More folks are exploring locally and communities throughout the Lower Mainland are finding new ways to interact—New Westminster is leading the way. In an effort to bring the city closer, locals are coming together by participating in community-engaging initiatives. Whether you’re the type to curl up with a book or get crafty while working with your hands, New West has something for you! As a friendly reminder, we ask that you respect the property and privacy of others when taking part in any of the following activities.
If you ask friends and family that live in New Westminster if they’ve seen a pop-up library, the answer would probably be a resounding “yes“, right? We thought so. The premise is simple—take a book when you need one, leave a book when you have one. Also known as community book exchanges, mini-libraries and little free libraries, they add a unique element to our growing city. They get the community reading, learning, and possibly most important of all, sharing.
Nestled between houses and on street corners, these little libraries are found in neighbourhoods all over New Westminster. From Sapperton and Queen’s Park to the West End and Queensborough, you’ll surely come across some reading material that piques your interest. And hey, you can even drop off that old book from a few reads ago!
Since pop-up libraries are, quite literally, popping up around New Westminster, we encourage you to keep your eyes peeled for new additions. Residents have helped The Record compile a list of libraries that can be found here. If you come across a new pop-up library in your neighbourhood, be sure to snap a photo and share it on social media using #MadeInNewWest.
Painted Rock Art
Colourful, hand–painted rocks are on display in New West. Found in gardens, public spaces and on boulevards, these charming rocks are a trend gaining traction in the city. Painted by residents from all walks of life, each unique design brings a touch of the artist’s personality to the space.
Some New Westminster residents have embraced the community spirit by sharing their painted rock collections. In some private gardens, there are signs encouraging passersby to take a rock and place it elsewhere. If a rock catches your eye, why not share it with your neighbourhood?
All you need to take part in this trend are a few simple supplies: smooth rocks, water-based acrylic paint, a good outdoor sealant and some creative thinking. We’re always interested to see what people are creating, so don’t be afraid to share your favourite rocks on social media!
If you’re looking to get your hands dirty to satisfy your green thumb, then look no further. New Westminster is home to some of the most well-kept community gardens in the Lower Mainland. The members of our tight-knit community are dedicated to promoting urban agriculture, access to (and the consumption of) locally grown produce and reducing our city’s ecological footprint.
Participation in New Westminster’s community gardens is on a membership basis, so we suggest taking a look at each groups’ website to learn how you can get involved. For more information, you can check out the New Westminster Community Gardening Society here, and the Port Royal Community Garden Society here. Happy planting!
New West Letter Exchange
Perfectly situated at the beginning of the Waterfront Esplanade boardwalk in Downtown New Westminster is the New West Letter Exchange. Created by local author Monique Stanley-Davy, the initiative connects letter-writers and letter-readers by sharing lessons, experiences, curiosities and more. Grab a letter, find a peaceful place to sit, get to reading and enjoy the scenic waterfront.
Monique has taken the initiative one step further by creating an Instagram page that features updates to the project and letters from the community. If a letter you’ve read truly resonates with you, send it to @nwletterxchange to be shared online. Next time you’re in the area, make sure to drop off a letter to make someone’s day!
There you have it! These are the community initiatives that are keeping New West connected. For more fun activities to get you out and about, check out 10 Parks to Explore on a Sunny Day in New Westminster. When exploring, don’t forget to share your experiences on social media using #MadeInNewWest!