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Village Vibe

news and views from the heart of Fernwood

june 2005

What’s Inside Fernwood Flag ................................ 2 Centre of Fernwood Report...... 3 Verdant Fernwood ..............4, 6, 7 Fernwood Marketplace .............. 7 Fernwood What’s On .................. 8 Family and friends in the community of Fernwood and beyond were saddened to learn of the unexpected passing of Vida Waltz on Friday April 22nd. Her outgoing personality, commitment to social justice and belief in the underdog made Vida an inspiration and a formidable force to be reckoned with! She championed the causes of community recreation, animal welfare, and always lent her voice to advocate for those who weren't being heard. Avid gardener, companion to her beloved dogs Bear and Shadow, homecare giver fo Dianne, Vida was also a long term Board member of the Fernwood Community Centre Society, running the entertainment committee and volunteering at most every event.

FCCS board member Dave Kesson paints eggs with Fernwood families at the Easter Eggstravaganza Saturday March 19.

NRGize Your Neighbourhood by Lenore Rankin On May 4th, 2005 the Fernwood Fernwoodians to become part of Community Centre Society launched their neighbourhood by encouraging a Neighborhood Revitalization Group participation in decision-making and (Fernwood NRG). Expanding on the action to shape its present and work that was started last year future. through the community economic 3. To foster new links between neighdevelopment (CED) combourhood residents, mittee, Fernwood resources, and busiFernwood NRG meets at NRG will provide nesses in order to 7:30pm on the first Wednesday of promote a local a venue for local residents to every month at the Fernwood economy that Community Centre --1240 meet, share thrives and which Gladstone. ideas and co-creis sustainable and ate the kind of neighsustaining. borhood we all yearn to live in. 4. To facilitate, undertake, and comFernwood NRG objectives are: municate those activities and functions which promote revitalization, 1. To actively enhance and trans- such as discussion groups, surveys, form the built environment of planning, art, articles, presentations, Fernwood into one that is more promotions, community mapping, vibrant, beautiful, healthy, and alive. lending circles, and neighbourhood 2. To inspire and activate forums and events. . . . continuned on pg 4

Let Yourself fly Free in Fernwood Fernwood Community Centre Society Declaration of Principles and Values 1. WE are committed to creating a socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable neighbourhood; 2. WE are committed to ensuring neighbourhood control or ownership of neighbourhood institutions and assets; 3. WE are committed to using our resources prudently and to becoming financially self-reliant; 4. WE are committed to the creation and support of neighbourhood employment; 5. WE are committed to engaging the dreams, resources, and talents of our neighbours and to fostering new links between them; 6. WE are committed to taking action in response to neighbourhood issues, ideas, and initiatives; 7. WE are committed to governing our organization and serving our neighbourhood democratically with a maximum of openness, inclusivity, and kindness; 8. WE are committed to developing the skills, capacity, self-worth, and excellence of our neighbours and ourselves; 9. WE are committed to focusing on the future while preserving our neighbourhood's heritage and diversity; 10. WE are committed to creating neighbourhood places that are vibrant, beautiful, healthy, and alive; 11. AND, most of all, WE are committed to having fun!


The whistled sounds of "Colonel Bogie’s March" and much laughter accompanied a flag raising and impromptu sidewalk chalk party outside the Fernwood Community Centre on April 21, 2005. The flag raising was organized to celebrate the "Independent Republic of Fernwood," a reference to a neighbourhood state of mind if not necessarily one of official geography. It also marked Volunteer Week, Earth Day, and the Fernwood Community Centre Society's partnership with Friends of Renewable Energy BC. As part of the flag raising, chalkers from their mid-teens to mid-seventies wrote praise to Fernwood and decorated Gladstone Avenue with drawings of windmills and solar energy. Sitting on his ladder getting ready to hoist the flag, Flag Team Captain Jim Starck said that the flag and its pole showed how small personal actions can help transform spaces into even more vibrant places. What does the distinctive red, blue and purple flag now flying atop the Fernwood Community Centre stand for, anyway? Flag Team member Sue Wegwitz explained that the flag's red pieces form a giant "F" for Fernwood. The predominant colour of red also speaks to the socially progressive views held by many of us who live here. The blue in the flag stands for the historic springs of our neighbourhood and the water beneath us, above us, and in us. There are two

blue pieces, one for each of the two historic neighbourhoods we encompass: Fernwood and Springridge. The purple in the flag honours the eccentric and the sacred in each of us. Tania Wegwitz added that red and purple also form the edges of the flag. Since red and purple frame all of the colours that it is possible for us to see, their placement symbolizes and embraces the cultural, economic, ethnic, and social diversity of our neighbourhood. Love one another and the space that surrounds us. Long live the Independent Republic of Fernwood!

