About Jasper Park
Originally established in 1912, Jasper Park is one of many neighborhoods that were part of the Town of Jasper Place and were later annexed by Edmonton in 1964. Development of the neighborhood began in earnest during the 1950s and continued into the 1960s. The neighborhood’s grid system of streets and large lots is typical of many subdivisions of the period. Single-detached homes comprise about half of all residential units in the neighborhood, and a number of apartments are located along two of its borders; 149 Street and 87 Avenue. Residents enjoy large lots, mature trees, large streets, and easy access to many amenities and attractions with nearby roads such as Whitemud Drive and Stony Plain Road.
Ecole Notre-Dame, offering French as the first language of study for Kindergarten to grade 6.
Stratford School, operated by Edmonton Public school division for Kindergarten to grade 9. It offers advanced academic and accelerated programming.
History of the Jasper Park Community LeagueThe following is from Volunteers - Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues: A history of the largest volunteer organization in North America, Bowler & Wanchuk, 1986.
Jasper Park League Founded: 1951
First President: Dagna McKerney
The Jasper Park Family Club was formed by a small group of citizens in a neighborhood that was just setting down roots. Some of the founding members were Ozzie and Brownie Cole, Olivine and Verdin Sears, Doris and Rusty Erhardt, Thelma Toope and Dagna McKemey. Soon others were drawn into the club and it was meeting regularly at Notre Dame School.
Sometimes community leagues are fortunate enough to have their own resident historians. Jasper Park's Terry Tremblay described the early days of the league in a letter to the EFCL.
Notre Dame School had an old chicken coop granary on their property which they were not using and the Jasper Park Family Club approached the principal as to whether they could have it. The club was given the building for their use. Fred Tokarek had his own Cat machine and hauled the granary onto the present community property. He also levelled the surrounding area for the new skating rinks. Having no money in the club, they asked the community of Winterburn for some old lights and wiring which they received and installed .... Everyone took turns caring for the rink and if any work needed to be done, it was accomplished with working bees.
The league changed its name to Jasper Park Community League in 1958, when it had 80 members. At the same time, it started fund-raising for the Butler Memorial Park at 157th Street and Stony Plain Road. It also joined the Jasper Place Association of Community Leagues and remained a member until the Town of Jasper Place joined Edmonton in 1964.
Jasper Park built a new clubhouse in 1960 for its 105 members. Unfortunately it was lost in a fire just a year later. The league's insurance money amounted to $7,900 and with this, a community hall was started. It was officially opened on March 3, 1962, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, a dinner and a dance - and all for 50 cents! The original nucleus of the Jasper Park Family Club were honorary guests for the evening.
Jasper Park's women's softball team captured the town championship in 1961. The following year, the young people of the league took first place for the best float in the Jasper Place Youth Parade. The young people of Jasper Park carried out regular activities through their own Teen Council.
Jasper Park's membership reached a peak of 130 in 1968. By the end of the 1970's, the league was experiencing a crisis of participation. Membership was down to 55 by 1980. Jasper Park tried to rectify the situation by sending out 100 questionnaires to find out what residents expected of their community league. The answer was disheartening. Only five questionnaires were returned and of these, three were blank.
The executive decided to call it quits - but one final attempt was made to rouse the community's residents to action. In April of 1980, the executive printed a special newsletter to inform Jasper Park of the sober facts. The provocative message on a tombstone said:
JASPER PARK COMMUNITY LEAGUE
DO YOU WANT TIIIS TO HAPPEN?
THE DECISION IS YOURS!
This eye-opening introduction was followed up with a list of the consequences of Jasper Park going under: including the loss of funds to a trust account, the loss of the community hall to the city and the closing of the rink complex.
The executive's plea concluded with an appeal to the self-interest of citizens.
By becoming involved, you meet and get to know others from this area. People on the same block develop a sense of neighborhood. They watch out for each other when one family is away at work or on a vacation and report anything suspicious. This reduces dangers of: House break-ins, Vandalism, Child Molesting, Fire. Therefore property value stabilizes in a neighborhood where there is a strong community league. There is less vandalism in an area where there is plenty for the kids to do.
It is cheering to note that Jasper Park's membership was back up to 100 by 1985.
Jasper Park Community League petitioned the Edmonton Public Library in 1985, against the moving of the Meadowlark branch to West Edmonton Mall. The league initially petitioned successfully for the establishment of this same branch in 1958.
The majority of west-end residents were opposed to moving the library into the mall. A special meeting at Jasper Park hall saw the birth of a coalition of 18 community leagues (Jasper Place Library Citizens Action Committee) with the goal of "retention of a community library."(1)
The result of the action committee's work was a promise by the library board to retain the concept of a community library for the west end. This led Marguerite O'Donnell of the action committee to exclaim: "It's definitely a win." Jasper Park's Marcel Roy could be heard saying: "We won. We beat City Hall. Those people realized we were a force from day one."(2)
PAST PRESIDENTS: Dagna McKemey, Alex Barnes, Fred Tokarek, Don McMillan, Glen Sylvester, Chuck Meyer, Charles Littlewood, John Dokter, Roy Weir, Craig Hague, Rudy Kobes, Jim Dearden, Kay Fox, Stan McMillan, Mike Hanzel, Jim Salahub, Nick Frans, Barry Pearson.
Edmonton Examiner, March 25, 1985.
Edmonton Examiner, April 29, 1985.