• Active Life: Fitness need not hibernate during winter

    by Ross Collicutt | Nov 18, 2015

    ACTIVE LIFE is a monthly series in the Nanaimo News Bulletin contributed by City of Nanaimo staff.

    Whenever we turn the clocks back and the darkness of the day descends upon us earlier, I always struggle with myself to maintain the level of physical activity I did so willingly in the spring and summer.

    I admit it: when evening comes, I just want to spend my time snuggled up under a blanket while sitting in my La-Z-Boy.

    I have learned that the fall and winter shouldn’t be a time to let our fitness routines hibernate – especially with all of those holiday treats soon to be tempting us at every turn.

    kidleaves

    By changing our mindset and getting a little creative, we can ensure our fitness and health remains a priority now and in the months ahead.

    Here are a few tips that may help you:

    Change your perspective – Instead of coming up with the excuses not to exercise, I try to remember how important it is and how good I always feel afterwards.

    It keeps me healthy – physically and emotionally, and I am trying to set a good example for my family.

    Try something newParks, Recreation and Environment has programs for every age and ability. Try a new yoga class or other fitness class. How about attending our free Lions Skate held every Sunday at Frank Crane Arena?

    skating

    Get creative at home – Sure, going outside or to the gym can be inconvenient, but you can always do a workout at home. Invest in a few pieces of fitness equipment like hand weights or fitness bands, and you are set. Try doing some exercises or stretches during the commercial breaks of your favourite TV show.

    weights

    Buddy up – If you can’t seem to muster the energy to workout by yourself, make a commitment with either a friend, family member or even the family dog. You’re a lot more likely to follow through on your workout commitments when you know others will be with you.

    hiking

    Set a goal – Choose a goal that you really want to achieve that will keep you motivated. How about getting in your 10,000 steps every day for three months or running a five-kilometre race?

    running

    Looking for some ways to stay active? Check out the Fall and Winter Activity Guide or visit our website at www.nanaimo.ca for ways to keep you and your family active and healthy this season.

  • Youth Leadership in the Community

    by Ross Collicutt | Jun 26, 2015

    For over 30 years, youth in Nanaimo have been gaining valuable skills and experience through the Leadership in Training (LIT) program. Starting in 1982, this program provides youth the opportunity to learn and develop leadership skills while giving back to the community through volunteer work. The program goal is to provide a supportive and supervised environment for young people to learn and try out these skills as they discover more about themselves and their community. The LIT program runs twice a year; in the summer and the fall/winter.

    LITSand

    The LIT program trains participants in areas such as customer service, public speaking and working with children. During the months of July and August, the LIT team go out into the community and contribute around 10,000 volunteers hours in Nanaimo. Program participants are placed in Parks, Recreation and Environment camps, playgrounds and other summer programs, as well as community events such as VIEX, Silly Boat Regatta, Dragon Boat Festival, Marine Fest/Bathtubs, Canada Day, and more. 

    camp

    After completing the LIT program, participants can move onto the next level, Quest, where they take on additional leadership responsibilities like training and mentoring the new LIT participants. To differeniate between levels, the LIT team wears yellow shirts and the Quest team wears blue shirts. Many of the Parks, Recreation and Environment summer staff have participated in the LIT program.

    LIT2011

    Quest

    If you are interested in the LIT program we encourage you to register early as it tends to fill up fast. For more information on LIT and Quest, email youth@nanaimo.ca.

    craft

  • Picture a Park: Departure Bay Centennial Park

    by Ross Collicutt | Jun 19, 2015

    Summer has definitely come to Nanaimo and with the warmer weather comes the desire to be out in the sun. One park that is very popular in the summer is Departure Bay Centennial Park.

    This 1.9 hectare (4.7 hectares) destination park is located in the beautiful Departure Bay. 

    Departure Bay Centennial is universally accessible and features many outdoor sporting and leisure opportunities with a natural turf field, two ball diamonds and multi-use courts. The multi-use courts are separated into two tennis courts - with one of the tennis courts repurposed for playing tennis and pickleball - and one youth multi-use court for such sports as basketball and box hockey. 

    tennis

    court

    The Departure Bay Activity Centre can also be found here. The activity centre plays host to many Parks, Recreation and Environment programs

    ActivityCentre

    Last, but definitely not least, Departure Bay Centennial features a very popular water park for kids to cool down in during the warm summer months.

    waterpark

    Partnerships were key in developing Departure Bay Centennial Park. The Gyro Club donated towards the youth multi-use court and the Kiwanis Sunrisers donated towards the waterpark.