Want a flag to help celebrate Fernwood? Flags in two sizes: 2’ x 4’ and 4’ x 8’ Costs are $5/$10 when you make your own at the Flag Making Bee at the Centre - June 14, 7-9pm. No time to volunteer? A fabulous Fernwood flag can adorn your house for $15/$25. Cost includes hardware and a Community Centre Society membership. All flag proceeds go to support the neighbourhood programs and services provided by the Society. To order a flag or sign up for the Bee, drop by the Community Centre at 1240 Gladstone Avenue or see

Village Vibe

The Centre of Fernwood

by Roberta Martell executive director At least once a month, a somewhat sheepish looking Fernwoodian will walk into the Centre, amazed at having lived in the neighbourhood for X weeks, months, YEARS, having never a.) known about the Community Centre, or b.) having set foot in the place. Since this is the inaugural Village Vibe, and it is being distributed to ALL Fernwood residences, we'd like to take this opportunity to illuminate who we are, where we are, and what we offer.

The Centre is a City-owned building, and all the programs and services are provided by the independent Fernwood Community Centre Society (FCCS). The Society is run by its board of nine Fernwood residents and sets the vision for programs and services at the Community Centre, as well as at our other three locations. It is the dedicated staff of 30 plus who make our programs and services happen: Out-of-school care at George Jay, Victoria Best Babies at Fernwood House, and the Infant and Toddler daycare, in Stevenson Park Portable. Located at 1240 Gladstone, the Fernwood Community Centre (FCC) is the flagship of our operations. The Centre is open 7:30am to 9pm Monday to Friday

381-1 1552

Get Involved: Becoming Part of Your Neighbourhood Feeling bloated from too many winter evenings of unchecked consumption of cheetos and reality TV? Want to give the old creativity meter a boost? Feel like meeting some fine new folks? Come on out and be a part of your fabulous neighbourhood. Here are a few ways: Volunteer at the Centre The Fernwood Community Centre is in the heart of Fernwood on Gladstone Avenue (right across from the track behind Vic High). Come in and visit us and see where you can plug in, whatever your interests, talents, skills and availability. All ages welcome! Immediate openings for: People who like to do carpentry Folks who like to garden Help Make Fernfest '05 Rock! Help us make this year's Fernfest August 26-28 the biggest and best ever. Give us your event suggestions and sign up to volunteer online at We want any ideas and help you can give us, whether it be small, large, or blessedly indeterminate.

1240 Gladstone Ave

able financial position. Our childcares are social ventures which not only serve families and create neighbourhood employment (many staff are Fernwoodians) but the profits created support our commitment to free and low-cost recreation programming. Given our increased enrollment, successful fundraising and the opening our new Infant and Toddler centre, the FCCS is planning on expanding our community and recreation offerings in Fernwood. With increased revenues we can afford to be open and accessible for more hours in a week, can spearhead the capital fundraising campaign to implement centre renovations, and can create spaces of initiation for residentcentred and resident-driven initiatives. To keep your finger on the vibe, check out

and select hours on weekends for concerts, special events, movies in the park, parent and tot drop-in, and facility rentals. Even in these times of uncertain funding and a shifting political climate, the FCCS, unlike many other charities or non-profits, is in an envi-

news and views from the heart of Fernwood


NRGize Your Neighbourhood

Fernwood is bursting at the seams with creative, talented people and we believe that once people spend time together in their own neighborhood, ideas will naturally unfold. With a little coordination and cooperation our neighborhood can be transformed into a "village with heart." We use the terms village and villager to articulate our belief that at some level, each of us is connected to the place we live and the people around us. Village building involves a

continued from pg 1

commitment to human cooperation. invite you to choose to build and In turn human cooperation inspires shape your village with your neighconversation, creativity, bours. democracy, neighborFernwood NRG is hood gatherings, a a mechanism for We use the terms village sense of safety resident-led and villager to articulate our belief and economic neighborhood that at some level, each of us is convitality, all of which engagement, nected to the place we live and reflect local culbut we need the people around us. ture. people like you, Having an awareness people with fresh ideas, that everything is interconnected big dreams and innovative vision, to means realizing that our actions, or make it happen. We have the poteninactions, affect tial to build a truly outstanding village our community. -- be part of it! Our choices determine our direction. We

Fernwood Community Centre Society Membership Form Name _________________________________ Address________________________________ Phone Number___________________________ Email Address___________________________ Fernwood Resident I can Volunteer some time as: (please circle choices)

