Between October and December of 2015, the NPCA had the opportunity to engage the public in the first phase of the Living Landscape Policy Project. A series of pop-up consultation booths were set up at various community events across the watershed to share information with the public and gather feedback through a community vision survey. The intention of this first phase of community consultation was to notify residents about the Living Landscape project and to gather information from the public that will inform the NPCA’s review of their development guidance document and land use planning policies.
A total of seven events were held in Phase 1 of the Living Landscape Project. The pop-up style consultation events began at the 41st Annual Balls Falls Thanksgiving Festival in early October. On November 5th, the NPCA set up an information booth at the St. Catharines Farmers Market and engaged community members and food vendors by distributing over 60 handouts about the project. With over 1,000 visitors on average, the St. Catharines Farmers market provided the NPCA with a valuable opportunity to speak with residents and vendors throughout the Region about how they use and value the natural features in and around the NPCA’s watershed.
On November 14th, the NPCA launched a community vision survey and hosted an information booth at the Welland Farmers Market. The community vision survey was distributed at the Welland farmers market and visitors were given the option to fill out the survey on an electronic tablet or on paper.
On November 28th, the Township of West Lincoln celebrated their annual Santa Claus Parade and held a community skate. The NPCA arrived at the West Lincoln Arena following the parade to set up an information booth and share information about the Living Landscape project. That evening, the NPCA also hosted an information booth at the Glanbrook Arena in the City of Hamilton. The information booth provided residents with the opportunity to review the project website and fill out the online survey.
On December 3rd, two teams representing the NPCA visited local community centres and posted project notifications at community libraries and recreational facilities at the Vale Health & Wellness Centre in Port Colborne and at the McBain Community Centre & YMCA in Niagara Falls. Both events offered residents the opportunity to learn about the project, collect a project notification post-card and fill out the community survey electronically or by hand.
As the NPCA continues Phase 2 of the Living Landscape Project, additional public events around the NPCA’s watershed will take place. After a successful year-end, we look forward to chatting with and hearing from as many members of the community as possible.
Stay tuned for a summary of the community vision survey!