A struggling community organization had its hopes raised when 170 locals showed up to share their ideas, dreams and vision for the Edmonds area.
The Edmonds Business and Community Association and Edmonds Community School hosted a town hall meeting on Feb. 12. It was an effort to get new members for the association, to share information about upcoming community changes, and to find out what residents want to see happen.
A memorable moment was when a father and his son went on stage to address the crowd, and the 10-year-old boy talked about how if his grandma gets sick again he wants a medical clinic close by, according to Joyce Rostron, former president of the association.
A neighbourhood hub, more employment, affordable housing, a community garden, farmers' market, and more mom-and-pop shops were other ideas brought forward from the attendees in a visioning exercise done at the beginning of the meeting. Groups were then encouraged to share what they came up with, with the rest in attendance.
At a time when membership has been dipping, Rostron was encouraged to see a gymnasium packed with residents wanting to get involved.
"I'm really happy with the turn out," Rostron added. "In the beginning I wasn't sure how many would come, but I thought whoever comes needs to be here."
Also in attendance were city staff, including employees from the parks and recreation department and community planner Karin Hung, who made a presentation.
City planning staff said there will be further consultations with the public, as projects such as the Value Village redevelopment goes forward.
The meeting may also help spark a rise in membership for the association, which has experienced a lack of interest in the last few years, according to Rostron.
"Memberships flatlined, dropped off, and we're trying to rebuild it," she said. "Now's the time."
Rostron said the association will do the best it can to garner interest from local businesses and attendees from Tuesday night's meeting.
"There's so many things happening that we need a platform where people can speak up to make it better for everybody," she added.
Rostron plans to have an annual general meeting, as the terms have ended for the current directors and president.
"When I see Edmonds, I see all sorts of new developments and things are growing, and yet on the other side of it, there's people who are struggling and dealing with poverty issues and drug issues, and small businesses can't make it," Rostron told the Burnaby NOW last month.
Next on the list is facilitating another community meeting and gathering new potential members for the association's future.
The next meeting for "creating community for Edmonds" will be held on Tuesday, Mar. 26 at 6: 30 p.m. in the Edmonds Community School gymnasium, 7651 18th Ave.
For more information, contact edmondscomm@ gmail.com.