettes Christmas Hampers and/or a non-perishable food item for the Parkland Food Bank.

Want to get more involved?  Volunteers are always welcomed to assist in the City’s events.  Contact the Event Coordinator at 780-962-7634, Ext 143, or send an email to events@sprucegrove.org.

I’d love to tell you more about what makes our region so special and a great place to call home!  Phone or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

 

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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