    This summer "Take a Moment" to explore Departure Bay Centennial Park.

    Looking for a park to explore? Check out the Nanaimo Parks Search tool on the City website.


  • Active Life: Nanaimo offers plenty of outdoor fun

    by Ross Collicutt | Jun 12, 2015

    ACTIVE LIFE is a monthly series in the Nanaimo News Bulletin contributed by City of Nanaimo Staff.

    I love this time of year. The days are longer and warmer, and there is an abundance of activities available through the City of Nanaimo to keep the whole family active.

    concertpark  Goldenbucketpic

    waterpark (2)  westwood (2)

    • Water parks – Cool off at Departure Bay Centennial, Deverill Square, Harewood Centennial and Mansfield Park from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
    • Playground program – Bring your children, ages five to 12, to various playgrounds for activities that could include games, arts and crafts. New this year are some evening dates from 3-8 p.m. so that all families have an opportunity to participate.
    • Find the golden bucket – Get the weekly clue on our Facebook page, Twitter feed or website and then search for the bucket. Weekly prizes are drawn until Aug. 26.
    • Westwood Lake – Lifeguards are on duty from June 28 to Sept. 7 at Nanaimo’s favourite summer destination.
    • Family fishing day – Join us at Westwood Lake Park on Father’s Day (June 21), 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., to play games, make crafts, learn to fish and take part in a trout release.
    • Family fun night and barbecue – celebrate the end of the school year with music, family activities and a barbecue on June 25, 4:30-7:30 p.m., at Departure Bay Centennial Park. Cost is $4.
    • Canada Day – Entertainment and activities for the whole family held at Maffeo Sutton Park from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
    • Concerts in the park – Join us Wednesday evenings from July 8 to Aug. 26, 6-7:30 p.m. Concerts are held at the Bowen Park Amphitheatre (July) and Maffeo Sutton Park (August). Lunchtime concerts are held Monday, July 13 to Aug. 24, 12:30-1:30 p.m. in Maffeo Sutton Park.

    Check out the Community Events listings on our website.

  • World Oceans Day

    by Ross Collicutt | Jun 08, 2015

    Today is World Oceans Day; a day to celebrate and raise awareness of oceans and the critical impact they have on life. The theme this year is Healthy oceans, healthy planet. 

    neckpointpark

    We are very fortunate to live in a vibrant marine setting. We enjoy beautiful coastal vistas, sensational marine life encounters, fantastic recreational opportunities and great economic benefits, amongst other things, thanks to our geographic location.

    scuba

    The United Nations describe the ocean as the "heart of the planet". It connects people and industries; is home to an amazing variety of wildlife; and helps to regulate climate. Unfortunately, many pressures from human activities are taking a toll on the world's oceans and seas. 

    floatplane

    So, take a moment today and think about what you can do to help this amazing habitat.

    In the words of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moo, "Although individual decisions may seem small in the face of global threats and trends, when billions of people join forces in common purpose, we can make a tremendous difference." 

    octopus (2)


  • Cool Down at Nanaimo's Water Parks

    by Ross Collicutt | Jun 04, 2015

    The weather has been warm so we decided to open 3 out of 4 water parks located in Nanaimo's parks early this year!

    Your kids can cool down at the water parks in Deverill Square Park, Departure Bay Centennial Park and Mansfield Park. The water park located in Harewood Centennial Park will reopen Friday, June 5.

    In the meantime, explore the other great water parks Nanaimo has to offer!

    Deverill

    Deverill Square Park

    waterpark (3)

    Harewood Centennial Park

    Looking for a park to explore? Check out the Nanaimo Parks Search tool on the City website.

  • What's Building in Your Neighbourhood?

    by Ross Collicutt | Jun 04, 2015

    Curious about development activities in your neighbourhood? The What's Building in My Neighbourhood tool on the City website can give you information on development applications in Nanaimo.

    With the tool you can search applications by neighbourhood, application type, application date, street address, file number and bylaw number.

