Happy New Year!
2020 was a difficult year for many of us, but one of the things that helped get me through it was taking comfort in the beautiful place in which we live. I was so appreciative that our family would enjoy the nature we have surrounding us in our community: swimming at the beach, canoeing the Shadow Creek canal and lake, and, most of all, seeing friendly Bayou Park Ratepayers Association members and neighbours when out for our walks.
The enthusiasm and positive reactions we received from our members to the election of our new Executive Board, as well as the initiatives we planned for the fall of 2020, showed us you were craving these sorts of connections to our community as well, during this time of social distancing.
2020 was the 50th anniversary of the Bayou Park Ratepayers Association (BPRA). It is so interesting to see how our community has grown over the years. At www.bayoupark.org/about we have some amazing aerial photographs of the neighbourhood over the years, starting in 1973, shortly after the formation of the BPRA! Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the images, and if you'd like to download one in order to spot your own home, click on the image and look for the download symbol. Many thanks to members Ron Seyffer, Pat Stead, and Andrew Kinnear for contributing the photographs.
We've also posted the results of our first ever member survey to our website. Thank you to those that participated! Your comments and suggestions will help focus our activities and initiatives throughout 2021. You told us that you love that a beach is available to you, that you want to take pride in your community, that you appreciate the BPRA events, and that our neighbourhood is a safe place to bring up families. You would like more representation at municipal government, better maintenance of the beach sand and weeds, and tennis courts at the beach. (Wouldn't that be wonderful! Unfortunately, the deed prohibits the BPRA from erecting any such permanent structures on the property.) The most popular event option was Outdoor Movie Nights. Should public health guidelines permit, we hope to try that out this summer! Of course the August Family Fun Day BBQ & Cornroast is an event everyone has been missing, and being that it is the BPRA's major fundraiser, we are keeping the faith that we'll once again be able to enjoy this event in summer 2021.
We know local small businesses have been greatly impacted by Covid-19, and the BPRA would like to do our part to help them survive the pandemic. As such, we are creating a new section on bayoupark.org to support our members who are small business owners, allowing other members to learn about their businesses and show their support through engaging with their products and/or services.
To be included, please email the following to firstname.lastname@example.org:
-One line description of the products and/or services you offer
[At this time, we are only including businesses personally owned by our members (no direct sales, MLM, pyramid and/or investment initiatives) and we reserve the right to approve and manage all listings going forward.]
From the encouraging & positive signs in household windows in March and April to the heart-warming festive holiday lights in December, your gestures and spirit helped so many of the BPRA members not only endure this year, but find moments of joy as well. It reminded me of the close-knit nature of our neighbourhood when my grandparents, Bruce and Marg Lysnes, lived here in the early 1980s.
On behalf of the entire BPRA Executive Board (VP Neil Fenton, Treasurer Rick Talbot, Secretary Kait Hunter, Communications Director Hillary Kimsal, Directors at Large Bruce Topping and Natasha Borutski, and Past President, Lance Brown), I thank you for your support of our community, and of the BPRA, in 2020. We wish you all the best in 2021!
Bayou Park Ratepayers Association President