A committee member Helping to Organize Events Phoning Carpentry/Painting Gardening Driving Flyer/Poster Distribution Special Skills you’re willing to share: _______________________________________ _______________________________________ Membership Fee: $1/year 4

Village Vibe

to Volunteer or Give Input go to

Got Stuff? Got Talent? Fernwood Needs You Calling all Fernwood Musicians Last year’s “It Came from Fernwood” CD showcased the musical talents of the funky Fern-hood. Now we’re pulling together songs for the sequel, tentatively entitled “I Know What You UPC codes from Island Farms did in Fernwood Last Summer,” to be products (the Centre gets 3 cents released at Fernfest this summer. per code) If you’re a Fernwood musician or in Campbell’s Soup labels (helps us purchase baby strollers) a band that regularly shakes foundaBicycles, Helmets and Locks (for a tions here, put a few songs on a CD fledgling bike-building partnership and drop them off for consideration we’re organizing with the Mustard at the Fernwood Community Centre. Seed). Deadline is June 15, 2005. From Fitness and sports equipment (for scrappy punk to pristine pan flute, all all to enjoy at the Community music styles (as varied as Fernwood Centre and out behind at itself) are welcomed. For more inforStevenson Park). mation, call 381-1552. news and views from the heart of Fernwood Neighbourhood Wish List Got these items kicking around the house? Your Community Centre needs ‘em!

Calling all Painters and Sculptors! “Art in Springridge.” Saturday August 13, 11am - 4pm Gladstone Ave from the Squre to the Centre $15 Registration fee/$5 for Students & Seniors. Application Deadline July 15 Applications forms available at Fernwood Community Centre 1240 Gladstone. Fpr more info see arts Calling all Fernwood Writers Submit Fernwood-centred stories by June 15, 2005 to the Village Vibe: 5

Building Common Knowledge: Grazing in Fernwood by Tania Wegwitz and Dave Kesson Ever see people picking plants in the each other flourish and conserve rambling garden at Gladstone and space and water. Benches, a notice Chambers and wondered what board, and a cob oven help round out they're up to? Want to bite into a the site's neighbourhood amenities. medlar or a fresh fig or other fruit The May 7 workshop turned into a that you'd never find under the usual work party. Geoff Johnson, a great grocery store fluorescents? source of information on the art of A workshop held on Saturday May permaculture and a major force 7 helped to answer those questions behind development of the site, gave and gave Fernwood residents a taste a tour of the site. He pointed out the of everything the Spring Ridge different varieties of fruit-bearing Commons has to offer. Built on the historic site of Spring Ridge School House, the Commons works from the ancient idea that space can be used, maintained, and enjoyed by everyone. This public place contains a bounty of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. It also showcases how plants can be combined to help Bio-regional Grazers. Could this be you?

plants, and told participants when they’d ripen and how to pick them. Currants, figs, medlars, -- it’s amazing the amount of free food available in there, if you know where to look. Participants weeded beds, planted a peach tree, five fig trees, and a grapevine to wind up the arbour. Not long ago, the corner of Gladstone and Chambers was a mere patch of dirt -- now, it’s an edible commons. And the idea is spreading. A Vic West resident in attendance plans to start a People’s Food Park in a new site designated as park land in that neighbourhood. For more information on the evolution of Spring Ridge Commons, check out

Views from the Streets of Fernwood Each month, our roving reporter will hit the streets of Fernwood, looking for residents to express their Fernfeelings about ideas and events that affect them. City of Victoria Staff created 'Recreation Renewal', which proposed potential decommissioning of

Terry Wilson Long-time resident I don't know nobody at them big, HUGE places.


most community centres, in order that they be replaced with a hub and three mega-satellite centres. The public outcry against the plan was huge so Council sent staff back to the communities to consult further. The response was just as vitriolic. City Staff have requested a meeting with the FCC Board later this month to

Ron Spence Resident & Business Owner Specific needs are identified by the neighbourhood, and for programs and services to be relevant, they need to be offered locally.

discuss the findings from the 'community consultation process'. Are they going to bring Rec Renew back to life?

This month's question: What do you think about the idea of a hub and three satellite centres as proposed in the Recreation Renewal scheme?

