Bowness Community Gathering Place
The Bowness Community Centre and Arena has been a hub of community life for a number of years with the Community Association actively working on bringing people from all walks of life together, promoting community pride and action. The Community Centre is located in the Heart of Bowness in between Bowness High School, The Boys and Girls Club and the Bowness Shopping Centre and is the centre of activity for community members but lacks outdoor gathering space. The main entrance of the Community Centre has beautiful garden beds which is an opportunity to provide outdoor space for community activity as well as to increase the appeal and pride that “Bownesians” feel about the Community Centre. This summer the Community would like to create an outdoor gathering place where all members of the community can gather together for a variety of reasons; coffee and conversation, meetings, learnings around gardening, nutrition, and to build relationships and connection among residents.
Over the last year the creation of this outdoor gathering space has been a collaborative conversation amongst the Community Association staff, local churches, local youth from the Boys and Girls Club and High School, businesses in the community and residents with an interest in gardening and special projects. They all want to play a role in creating this new space for everyone to enjoy. The project will utilize the space at the main entrance at the Bowness Community centre and include new gardens, seating and public art as described below in use of funds.
Who Will it Benefit?
The Bowness Community Association believes that by providing spaces and places that community members can build relationships and establish connection amongst neighbours increases the quality of life for both individuals and the community as a whole. For these reasons the community association and a number of other organizations in Bowness actively and strategically creates opportunities for interactions amongst a population of over 10,000 residents. Bowness has a diverse population with residents from every walk of life. Bridging the gap between socio-economic, age, educational, cultural and religious differences is important to our work in building a strong community. Bowness has a high population of seniors wishing to age in place, a large youth population looking for opportunities to belong, members looking to share their passions and residents who participate in all the events and activities Bowness has to offer without barriers.
Creation of an outdoor gathering place will benefit the community as a whole. It will provide a space for people to come together and encourage connections. Seniors will feel safe when visiting the community for activities as there will be familiar faces as they enter the community centre. Youth participated in the creation of the space will have a sense of pride and ownership of the space creating a place they feel safe and a sense of belonging. An area where people can organically meet to share their passion for gardening, start their Wednesday night run, meet before going to the community playground, and to enjoy the sun while having their morning coffee or afternoon slurpee. Creating a welcoming entrance to the Community Centre will increases participation in all the activities, services and opportunities that the Heart of Bowness has to offer, improving quality of life for everyone!