My husband and I have lived in the same Calgary neighbourhood for 15 years. We intially bought a home in Inglewood because we liked the older character homes, the neighbourhood’s proximity to downtown and the funky little shopping district along Ninth Avenue S.E. While we still appreciate all of these qualities, what ties us to Inglewood now is its sense of community and what that means for our kids.
This past weekend the Inglewood Community Association staged a winter carnival for residents. The free event included a petting zoo, wagon rides, face painting and balloon animals for kids, munchies, and ice skating at the community rink. Many families showed up on the 12C afternoon and enjoyed the sunshine, catching up with friends and meeting new neighbours. The best part was seeing the next generation of Inglewood kids take to the ice.
Most of the children attend the community school, the neighbourhood anchor through which parents get to know one another. Because of this community spirit, and perhaps because of Inglewood’s geography (bordered on three sides by the Bow River, Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and Inglewood Wildlands), there’s a sense of safety in the ‘hood. Many families let their kids play outdoors unsupervised; in fact, I wrote about this ‘free-range’ phenomenon in the context of child-safe neighbourhoods in a story for the Calgary Herald last fall.
As a parent, I think the neighbourhood my kids are growing up in is awesome — that’s a great feeling. What about you? How’s the spirit in your ‘hood? Does it influence how you parent your kids? Does it make you feel more a part of the community?