Darryl Oertel Resident I don't think it's a good idea. We should keep small communitybased centres, because local people in the community use resources close to home. Village Vibe

The Verdant Village (Garden Gleanings) by Margaret Hantiuk Do we not live in paradise? The other night I stepped out to walk the pooch and I was immediately struck with the heavenly scent of blossoms. Our neighbourhood is alive and in love! And it's contagious! As I sauntered along the quiet streets, wafts of lilac and other flowering shrubs, trees, and flowering bulbs offered their fragrances block after

delightful block. All of this can be enjoyed if we simply get out of our vehicles and up off the couch. Just step outside and have a stroll. Enjoy the 'hood' in bloom and enliven the senses naturally. Don't hurry as you walk as this only happens once a year! Yes, spring has sprung and it's time to quit the cocooning! Time to get into the garden and see what's coming up and greening out. Time to get the hands into the warming earth. Fernwood has so many keen gardeners and great little jewels of gardens, all of them unique in that Fernwood sort of way. We are fortunate to have such precious 'bones' inherent in this historic neighbourhood: magnificent trees, mature plantings and beautiful heritage homes as a backdrop. My street in eastern Fernwood was an old farm with orchards a hundred years ago. In fact, there are a

few remaining native Garry Oak trees here that predate colonial settlement! I had a profound moment recently as I planted a young copper beech tree, realizing it may well survive me and even my children to become a grand tree that future neighbours will enjoy for decades to come! Such is gardening: it is an act of hope and a confirmation of life and its ongoing cycles and demands. The yield is a feast for the senses, the spirit, and the tummy! The more I work with nature in my garden, the more pleasure I derive and the more splendid and satisfying the results. To me, a good gardener is a scientist and an artist. If you have ideas or contributions for future Garden Gleanings please contact me at Yours greenly, Margaret.

Fernwood Marketplace JOBS Infant & Toddler Educator FCC Infant & Toddler Daycare requires a full time licensed Infant & Toddler Educator to work in our daycare centre. Starting wage is $12.00 to $13.00/ hour depending on experience. 381-1552.

FAMILY Child Care spots at available at FCC July 1st 4 spots 3-5 year olds. 3811552. ACCOMODATION WANTED Fernwood 2 bedroom place with yard for young family. 381-1552

FURNITURE Older vanity dresser with mirror $75. 595-1684 Old working rangehood. 595-1684.

FOR RENT Bright, quiet, new building 800 sq ft shared studio with a peaceful beautiful yard. Ideal for an artist. Centrally located in Fernwood. $400/month. TO ADVERTISE Email Fernwood Residents $1/line non-Fernwood Residents $2/line

GARDEN Old Wood Frame Windows (Good for Cold Frames) Free 595-1684

news and views from the heart of Fernwood

by Bill Cino 7

Fernwood What’s On: June 2005 A monthly roundup of neighbourhood shindigs. Head to for more listings or to submit your event.

1 Wed

Neighbourhood Revitalization Group (See pg. 1 for details). FCC, 1240 Gladstone 7:30pm – 9:30pm, Free

3 Fri (and June 10, 17, 24)

Fernwood Autumn Glow (55+) Gentle exercise to a video, a delicious lunch and games and activities. FCC 1240 Gladstone, exercise at 11:00 am, lunch at 12:30 pm, $5.50

11 Sat

Compost Club Lecture – Small Space Gardening Compost Ed. Centre, 2:00pm – 4:00pm, Free for Compost Club Members / $10 Non-members

14 Tue (and June 21, 18)

Victoria Bluegrass Association Bluegrass Jam Everyone welcome to play or listen. Orange Hall, 1420 Fernwood Rd 7:30 10:30pm, $2 to play, free to listen

14 Tue

Fernwood Flag Making Bee FCC, 1240 Gladstone 6:30 – 9:30 pm Cost for materials $5/$10 2’x4’/4’x8’

16 Thu

FCA AGM Location TBA

18 Sat

Composting Basic Workshop – Controlling Problem Weeds Compost Ed. Centre, 2:00pm – 4:00pm, Members $9 / Nonmembers $10

25 Sat

Movies in the Park Watch a film on the really, really big screen (the back of the Community Centre!) Movie TBA: call 3811552. Back of FCC, 9:00pm, Free (popcorn and snacks available).

Children's Summer Soccer Camps at the FCC Ages: 5 - 10 years Dates: July 10, 24, Aug 7, 21 Time: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm Cost: $25.00/ child Location: Stevenson Park - behind Fernwood Community Centre 1240 Gladstone Ave Pre-registration is required. Please call Lyn at 381-1552 for more information and to register.

the Blue Fox Cafe Breakfast all Day - In a Big Way organic coffee homemade pies fresh baked bread local ingredients

101-919 Fort St 380-1683 Calling all Painters and Sculptors! Art in Springridge Saturday August 13, 11am - 4pm Gladstone Ave from the Squre to the Centre $15 Registration fee/$5 for Students & Seniors. Application Deadline: July 15 Applications forms available at Fernwood Community Centre 1240 Gladstone.

Village Vibe

news and views from the heart of Fernwood

June 2005 Village Vibe  
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