Gazette Article: New Web app to increase block parties

Source: New Web app to increase block parties

Connecting with your neighbours is no longer something that has to be done at the mailbox, over the back fence or while you’re mowing your lawn.

With the introduction of a new web-based app, the St. Albert Good Neighbour Program is now looking to start connecting people digitally with the hopes of increasing the number of block parties in the city this year.

Dale Fetterly, a volunteer with St. Albert Neighbourhood Watch, built a program that will let busy people connect with those around them to get the party started.

“If people want to be contact person to get a block party going, if they want to be an assistant, or if they just want to attend a block party then they can register with this app,” he said. “When other people register, we’re able to look at the map and see how close they live.”

The Good Neighbour Program is a partnership between the city, Neighbourhood Watch and the St. Albert Ministerial association. Its stated purpose is to connect St. Albertans and host a block party on every street. There are about 700 streets in the city, and an average of 82 block parties per year.

Fetterly explained the new app, which is available on the website goodneighbourproject.org under the tab “Start Here,” is administered jointly by himself, St. Albert FCSS and the member churches.

The process is fairly straightforward to register. You enter your name and address, what level of interest you have in organizing, and whether you belong to one of the member congregations.

“The two people can contact each other, and work together to get the block party going,” Fetterly said.

For those belonging to a specific congregation, someone from the church will help put you in contact with you neighbours, and otherwise Fetterly or FCSS staff will make those connections.

Fetterly said if the app sees success in terms of connecting people for block parties, it’s possible it could be expanded for other areas.

“Looking ahead, if this works out this year for block parties, we could join people together for other areas of interest, whether it’s walking dogs or stuff like that,” he said.

Visit goodneighbourproject.org for more information about block parties or to register using the app.

About Matt Garvinhttp://www.faithreflections.orgAuthor, Trainer and Pastor of Community Engagement and Mission at St.Albert Alliance Church.

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