Stretching Out Summer in the Neighbourhood

August is summer prime-time. We try to get in our BBQ’s, our time at the lake, or finally get around to that garden project. Summer can last even longer when we share it with our neighbours. Here are some tips for stretching out your summer and finding new ways to make memories last.
On those hot days, consider putting out a cooler with ice and cold drinks. Maybe set out freezies with a sign offering them for free. If you’re out in your yard and plenty of people pass by, a cold gift can feel like Christmas in August.
Host a block party. Chestermere has become known for the fun that comes when we block off a street and set up some food, fun and games. It’s easier than ever. Visit
Host a Block Party | Chestermere, AB – Official Website

Host a party in Chestermere! Community Support Services makes it easy to host a party for your neighbourhood by providing planning documents, children’s games, disposable plates and utensils, a BBQ, a visit from special guests and more!
to sign up for your block party kit and let the good times roll.
Find our local community garden and join in. Chestermere has several budding little creations and secret garden plots where community members are trying to make our city bloom. From garden plots under the power lines, to the emerging edible forest along the canals, or maybe you can spot the work of the Distinguished Incognito Gardening Society (DIGS) around town. You can help by pulling a weed or watering a plant that needs a drink.

Host a concert. This September we’re inviting Alberta singer-songwriter Kyle Church to a backyard concert in our city. You can get your tickets at, or you can host your own. Summer music makes our city sing.

Set up your office in the great outdoors, and enjoy the sun. My neighbours work on their front porch all year long, they increase their chances of saying ‘hi’ because they are often out. When our lives, and our work, spills out onto the front porch, it brings life to our community.

Fire up the campfire! Whether wood or propane, nothing sparks conversation like a campfire, and maybe some roasted marshmallows. If you have the technology, consider hosting a movie night by projecting a film onto a garage door or up on a hanging sheet. Spread the word and see who comes around.

Take a walk through the neighbourhood and if you see someone outside, stop and ask them a question. Many people would love to talk about their garden, their hobby, or tell a story, if only we would stop and ask. Curiosity and connection are foundational in healthy communities.

Paint rocks with some neighbour kids. During the pandemic hundreds of rocks were painted and secretly placed in parks around the city. Kids would find and trade rocks – some of them were elaborate treasures.

However you spend your summer, you can stretch out each day by reaching out and connecting with those around you. Have fun as you share your very best summer

About the author

Preston Pouteaux

Preston Pouteaux

Preston is a pastor at Lake Ridge Community Church in Chestermere and experiments mostly in the intersection of faith and neighbourhood. Into the Neighbourhood explores how we all contribute to creating a healthy and vibrant community. Preston is also a beekeeper; a reminder that small things make a big difference.

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