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Presidents Report for AGM 2019-2020 Year

October 25th, 2020

This is my 4th year as the president of the LSLA. I feel like this year was THE year where we were able to finally organize and put into place the Vision, mission and Values reflective of the current LSLA community and their needs. The work completed by this dedicated board allowed for the Bylaw committee to review and recreate meaningful and accurate Bylaws and processes that reflect the modern and thriving LSLA board and community.

The completion of these Updated bylaws will allow the bylaw committee to create a living document of clean, organized and straight forward policies and procedures to support the LSLA and all of its initiatives to move forward with ease into the next chapters of non profit work. The next generation of the LSLA board will be left with a clear and connected legacy to be effective in making gains towards a more sustainable and regenerative future here in Southern Alberta.

The 2020 year has been a complete departure from our reality only 12 months ago. As an organization, we had to make many difficult decisions in the spring while trying to balance our effectiveness in the community. COVID 19 most definitely altered the way we do business. As a consequence of COVID 19, we were unable to complete all of the events, tours, workshops and classes that were planned for spring and summer 2020. We instead focussed on the long game of the Fruit REscue program. Our FRP committee diligently reviewed the current circumstances and expected health protocols and moved forward into the season with a safe game plan.

OVer the course of the summer, the FRP completed 40 + fruits pickings, put into place a long needed policy and protocol for the safety of our volunteers and land owners along with an online training protocol to keep everyone on the same page. The FRP completed 4 juicing events including a joint effort with the Interfaith Food bank and again with our friends at Theoretically Brewing to be used for fundraising. 2 more private juicing sessions and 3 larger juicing/canning events allowed the FRP to donate 230 L of canned and preserved juice to the IFB and another 60+ to the FRP and volunteers. Again, 1000’s of pounds of fruit was rescued in our community leaving us in a great space for the future.

This 2020 year saw the addition of Urban Hens YQL joining the LSLA as a sub committee. The LSLA and Urban Hens group saw the importance of moving this sustainable local food community issue forward. We are just starting this journey and currently looking for a few more folks genuinely interested in the presentation of this bylaw amendment to city council.

The community clothing swap was able to have another successful clothing swap in the Fall of 2019 but unfortunately had to cancel the spring and summer swap. There are plans to expand this clothing swap experience by adding an alteration and “fix it fair” event alongside the clothing swap. Watch for those dates.

Zero Waste Lethbridge was well on its way to expanding and reaching many more people offering hands on skills and maker stations with the monthly gatherings. Prior to COVID, this group was meeting and making reusable paper items and starting to gain traction in a regular creations station monthly gathering. In January of 2020, the zero waste group had another non profit named, days for girls, offer a “by donation” workshop on how to make your own reusable menstrual pads. This was a HUGE success and was lined up to do many more during the 2020 year. These were obviously cancelled due to COVID.

Permaculture Lethbridge was gathering on a monthly basis all Fall and until March of 2020. They had a book swap, documentary series night and potlucks. PL’s hope is to continue these events for the future.

Fundraising has been an interesting idea during pandemic times and the LSLA board is currently and actively looking at some new ideas and programs in order to keep reaching the community with an onslaught of skills and knowledge shares. the board has identified the importance of this knowledge sharing mores so now than ever has been. We will aim to reach and make available all parts of our community and are actively looking for ways to reach our marginalized and those is most need.

A HUGE and really important part of 2020 has been the end of a 3 year process to flush out and identify our organizations Vision, Mission and Values. Completed after a series of special board meetings, the board identified the following as our goals. Please hear these and know that we are here to serve you... the community.

The LSLA empowers and inspires our community to foster meaningful and diverse relationships through connected and sustainable initiatives.

The LSLA Mission provides opportunities for sharing, collaboration, and support of personal and collective journeys in the various aspects of sustainable living:

* Food and clothing

* Housing and Lifestyles

* Community and Family

* Connection and Health

* Nature and Personal Growth

The LSLA values:

* Education on sustainable lifestyles and practices

* A solid sense of community and meaningful relationships

* Connection to individuals, local initiatives, and businesses

* A supportive CORE- space to inspire invitations for personal change

* Inclusivity, accessibility and practicality for all individuals

We are well on our way to creating a number of important and potent collaborations within the City of Lethbridge and Southern ALberta. The FRP is currently working with the Interfaith Food bank to create a joint position supporting the FRP and existing Food Recovery program. This will expand and set in stone the practice of food/fruit rescuing in Lethbridge as the rule. HUGE and cutting edge in this modern world.

The LSLA is in conversation with the City of Lethbridge about supporting the existing Waste and Recycling department. Our hope is that there will be along term collaboration allowing the education of waste to come to the forefront in our community.

There will be a few surprises offered in the 2020-2021 year in regards to online/in person year long opportunities to learn the skills and knowledge to live a more sustainable life. Accessible to everyone regardless of location, COVID regulations, finances or timing. Look for more information.

Finally, the LSLA will be taking time to review our existing membership policies and procedures in the Fall of 2020. We are hoping to revamp and create a more meaningful way to engage with this membership. This will mean more support and mindful reasons to be a part of the LSLA. Please be sure to get your membership online or by emailing our treasurer at lslatreasurer39@gmail.com.

Whether or not I am the president of the LSLA after October 25th, I will know that this organization is serving and will continue to serve its community long from now.

Thank you for your continued support

Mandy Sandbach

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