PLAYGROUND MAKEOVER TO BE DONE BY FALLBy Teresa Latchford, Newmarket Era
Published on 2013-05-17
Through community partnerships, Maple Leaf Public School’s yard is getting a major makeover.
Ian Malcolm has four children, all of whom have attended the Newmarket public school. He felt the school yard’s curb appeal and functionality left something to be desired.
Its patchy tarmac, uneven ground and deteriorating basketball nets have been in need of some care for years.
Mr. Malcolm became involved in the school’s parent council, founded the playground committee and continues to be its chairperson.
While the committee has added mature trees, which Viva relocated from its Davis Drive construction, gardens and an outdoor classroom for the school, it would take decades to raise enough funds for a complete overhaul.
“It would have been a 50-year project if our community hadn’t stepped up and offered to help us,” he said.
Through individual donations, corporate commitments and community organizations, such as the Newmarket Lions Club, the school has raised enough to cover the $387,000 makeover that will include the installation of a soccer pitch and running track.
There aren’t many parks in the ward, so this will be for the whole community, not just students, Mr. Malcolm added.
It started when Mr. Malcolm approached Guelph University to see if any of its architecture landscape students would be interested in designing the yard.
A student made it his thesis and created a design as a starting point.
Businesses have stepped forward to prepare the yard and tarmac and recycle the old tarmac to make the 10-foot-wide running track. Members are working on confirming a sod vendor.
The committee is working with the school board to ensure all safety standards are met and the board will provide a general contractor to oversee the project that is expected to begin as soon as school ends with the expectation of a fall completion.
Regional Councillor John Taylor and Ward 4 Councillor Tom Hempen have also been involved by securing funding and using their contacts to find willing corporate participants.
“It is an amazing example of what can happen when the community comes together to get something accomplished,” Mr. Taylor said.
More funds will be needed for smaller items after the overhaul, such as benches, basketball nets and paint lines on the tarmac.
For more information or to make a donation, contact Mr. Malcolm at firstname.lastname@example.org
HUMAN SERVICES PLANNING BOARD FOCUSES ON ADVANCING HOUSING AFFORDABILITY IN YORK REGIONBy York Region Media Release
Published on 2013-05-16
York Regional Council reviews Human Services Planning Board 2012 accomplishments
The number of families and individuals facing widening gaps between their income and the high cost of living in The Regional Municipality of York continues to grow. York Regional Council today reviewed the 2012 accomplishments of the Human Services Planning Board of York Region (HSPB-YR). The board’s activities continue to build community awareness and develop solutions around housing affordability and economic self-sufficiency for low and moderate-income residents in York Region.
“The Human Services Planning Board of York Region brings key organizations to the table to facilitate discussions around helping residents make ends meet,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch. “The work of this board advances York Regional Council's vision of creating complete and healthy communities.”
Acceptable affordable housing options and stable employment are important factors in achieving quality of life for all residents. The need for affordable housing exists in York Region at all income levels, for new graduates, young families, newcomers and seniors, and cannot be accomplished by one organization.
Community engagement is vital to the board’s work. In 2012, HSPB-YR members facilitated new partnerships and initiated multiple activities to build awareness around the need for more rental housing options by:
- Developing and implementing Making Ends Meet Collective Action Plan – eight project teams were established and 14 board champions identified to oversee the implementation of these actions
- Hosting Turning Talk to Action: Using Results-Based Accountability workshop for 80 participants
- Developing 31 partnerships
- Hosting Turning Talk to Action: Creating Housing Options for All, a housing affordability symposium for more than 100 participants
- Hosting Social Assistance Review Commission Options Paper community discussion
- Championing the Fair Access Project to increase access to recreation programs in the schools for low and moderate-income families
“The board uses its collective voice to advocate for change and allows us to better address economic vulnerability in York Region,” said Town of Newmarket Regional Councillor John Taylor, Co-Chair of the HSPB-YR. “We look forward to taking further action in 2013 and working towards increasing the supply of private, rental housing options in York Region.”
The HSPB-YR is comprised of 24 leaders and decision-makers from the Region’s hospitals, school boards and police department, as well as individuals from human services organizations and networks, community leaders and senior levels of government.
For more information on the Human Services Planning Board of York Region, please visit www.york.ca/HSPB