Next steps: Community Garden and Barbecue

NECC-NeedhamGardenPP1 3The North End Community Circle will meet at 5 p.m., Wednesday, April 16, in the community room of Needham on.  We’ll have enough finger food to fill our bellies (as Needham doesn’t have a full kitchen; email if you wish to contribute) and then meet from 5:30 – 6:30 to discuss the NECC community garden at Needham and update planning for the June 18 BBQ at Isleville Park. 

Thanks, in advance, to members of Mulgrave Park Baptist Church who, I understand, have committed to rolling three barbecues to the park!  They will also help in a myriad of other ways.  Phoenix Youth from Mulgrave Park also plan to help out, with both youth and staff.  Many hands will make the 2014 North End Community Barbecue a great success.  Put June 18, 4 – 7 p.m., in your calendar, as well as the raindate of June 19.

(Note: if anyone would like to join a conversation about how to “grow” the NECC – in terms of funding and governance – please be in touch. An advisory committee will meet at 4 p.m. on April 16 to discuss these “under the hood” topics.)

Other upcoming NECC events:

Tuesday, May 6, 9 a.m., at Veith House: The North End Multi-Service Roundtable will meet.  This is a chance to not-for-profits and other organizations serving the North End to swap information and seek out partnerships.  (Note: we’ll put up posters . Feel free to send them in .pdf or .jpg format.)

Saturday, time/date in May TBD: Once the Africville Museum has gotten news of their summer staff, they and the NECC will co-host a walking tour to the museum from the end of Novalea.

May/June: building/planting days.   NECC’s application to use land adjacent to Needham Centre for a community garden will be considered soon by HRM staff.  Several organizations and a number of residents have expressed interest in plots and others – even if they don’t want their own raised bed – are keen to help with building and maintaining the garden.  Stay tuned!  Thanks to the Ecology Action Centre’s food program for supporting us and other community garden initiatives in the North End.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone

CANCELLED: April 1 roundtable at Veith House

My daughter’s school is cancelled and it is treacherous to get around.   Let’s all connect at Veith House on May 6 at 9 a.m.   Please email if you are interested in the community garden project (details below). Thanks and apologies.  Lisa 


A quick reminder that Tuesday, April 1, at 9 a.m. will be the next Multi-Service Roundtable at Veith House.  No joking!  I’ve gotten a number of emails from service providers who are looking to connect with other community organizations and I am hopeful that it will be well attended and productive.  Notes from the March roundtable give you an idea of the kind of information that gets shared around the table:  March 4 – Roundtable.

We had a good meeting on March 19 at Needham Centre.  One result: we will go ahead and apply to use land adjacent to Needham Centre as a community garden!  That application has to go in within the next week and must include a plot plan.  So far, I have interest in a raised bed plot from Needham’s Youth Leadership team, Needham Pre-School and two community residents.  There will also be a NECC bed of food to share.

If you, your organization, your neighbour, or someone you know would like a plot, please let me know by replying to this message by April 3.  Please note: we must apply to HRM for access to the land and I don’t know if there will be a limit on the number of beds we can establish in year one. There are also community gardens in the works at both Veith House and Mulgrave Park through Progress in the Park.


Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Planning for Spring: March 19 at 1p.m.

It’s time to plan for spring… and beyond!  The NECC has hosted a huge, lovely Community Barbecue at Isleville Park the last two Junes.  The date for this year’s is June 18 – rain date of June 19 – and we need a bunch of hands of help.  March 19, from 1-2:30 at Needham Centre on Devonshire Ave, will be an opportunity to plan.

Regardless whether we meet early, mid or late-afternoon, it’ll be at Needham Centre on Devonshire Ave.

The meeting will also be good chance to talk about a possible North End Garden Summit – an idea we’re mulling over for April/ May; and for folks interested in helping to establish a new community garden adjacent to Needham Centre to speak up.

As you can read if you delve into the notes from the March 4 North End Multi-Stakeholder Roundtable, March 4 – Roundtable,  NECC needs to do some housework.  Right now, it’s a project but not a stand-alone not-for-profit, with a one-day-a-week community organizer. That’s just not enough  time to build relationships and bring people together to make good stuff happen.   So… time to write some grants, fill out some forms, etc., and that means it’ll be a while before another awesome workshop or community potluck.

There are lots of other interesting nuggets in the notes – like that In Full Bloom will happen at the Bloomfield Centre on June 22nd.  Don’t forget to check the bulletin board for community events too.


Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone

North End multi-service roundtable: moving on up!

At 9 a.m. on March 4, the North End  multi-service roundtable is trying out a new location – the penthouse on the 7th floor of Northwood.  It’s got comfy chairs and an amazing view.  It’s also in a walkable location for many service providers in central and north end Halifax.

Like every month, this is an opportunity for various non-profit organizations to share news about programs and discuss possibilities for collaboration.  Thanks to Natasha Handspiker of ReBoom for hosting us and for her assurances that this location will not be picketed in the case of a labour strike/ lock-out affecting Northwood.  That situation involves homecare workers and the relevant office is in Burnside.

To get to the roundtable, use the doors at 2615 Northwood Street and take the elevator to the penthouse. Parking is available in Northwood’s lot for $1.25/hr; the machine is inside the door or ask at the desk.

