A thriving community is not simply measured by individuals, but by the health of the collective. With the desire to help build thriving communities, MCC Legacy Trust takes a unique approach to how they manage the various apartment complexes within their care. Their community-minded values have influenced them to revitalise the residences of Park Village and Pine Glen and to facilitate creative initiatives that their collaborative partners, MCC BC and Westwood Church have developed, engaging with the individuals living at the apartments Legacy manages.
When MCC Legacy Trust initially inherited Park Village and Pine Glen from their founding donor in 2012, the apartments were so timeworn they were only able to operate at 50% capacity. In 2016, the outside facade and common spaces were renovated and the unoccupied apartment suites were gutted and rebuilt. All apartment suites are now consistently maintained and updated as tenants move in and out of the building. Over the last few years, MCC Legacy Trust has also landscaped the property, repaved the parking lot, replaced balconies and windows, and updated one of the playgrounds with modern equipment.
However, a home is more than the sum of its parts. It’s an environment in which individuals are given the opportunity to grow and thrive. The shared vision and successful partnership of MCC Legacy Trust, Westwood Church, and MCC BC has provided them with the opportunity to not only improve things outwardly, but also to interact with the residents of Park Village and Pine Glen in a holistic way. They have worked together to develop a community that is flourishing and contributing to their surrounding neighbourhood.
For many years, Westwood Church and MCC BC have enjoyed a long-standing and mutually- beneficial relationship with each other; working together over the years on multiple projects. With a heart for community outreach, Westwood Church has partnered with MCC Legacy Trust and MCC BC to engage with and impact the neighbourhood of Park Village and Pine Glen Apartments.
Impacting a Community
Within the partnership of these three groups, the primary vision for Park Village and Pine Glen is to develop healthy relationships, and work with them to build a stronger, safer, sustainable community. Programs and events have been developed by utilizing the abilities, skills and vision of the residents to meet existing needs and encourage individuals to take initiative in bettering their community.
MCC Legacy Trust has renovated and donated a three bedroom suite within Pine Glen to facilitate programs run by Westwood Church and MCC BC in conjunction with residents. These programs include an ESL group which helps individuals develop confidence in the English language, a Grandparents Raising Grandchildren support group for those with similar child-raising lifestyles to meet together, and the future Connections Cafe which will be a space that encourages conversation and connection amongst residents.
There has also been the opportunity for the residents to learn creation care through sustainability with raised bed community gardens at Park Village. MCC Legacy Trust had a water line installed for easy access to water for the gardens. Westwood Church now has a highly skilled horticulturist involved who will train interested individuals in gardening and landscaping. This beautification will not be constrained to the gardens, but expand to the whole of Park village and Pine Glen, as Legacy Trust has hired a landscaper to bring more life to the grounds, as well as, partner with the residents to improve the aesthetics of the property.
This, coupled with composting and recycling programs, newly built picnic tables and a freshly paved basketball court (made into a skating rink in the winter for year-round use), is elevating the grounds of Pine Glen and Park Village and giving residents a sense of ownership and community.
The latest development, overseen by Westwood Church, is the planting of micro churches within the apartment communities. This holistic way of approaching church-planting and ministry, allows for a family or individuals to move in and naturally become connected to residents through hospitality, relationship, and by simply doing life together. This year, a couple from Westwood Church has begun this intent by moving into a fully renovated and subsidised Pine Glen apartment, which MCC Legacy Trust provided.
Stewarding Legacy Together
The comprehensive improvement to the community of Park Village and Pine Glen is owing to the fruitful collaboration of Westwood Church, MCC BC, and MCC Legacy Trust. Residents who have lived for years in these complexes, have begun to comment on the positive change they’ve witnessed and are experiencing. The quality of the buildings has been improved; residents are staying longer; community engagement has grown; and safety in the area has increased. The RCMP has reached out and commented on the marked difference and improvement in the neighbourhood.
The shared values and faith principles of MCC Legacy Trust, MCC BC, and Westwood church have allowed for an effective partnership to accomplish the goal of impacting and benefiting a whole community of individuals and families. Through effective stewardship of MCC Legacy Trust and the community-minded programs of Westwood and MCC BC, Park Village and Pine Glen Apartments have become a thriving neighbourhood.