    Subscribe to be notified of development activities in your neighbourhood. You will be emailed when new applications are posted in your neighbourhood; status changes and updates are posted to applications you are subscribed to; updates to drawing and reports are added; and notices are posted. Choose to be notified of individual application updates, daily summaries, weekly summaries, or monthly summaries. You can also view your subscriptions online and customize to see only applications you are interested in.

    map (2)  search 

    list  subscribe

    The following applications are available to view in the tool:

    • Board of Variance
    • Development Permit
    • Development Variance Permit
    • Land Use Contract or Covenant
    • Liquor License
    • Rezoning
    • Temporary Use Permit

    Each application will include:

    • Location
    • Type, description and status of application
    • Relevant dates
    • Drawings and reports
    • Notices
    • Applicable policies and regulations
    • A map

    For more information and to subscribe, check out What's Building in My Neighbourhood on the City website.

  • Washing Machine Rebate

    by Ross Collicutt | May 28, 2015

    Are you looking to get a new washing machine? If you purchase an energy efficient washing machine before June 30 not only will you be saving energy, you will save money.

    The City of Nanaimo and BC Hydro have partnered up to offer special rebates to residents on new eligible washing machines. When you purchase an Energy Star washing machine before June 30, 2015 you can receive a rebate up to $200.

    clothesline

    It's pretty easy to do:

    Go to BC Hydro's website to see a list of eligible washing machines

    Puchase a washing machine model and brand on the list.

    Complete the rebate application form and submit your proof of purchase within 60 days of purchase.

    For more information visit BC Hydro's website.

     

  • Bike to Work Week: E&N Trail

    by Ross Collicutt | May 25, 2015

    It's Bike to Work Week in BC. Many communities across the province will be celebrating this week meant to encourage residents to bike and walk to work and school. There are many benefits to cycling including increasing your overall health and reducing carbon emissions.

    trailcycling

    A great way to introduce yourself to cycling in Nanaimo is to use the E&N Trail. This 8 kilometre relatively flat multi-purpose trail spans from Rosehill Avenue in the south to East Wellington in the north. It provides connection points to many schools, businesses and shopping. You can even connect to the Parkway Trail via Dunster Road using the E&N Trail.

    multiuse

    For more information on Bike to Work Week visit the City website or the Bike to Work Week BC website.

    2015BikeWeek

     

     

  • Water Treatment Plant Photo Update - May 22, 2015

    by Ross Collicutt | May 22, 2015

    The latest photos from the Water Treatment Plant project

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    IMG_20150519_130603_panorama-square

     

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    ***

    See the project page for background documents on the Water Treatment Plant.

    Follow the project on the Facebook Photo Album.

    ***

  • Picture a Park: Planta Park

    by Ross Collicutt | May 21, 2015

    In the Stephenson Point neighbourhood lies a 7 hectare (17 acres) wooded park for residents to enjoy a short stroll through nature called Planta Park.

    meadow

    Planta Park features a trail system that can be accessed from a number of spots (Ellis Place, Stevens Point Road, Planta Rd and Budehaven Drive) in the neighbourhood. The trails are relatively flat and the main trail features a short boardwalk.

    trail (5)

    trail2

    boardwalk (5)

    Some plants which can be found in this public open space are fir, arbutus, oak, cedar, maple and vine maple trees. It also provides homes for many wildlife including deer and woodpeckers. The Stephenson Point Neighbourhood Association takes pride in Planta Park and volunteers from the neighbourhood work to keep invasive plants at bay. 

    flower

    Looking for a park to explore? Check out the Nanaimo Parks Search tool.

  • Water Treatment Plant Photo Update - May 14, 2015

    by Ross Collicutt | May 14, 2015

    The latest photos from the Water Treatment Plant project

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    WTP150514_2x500

    WTP150514_3x500

    WTP150514_4x500

    ***

    See the project page for background documents on the Water Treatment Plant.

    Follow the project on the Facebook Photo Album.

    ***

  • Active Life: Awareness helps rid city of invasive plant species

    by Ross Collicutt | May 14, 2015

    ACTIVE LIFE is a monthly series in the Nanaimo News Bulletin contributed by City of Nanaimo Staff.

    For the last few years, May has been designated as Invasive Plants Awareness Month in the City of Nanaimo.