You can read the notes from last month here or find out more about the idea behind the roundtable.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Community Potluck – Feb. 19

nonamenoname-2noname-3Good things come out of conversations and conversations happen when relationships are formed.  That’s why the North End Community Circle generally gathers over food as we move towards our vision.  Here are a few pictures from our last gathering – a workshop on mindfulness, preceded by a potluck – in January.



Feb. 19, we’re having a potluck and hoping to facilitate some good conversations about possible next steps in the North End.   It would be lovely to see you there.


Here’s the invite that went out by email.  Click here to get on the list.


“The North End Community Circle is a space for community-minded residents and service providers to gather and make good things happen.  On Feb. 19, the NECC invites all to a community potluck with hosted conversations  from 5-7 p.m. at the Shambhala School on Russell St. (corner of Gottingen).  If you are able to attend and contribute, please sign up at –  so we don’t all bring dessert!”

February 19th NECC-2

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Notes from the February roundtable

The notes are rudimentary but they capture the work that some organizations are doing in North End Halifax.  There are links to events, emails for people who are offering volunteer and learning opportunities, and bits of neighbourhood news.  The next roundtable will be March 4, also at 9a.m.  All service providers working in the North End, including ministers and elected representatives, are welcome, as are residents.

If you’re curious about the idea and inspiration behind the roundtable, read this. I just heard rumours of a similar gathering happening in Bayers-Westwood.

Note that the notes are in .pdf format so that good people don’t get spammed.



Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Multi-service roundtable: Feb 4

Natascia Lipny wrote a piece on the new multi-service roundtable in North End Halifax – and the very established one in Spryfield – for the Halifax Media Coop.   Read it here.

The next roundtable is happening Tuesday, Feb. 4, 9 a.m. at Veith House.  Anyone who works to make the North End of Halifax a good place to live is very welcome.  If you’re interested, just show up or read more about the concept and the notes from the first roundtable on Jan. 7, 2014.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Notes from first North End Multi-service Roundtable

There is a *lot* happening in the North End.

Sixteen people – attached to North End schools, family resources centres, the library, and non-profits including Family SOS and the Ecology Action Centre – attended the first North End Multi-service Roundtable. (Read more about the idea for this meeting here.)  If you’re interested in finding out what some of those people are working on – and how you can get involved (for example, by volunteering as a tutor at the North Branch library) – dig into the notes attached as a .pdf file.

The roundtable will happen every month on the first Tuesday at 9 a.m. The next one will be Feb 4.   It’s an open table.  Residents are welcome and the Veith House provides coffee.

Multi-service roundtable Jan 7

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Next NECC gathering: Jan 15, 5-7 p.m. at Shambhala School on Russell St.


Jan 15th NECC-2poster


Please consider joining us for this.

In October, more than 20 parents, artists, community workers and other residents did a workshop on restorative practices with Gola Taraschi-Carr through the North End Community Circle.  We explored why we sometimes feel tension or even experience conflict with other members of our family or community.  We talked about what happened in the moments and days after conflict – and how it affects our bodies and minds. And we talked about how restorative practices work to restore us to a sense of well-being. (More background here.)

At the next NECC meeting, in November, we landed on mindfulness as a useful practice for restorative practices.  Members of the NECC who are part of the St. Joseph A. McKay school community – which uses restorative circles in the classroom- affirmed this.

And that’s how we decided to approach Shambhala School – literally across the street from SJAM – to see if they’d share some of their knowledge.  Their answer: Yes.

Food will be provided. Childcare will be provided.  It would be very helpful to have an approximate idea of number so please pre-register: necchalifax [at]

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone

The New Roundtable

***Please note: the roundtable is happening every month on the first Tuesday at 9 a.m. at Veith House.  We’ll likely take the summer off, but please join us May 6 and  June 3 to meet and share information with other people working to make life better for residents in North End Halifax.  Anyone is welcome.***

The North End Community Circle has always included many service providers – that is, people who have jobs to help make the North End of Halifax a better place to live. Regulars in the circle include social workers, recreation programmers, police officers and clergy members.

Now, with the United Way funding that we received in the spring of 2013, we’re really trying to engage more residents in the circle.  We’re offering workshops and food and childcare to make coming to the circle more attractive and feasible.

But there’s still great value in offering a space where service providers can share information about programs that they’re offering and identify needs that they could use help to address.

That’s why, on January 7 at 9 a.m., the NECC will host the first North End Multi-Service Roundtable at Veith House.  In fact, Veith House has booked its board room for the first Tuesday of the month, from 9 – 11 a.m.,  for the next year and they promise to put on some coffee.

This is modeled on the Spryfield Multi-Service Roundtable which has been ongoing for 30 years (!) on the second Tuesday of the month.  It’s hosted by Chebucto Connections and has resulted in many different programs and collaborations in that community.

The meeting will have a very simple format: a go-around the table where people introduce themselves and where they work, and then identify anything they’re offering (e.g., a program that has space in it; a newly renovated kitchen for community events, etc.)  and anything they need help with (e.g., new board members or other volunteers).

The NECC will take and circulate minutes.   You won’t walk away with action items that you must report back on the following month, but you might walk away with the card of someone who can help you with your work. Please come join us.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone