| Jan 22, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - January 22, 2009 The Greater Sydenham Community Association's new plans for 2009

by Julie Druker

The GSCA and committed community members.

The Greater Sydenham Community Association invited community members to a meeting on January 14 at Sydenham Town hall to share their recent accomplishments and current projects that are underway for 2009.

The association is looking to members of the community for their ideas, time and services in order to accomplish existing goals and to formulate future ones.

Chair Lori Reed recapped information gained from two separate earlier exchanges: the first from the “First Impressions Community Exchange Program” that occurred in September 2008. That program paired Sydenham with Marmora, and teams from each community reported their impressions of the other based on a number of areas. These included the community in general, government, health care and other services, local businesses, infrastructure, education, the economy, tourism, housing, and recreation.

The second batch of information on the same topics resulted from a survey put out by the GSCA to the greater Sydenham community. The survey asked for input regarding areas in the community that need improvement. It also looked for answers as to why certain services are sought outside of the community.

Reed pointed out the bottom line: “When we talk about progression and development we really want the money to stay here; that is what it really boils down to.” Reed added, “The summary of these two projects is going to form the template of the action plan that we, the association, have for 2009.”

Some initial projects that were completed in 2008 were the placement of six new historic gateway signs in the villages of Perth Road, Sydenham and Harrowsmith and the publication of a Sydenham directory, with maps and lists of local businesses and services.

Reed explained that this year the association will be focusing on more signage, beautification, and the Point.

Under the heading of “Beautification”, the GSCA has just submitted an application for funding to build rock gardens around all six of the new signs, and inquiries have been made into purchasing holders or “surrounds” for the garbage cans in all areas to make them more appealing.

Under “Infrastructure”, an application has recently been submitted for the construction of a website for the area. Reed explained, “That is where we believe the link will be in creating what people need to know about the area.” The Mamora team pointed out in their findings the lack of internet visibility for the area.

The Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation (FCFDC) and the South Frontenac Public Works Department are teaming up with the GSCA to create a signage plan that will include directional signs, business district signs for the village of Sydenham and signs for the “T” intersection at Rutledge and Sydenham Roads..

Reed happily announced, “There are some volunteers in the community who have expressed an interest on focusing on “The Point”’. Joanne Brown, a teacher at Sydenham High School, along with other school employees and Mark Segsworth of the Public Works department are also committed to improving the Point in Sydenham. Brown and her group have begun preparing an application for a feasibility study to see how specific goals like lighting the football field, for example, can be approached. Brown is hoping to get input from the GSCA and other community members and groups regarding their own ideas for improved facilities at the Point prior to submitting the final application for the study.

Future potential projects Reed mentioned included improved wheelchair accessibility and washroom facilities, developing a historic pamphlet for the area, landscaping, increasing the number of public benches and decorating the downtown core with banners, light fixtures and potted plants.

Reed stressed the importance of the community getting involved and stated to the audience, “We’re asking if you have an interest in something, stand up to the plate and give that piece of time, that piece of you to that project…and bring along a friend and bring along your kids.”

By enlisting the help of various community groups and members it looks as though many more projects will be accomplished in the upcoming year.

The meeting was well attended and the GSCA appeared excited by the local turnout and the commitment offered by those present.

Reed summed it up in a quote she shared toward the meeting’s end: “We make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give and it takes a whole community to make a difference.”

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