    Some might question what the big deal is to have plants that are not native to this area growing and thriving. After all, some non-native plants are beautiful and add colour to local landscapes. Invasive plants like Scotch broom, English ivy, English holly, Daphne or Japanese knotwood, however, have few competitors and can quickly take over an ecosystem degrading the habitat for many native plants species.

    blackberry     holly

    ivyforest     Daphne

    Here are a few steps we can take to prevent these plants from overtaking Nanaimo’s natural areas:

    • Be careful about what plants we choose for our gardens – nursery staff are very knowledgeable about the types of plants that are best for our climate and won’t disturb our ecosystem.
    • Refrain from dumping garden trimmings in parks or other open spaces – this prevents trimmings from propagating in other areas.
    • Observe parks for unfamiliar or foreign plants – if invasive plants are found early enough, they can be eradicated easier than when they are mature.
    • Minimize disturbances to the environment – when soil is disturbed and vegetation is removed, ideal conditions are created for invasive plants.

    The City of Nanaimo is organizing work parties in local parks where citizens and local stewardship groups come together to remove invasive plants while learning how to safely remove them from their own backyards.

    ivyremoval

    “If we work together, we can make a difference in protecting our environment,” says Deb Beck, recreation coordinator.

    Citizens are being asked to look around their own yards and gardens and remove invasive plants. They can be disposed of for free on May 31, noon to 4 p.m., at Bowen Park off of Wall Street.

    For more information on identifying invasive plants or how to get involved in the organized work parties, please visit the City of Nanaimo’s website or call the city at 250-756-5200.

    invasiveposter

  • Your Pass for Summer Fitness

    by Ross Collicutt | May 11, 2015

    It's hard to believe that the May long weekend is only days away! May long marks the unofficial start to summer. As the weather gets warmer, people flock to parks, trails and other destinations for outdoor activities. 

    While everyone is outside, take advantage of the City's recreational facilities with the Summer Promo RecPass. Valid from July 2 to August 30, these passes have the sizzling price of $80 for adults, $60 for students and seniors and $45 for children. 

    skating

    FloorHockey (2) weights-2

    NAC

    Like all RecPasses, you will have access to:

    • Public Swimming
    • Public Skating
    • Aquacises
    • Weight Rooms
    • Scrub Hockey
    • Saunas
    • Steam Rooms
    • Hot Tubs
    • Drop-in Sports at Oliver Woods Community Centre

    Visit a City of Nanaimo recreation facility or call 250-756-5200 for more information on the Summer Promo RecPass.

  • World Migratory Bird Day

    by Ross Collicutt | May 07, 2015

    Birds are wonderful creatures. They can help pollinate, decompose materials, disperse seeds and control insect populations.

    Many birds also make a long journey every year to reach Nanaimo. It is fascinating how a small bird can fly thousands of kilometres in a short amount of time to either reach their breeding grounds or wintering habitat.

    variedthrush

    Varied Thrush photo by Minette Layne

    World Migratory Bird Day is held the second weekend of May to rasie awareness of the need to conserve migratory birds and their habitats. This campaign was started in 2006 and events are held on every continent except Antarctica. 

    Formal events near Nanaimo are being held in Victoria and Vancouver or you can celebrate on your by doing some bird watching in places like Buttertubs Marsh, Richards Marsh, Chase River Estuary or one of these other parks in Nanaimo.

  • View Your User Rates 24/7 with MyCity

    by Ross Collicutt | Apr 30, 2015

    It's property tax time! Did you know you can receive your tax notice by email rather than through the mail? 

    When you sign up for MyCity and MyBills through the City website you can view all your City of Nanaimo user rates online. From water rates to business licenses, you will have 24/7 access to all you City of Nanaimo accounts. 

    Signing up for a MyCity account is easy:

    1. Visit mycity.nanaimo.ca
    2. To create a new profile click on ‘Register Now'.
    3. Fill in the required fields including creating a password and choosing a security question and answer.
    4. Click ‘Register'
    5. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address used to register the account. You must open this email and click on the specified link to “activate” your account
    6. You can now return to the MyCity screen to login to your account: mycity.nanaimo.ca

    screenshot (3)

    You will then be able to register each of your City of Nanaimo accounts. To do this, refer to a recent account bill/statement to find your account number and access code (usually found near the top of the page). Once you have completed this you can choose to have your user rate and tax notices emailed to you. 

    You can register for MyCity and MyBills anytime however, to have your 2015 property tax notice emailed to you, you must register by May 7.

    For more information visit the MyCity and MyBills page on the City website.

  • Let's "Pull Together" for Invasive Plants Month

    by Ross Collicutt | Apr 27, 2015

    May is Invasive Plants Month in Nanaimo. This special month is meant to raise awareness of invasive plant species and their effects on our local environment.

