Help your neighbourhood become more connected and resilient.
A pilot intake for the Neighbour to Neighbour Resilience Initiative (N2N) is accepting up to three participant groups.
Saanich is offering a series of three interactive 90 minute workshops. The workshops will connect neighbours and help groups develop neighbourhood projects which address emergency preparedness, climate action, and caring for nature at a neighbourhood scale. After completing the workshops, groups will be eligible to apply for a $500 project grant to support the community project developed in the workshops.
Who can apply?
The pilot N2N intake has room for three groups, one from each of the housing categories below:
- Single family homes or other ground-oriented buildings within a 3-block radius
- A purpose-built rental building
- A strata, co-op, or other shared ownership building model
Group applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria and in order to fill each of the desired housing categories above.
The findings of the pilot will be used to amend and improve the program for subsequent intakes. If more applications are received than there are spaces available, applicants will be invited to join a waitlist and will be notified about the next intake via email. If you’d like to be notified about subsequent intakes even if you have not yet applied, please join the N2N e-news list.
How to apply
- Organize a team of four to 12 neighbours within three blocks of each other (a minimum of four households, including the group organizer, is required). You can download posters [PDF - 134 KB] and doorhangers [PDF - 38 KB] to help with recruiting your neighbourhood group, or request printed copies by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Apply as a group using the Group Application form. [DOCX - 23 KB]
- Once your group has completed the three workshops, you can choose to complete a Grant Application. [DOCX - 27 KB]
Resources for Neighbourhood Resilience
Neighbourhood-scale projects that enhance our emergency preparedness, climate action, and care for nature can improve our well-being and resilience. Below are some resources and ideas for your neighbourhood-scale projects.
Enhancing emergency preparedness
One of the most effective emergency preparedness activities is to connect with your neighbours because the first people to provide assistance in an emergency are often those nearby.
Connected neighbourhoods respond and recover more quickly and effectively following a disaster. The Saanich Emergency Program has many resources to help you get prepared!
Taking climate action at a neighbourhood level can help good ideas spread – this is how the concept of blue boxes emerged a generation ago! Check out the Saanich Climate Plan page to learn about municipal actions and ways you can get involved to reduce our climate impact and prepare for a changing climate.
Caring for nature
Small natural areas within neighbourhoods (such as trees, naturesca
ped gardens and boulevards ) can provide valuable nature spaces and corridors that improve connections between larger natural areas. Research has shown that spending just two hours over a week in nature improves our mental health. Check out the Saanich Parks Natural Intelligence page for lots of great nature ideas!
Neighbourhood Resilience project ideas
If you’re stuck for ideas about your neighbourhood resilience project, check out some of the ideas below:
- Host a block party for a cause.
- Complete the Residents' Climate Action Guidebook [PDF - 12 MB] [PDF - 25 MB] together. Use the Saanich Carbon Calculator to find out your impact on the planet’s climate. Organize a neighbourhood challenge to inspire your community members to reduce household greenhouse gas emissions.
- Use the Lighter Living Neighbourhood Action Packs to help you take action for the well-being of the planet and your community. In the guide, you'll find fun and inspiring activities you can undertake on your own, with friends and neighbours, or with your whole neighbourhood.
- Have a “green home” talk or tour of climate-friendly features in your neighbourhood (e.g. who has an e-bike, a heat pump, an electric vehicle, who knows how to do draft proofing etc).
- Organize a neighbourhood garage sale, clothing swap, little library, plant or tool swap system.
- Take the Saanich Emergency Program Preparedness 201 course as a neighbourhood group.
- Designate a space and purchase shared neighbourhood emergency supplies.
- Make a neighbourhood heat response plan (i.e. check in on vulnerable neighbours, know who has air-conditioning at home and who doesn’t).
- Make a neighbourhood “adopt a storm drain” pledge.
- Create a community space with preparedness features (e.g. bench with a neighbourhood information board).
- Reduce food waste by setting up systems to share excess food in your neighbourhood.
- Create a Naturescape block or neighbourhood. Wildlife relies on native plant habitats that you can provide in your yard or even in pots on your deck.
- Apply for a boulevard permit to plant a native plant or Naturescape garden.
- Create a pollinator corridor in your neighbourhood. Find out how you can provide plants that attract and support our native butterflies [PDF - 203 KB] [PDF - 203 KB]. Find out how you can provide habitat for native bees [PDF - 322 KB] [PDF - 322 KB].
- Organize a neighbourhood session to build and install bird, bat, or bee boxes together. Here are some simple designs: Nestbox for Swallows [PDF - 41 KB] or Chickadees and Nuthatches [PDF - 100 KB]. Also, check out this information about protecting nestboxes from invasive birds [PDF - 227 KB]. Support bats by installing a bat roosting box [PDF - 3 MB]. Find out more about local bats here: community bat programs of BC.
- Consider removing invasive plants from your neighbourhood. See Saanich’s Invasive Species webpages and resources for more information on these weedy species. Or join Saanich’s Pulling Together program.
- Take on a neighbourhood citizen scientist project using iNaturalist- an online social network built on the concept of mapping and sharing observations of biodiversity across the globe. Each Saanich Park has it’s own iNaturalist project that you can add your observations to. Help us build our knowledge of what occurs in our parks.