Letters to the Editor

Revitalizing Hammond, honouring its rich heritage

Editor, The News:

Re: News earns community award (The News, May 25).

Congratulations to The News on  winning the Spirit of Community award. I was honoured to receive the Good Neighbour award and am grateful to my wonderful neighbors here in Hammond who nominated me and improve our lives on a daily basis.

My parents helped us break the ice and meet our neighbours pretty much from Day 1.

After spending the last few years bonding through Christmas and block parties, my neighbours and I were inspired by Jim Diers’ workshop to take community building to the next level. We want to create a social, project-based group that revitalizes Hammond and honors its heritage in a fun, neighbourly way. I am interested in organizing family dances at the Hammond Community Centre and improving the local parks.

In the spirit of We Call It Haney, my neighbours and I are starting to collect current photos and oral histories of Hammond’s rich heritage.

My husband and I have applied for a Heritage Revitalization Agreement (HRA) with the District of Maple Ridge for our house, which was built by my grandfather in 1923. The HRA is a new program and we are hoping these agreements catch on, as they are designed to help homeowners make upgrades to the property while preserving its heritage elements.

It’s pretty cool to live in a neighbourhood where people chat on a daily basis and are there to support each other when difficulties arise. I am grateful to the district for supporting community building through neighbourhood grants, workshops, committees, and the Spirit of Community awards.

I grew up in Maple Ridge and returned to raise my own kids. Having lived both abroad and in Vancouver, I can better appreciate my hometown. It really is a gorgeous part of the world.

Hammond, in particular, is brimming with beauty and potential and is now on the cusp of revitalization. Anyone interested in having fun in Hammond, please email me at leannekoehn@telus.net.

Leanne Koehn

Maple Ridge

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