    Nanaimo enjoys an amazingly diverse natural setting however; plants brought here from other areas have a negative effect on this diversity. 

    This year, we are focusing on two particularly widespread invasive plants in the area: English Ivy and Scotch Broom.

    English Ivy is particularly destructive; in its juvenile form it spreads out over the forest floor, shading and smothering plants underneath it. In its adult stage ivy wraps itself around trees and can topple them in wind storms due to its heavy weight.

    ivy

    Especially when in bloom, Scotch Broom looks like a delicate shrub but it is very aggressive. It was originally brought here from Scotland as a garden ornamental. Broom easily spreads to other areas and suppresses native plant growth.

    broom

    When removing invasive plants from your garden, it's best to avoid putting them in your compost as the plant can spread from there. Take them to the regional landfill or, during Invasive Plants Month, you can take them to the DROP ZONE at the Wall Street entrance to Bowen Park on May 8 and May 31 from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

    invasiveposter

  • Plan Your Commute with Current Construction Projects

    by Ross Collicutt | Apr 24, 2015

    "Frustrated" is a word (amongst others) that can be used when you are trying to get to your destination and are delayed by construction. This frustration can now be eased with the introduction of a new application on the City website. Now you can plan your commute accordingly with the Current Construction Projects website application.

    This handy online tool outlines the location and description of major capital construction projects being managed by the City of Nanaimo. Projects are uploaded when they are scheduled for construction. In the tool each project is broken down into the reason for the project, estimated timelines and cost. Current Construction Projects can be found on the City's website at nanaimo.ca/construction

    screenshot (2)


  • Celebrate Earth Week

    by Ross Collicutt | Apr 20, 2015

    Earth Day is April 22 and this year the City of Nanaimo is partnering with the Nanaimo & Area Land Trust (NALT) to bring the community some events to celebrate the amazing natural environment we live in.

    neckpoint (2)

    On Tuesday night at 7:00 pm in the Bowen Park auditorium, attend a presentation by renowned ethnoecologist and ethnobiologist, Nancy Turner called Earth's Blanket - Traditional Teaching for Sustainable Living. Admission for this presentation is by donation.

    During Earth Day itself, City of Nanaimo staff will be volunteering their timE&Nbsp;in an ongoing ecological restoration project to remove English Ivy from Bowen Park.

    Lastly, a Community inter-ACTION on Food Security will take the place of the Wild Foods Festival this year on Sunday, April 26. This workshop will include a wild and local food lunch, treats and teas prepared by Nanaimo Foodshare. The event runs from 12:00 pm to 3:30 pm in the Bowen Park Activity Room 1. The cost is $10 per person. Registration is required and can be done online or by calling 250-756-5200.

    earthweekevents

  • Picture a Park: Maffeo Sutton Park

    by Ross Collicutt | Apr 17, 2015

    As Nanaimo's signature destination park, Maffeo Sutton has a bit of something for everyone. This 7.9 hectare (19.5 acres) park located on the waterfront overlooks Nanaimo's harbour. It was named after Pete Maffeo, a popular mayor and ice cream shop owner admired for his community service and sport involvement, and Joe Sutton, the caretaker of Derverill Square Park for many years.

    view

    The park features 1.2 km of trails that are wheelchair accessible. The trails connect the park to the Harbourfront Walkway.

     bridge

    walking (2)

    For the kids, Maffeo Sutton Park is home to the Harbourside Playdock, one of Nanaimo's destination playgrounds.

    playground (2)

    There is access from the park to a walking and fishing pier. 

    pier

    Ferry access to Newcastle Island Provincial Park is located in the park.

    ferries (2)

    As you walk through the park, take a moment to enjoy the gardens and public art including the famous "frame", statue of former Mayor Frank Ney, the Octopus and, recently making the park it's permanent home, the Crab.

    gardens

    frame

    frankney

    octopus

    crab

    Swy-a-Lana lagoon is a great spot for swimming and the start location for many of Nanaimo's famous events like the Silly Boat Regatta, Dragon Boat races and the Bathtub races.

    beach (2)

    The Spirit Square is a gathering place for many community events and includes interpretive signage detailing the history of Nanaimo's waterfront.

    sculpture

    Many other outdoors events occur in the park such as the Summer Concerts in the Park series which takes place at the Lions Pavillion on Wednesday evenings in August.

    concert

    Looking to explore Nanaimo's parks and trails? Check out the Nanaimo Parks Search tool.

     

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