Champlain Park studies residents’ sense of belonging
In the fall of 2016, the Champlain Park and Vicinity Residents’ Association hired a consultant to study residents’ “sense of belonging” to their neighborhood. The consultant looked at five questions: What elements characterize the area? Does the delimitation of the association match the characteristics of the neighborhood? How can the association increase the sense of belonging among residents? How can membership and participation be increased? How can communication among residents and the association be improved?
Besides reviewing documents and press clippings, examining city subsidies to other residents’ associations, and reviewing communications used by other associations, the consultant also sent out an electronic survey to 600 residents. Eighty-two members and 38 non-members responded. On March 8, 2017, a consultation was held as part of the association’s annual meeting, where 40 residents also expressed their opinions.
Overall, residents were grateful and agreed that the association plays a key role in the Champlain Park community.
However, few agreed to invest more time with the association.
Many said they are already overwhelmed with work and family responsibilities, with many reporting households of several children or heavy work weeks.
Some respondents said that the association needs to communicate better with residents. Many wanted to know more about the association’s activities; if a local communication channel were created, they said, the association could better publicize its events, request volunteer help, and allow neighbours to get to know one another.
The consultant’s report recommended: re-focus the association’s mission to improving quality of life and creating a communication channel, request a subsidy under Gatineau’s community support program, organize activities that require less time and energy, create sub-committees that could enhance members’ participation, showcase the association’s successes, remove certain streets from the territory served (while allowing residents there to become auxiliary members), and create a media channel so residents can exchange ideas and the association can publish its announcements.