This September, Eastwood residents have an opportunity to celebrate fall and clear away big items cluttering their property.
The Eastwood Harvest Festival is being combined with the big bin event this year, in partnership with Edmonton Police Service (EPS) and the city, said Lenn Wheatley, Eastwood Community League president.
“Eastwood Community League used to celebrate community togetherness in June. This is the second year that the festival has moved to the fall in order to also celebrate the community garden,” he said.
For the community clean-up, EPS will be the heavy lifters. Members of the local beat team will join community volunteers, cruising Eastwood alleys to cart away large items to the big bin event at Commonwealth Stadium.
“If you see the truck, come out and meet your local police officers and neighbours,” said Karey Steil, bylaw enforcement spokesperson with the city.
Steil noted that the city’s Neighbourhood Empowerment Team did a lot of initial coordination of the partnership.
“Their whole goal is to improve safety. When you have nuisance material on properties, things like furniture and large items, it produces the perception that the community is unkempt,” explained Steil. “It can lead to the perception that the community is uncared for, increasing the risk of being unsafe.”
Clearing alleys and properties increases the perception of safety, she said.
“From the bylaw perspective, if we can help remove those unsightly items, it only helps us do our job.”
The week before the clean-up, bylaw will go door to door with flyers informing Eastwood residents about the Harvest Festival and about putting unwanted large items in the alley for removal.
In addition to providing people power, EPS is also helping fund the cost of the Harvest Festival barbecue. People will be able to enjoy pumpkin pie, barbecued corn, and hamburgers with chili.
“Everyone is invited. We’re going to have a band and a couple of solo musicians,” said Wheatley. “It’s also an opportunity for people to buy a membership.”
If people just want to attend, admission is the cost of membership. And for those who aren’t able to afford it, the community league is introducing a subsidy program.
“As a community league, we see Eastwood as a hub, celebrating life and legacy together,” said Wheatley. “So the Harvest Festival is an annual event welcoming the community into that hub.”
Organizers are still looking for clean-up volunteers to be drivers in the two rented trucks, as well as individuals with pick-up trucks and helpers to unload large items.
Volunteers are also needed for the Harvest Festival to help set up, tear down, cook, supervise, and attend the membership table. Volunteer for the festival or the clean up by signing up through the community league website or by calling the office.
This is the first year for the clean-up and festival as a community-city partnership, and Steil hopes it’s a success. She’d like to extend it beyond this year and into other neighbourhoods.
“It’s a great way to keep the community safe and clean, and uphold the community standard bylaws,” she said.
EASTWOOD CLEAN UP & HARVEST FESTIVAL
Sunday, Sept. 23
Clean-up: 9 am-4 pm
Harvest Festival: 1-4 pm
Eastwood Community Hall
11803 86 St
$5 single membership
$15 family membership
Call 780.477.2354 to volunteer or sign up at www.eastwoodcommunity.org.
Featured Image: Some treats from last year’s Harvest Festival. | Michael Chau