Back in 1989 a group of local residents got together to form the Island Lakes Residents’ Group with the intention of serving the needs of residents in the new community.
I recently spoke with Lindsey Wilson, chairperson of the Group to discuss what they were all about.
The ILRG arrived on the scene approximately 4 years after the first show home opened up in the neighbourhood — people living on Island Cove were the first residents.
Lindsey and his growing family moved into the area in 1985-’86. He explained that there was a need for the new area to be represented by a group of involved citizens to liaise with the City of Winnipeg to ensure nothing was overlooked or went ignored.
When the ILRG formed, everyone was interested in actively participating. A board of directors was elected and they set out to model different branches of the group after committees just like the City of Winnipeg, such as Parks, Walkways, Trees, Lighting, Play Structures, etc. All board and association members act on a volunteer basis, balancing home, family and day jobs to ensure their community is looked after.
Asked about the park named in his honour, Lindsey humbly recalls that it was the board’s idea, without his knowledge. They declared that — due to the amount of work he had done on the park and endless hours he had contributed in collaborating with the city on its design — the park was to be named after him.
ILRG projects are funded by annual resident association fees of $20. Upcoming projects include a splash pad accompanied by a nearby picnic shelter – for which the ILRG has applied for a Community Places Grant. Both areas both to be developed at the same time.
The ILRG’s annual barbecue and cleanup began in 1990. Lindsey said it’s a good way for the community to come together, and it keeps neighbours in touch.
"The kids absolutely love it!" he said.
"Right now our biggest challenge is keeping the ‘Adopt-A-Pot’ program thriving," said Lindsey.
He explained that a majority of the community are under the impression that it is the City’s responsibility for planting and watering the decorative flower pots throughout the community.
About 80-90% are planted, but the association needs more volunteers to assist, not only with the planting, but also the maintenance and watering of these local flower pots.
Lindsey praises the volunteers over the years for all their help. He says the diverse mix of knowledge and experience they bring directly contributes to making the ILRG a community success story.
Residents can keep in touch with the association and its activities through its website, www.islandlakes.org.
Jasmine van Gerwen is a community correspondent for Island Lakes. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org