Hinton’s Family and Community
Support Services (FCSS) is
encouraging Hintonites to get
outside in the spring air and visit
a neighbour as part of the new
Saturday Driveway initiative.
For those who want to participate,
all they have to do is set up some
lawn chairs and maybe a propane
campfire in their front yard and
wait for a neighbour to come by
for a visit. People can freely decide
if they’d like to go walking around
their neighbourhood on a Saturday
afternoon or evening with a curiosity
if they’ll encounter a host.
“The number one goal is always
going to be social connection. We
recognize that we’re having less
in-person conversations than we
probably did prior to the pandemic.
We just appreciate how important it
is to talk to other people,” said Lisa
Brett, FCSS community connections
Secondly, the initiative is
about building neighbourhoods,
Brett added. FCSS hopes this
neighbourhood project will help
strengthen trusting relationships
“A lot of us don’t know our
neighbours. So this is an opportunity
to introduce ourselves and if we do
know our neighbours then this is an
opportunity to build on that,” Brett
The Saturday Driveway initiative
kicks off this
Saturday, March 6,
and FCSS hopes to
promote it for the
next three months.
Brett hopes the
initiative will help
used to the idea
of hanging out in
their front yard on
and evenings, being
reached out to
St. Albert who
had a similar project early in the
pandemic, and they shared their
positive experience and resources.
Brett noted the initiative can play
an important role in combating
isolation that has become more
prevalent the past year.
“I recognize you can be isolated
and not feel lonely. In other
scenarios people feel lonely where
they’re feeling more empty and
separated and that emotion can be
quite powerful,” Brett said.
Positive interactions among
neighbours can also help individuals
feel safer in their neighbourhood
and realize they can
rely on a neighbour
in an emergency, she
She hopes the
idea will help the
off loneliness, foster
in a time where
pulling back due
can now gather
with a group up
to 10 while social
distancing and wearing masks.
“It’s just really about sparking an
idea in people rather than telling
them what to do. This might only
attract certain people or certain
personalities but the outcomes are
unknown. It’s a hopeful project,
it’s about kindness and being
welcoming to all people,” Brett said.
The Town offers posters to
promote the initiative and also one
that individuals could hang on
their door or mailbox to let others
know when they will be hosting a
Saturday Driveway event.
Hintonites can participate on
their own and self-manage their
“There’s a lot of freedom and
liberty involved as long as they
recognize that we’re still under
COVID-19 [restrictions],” Brett said.
RCMP and Fire Department are
aware of the project and COVID-19
restrictions were also considered
when putting the concept together.
A portable fire pit is permissible
but if someone chooses to have a real
fire, they must read the fire bylaw
link on hinton.ca/fcss and adhere to
its fire safety precautions.
Posters to participate are available
at the FCSS office to pick up or for
print from the Town of Hinton
The principle way to know if
someone is hosting a Saturday
Driveway is that a participant is
visibly set up in their driveway or
front yard welcoming neighbours to
stroll by and have a chat.
Being masked and remaining
six feet apart must be part of the
interactions. Currently, outdoor
gatherings allow up to 10 people.
Masha Scheele, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hinton Voice