It is this isolation, which has been linked to depression, increased crime, and a host of other problems, that Abundant Community Edmonton (ACE) is looking to address. The program, which includes Bonnie Doon and a growing number of communities, is all about introducing neighbours and encouraging them to connect in meaningful ways.
The process begins with Block Connectors, who volunteer to reach out to every household on their block and to organize a get-together with their neighbours. They also interview those neighbours to learn about their interests, abilities and vision for the neighbourhood. This information is then used to help create groups and community events, and to bring about change within the community.
Since becoming a part of the Abundant Community initiative two years ago, Bonnie Doon has experienced a number of positive outcomes. Block parties are being held for the first time on several streets. A successful yoga program (taught by a Bonnie Doon resident and block connector) was created based on ACE survey results. Groups, including those for community gardening and knitting, are also being formed as new interests are identified through interview data.
As ACE gains momentum in Bonnie Doon, neighbours are connecting with each other every day and experiencing the benefits of living in an abundant community.
To find out who your block's Connector is, to become a Block Connector, or to learn more about ACE in Bonnie Doon, please contact Marie-Danielle Lemm at firstname.lastname@example.org