Start loving your city on Saturday

Love My City Week begins Saturday. But Dave Jonsson hopes the connections people forge during seven days of community projects across the Tri-Cities will last all year.

Jonsson, an associate pastor at Port Coquitlam’s Riverside Church, said he started Love My City Week last year as a way to foster civic pride of place in residents who are becoming increasingly isolated by condo living and technology. Hundreds bought into the idea and pitched in for several projects that culminated with a free celebration at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.

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This year, Jonsson estimates more than 1,000 volunteers will get involved in 12 projects, including a clean-up along Port Moody’s Shoreline Trail and similar efforts in Coquitlam’s Mundy Park, around Lafarge Lake and on the Coquitlam Crunch. Port Coquitlam’s Lions and Citadel Heights parks will also benefit. And the effort is extending to a fourth community when a work gang will help paint the historic PItt Meadows United Church Saturday and Sunday.

Once again, the week will wrap up with a free community celebration July 13 featuring live music, food, and activities, this time at Riverside Church, 2329 Fremont Connector.

Jonsson said while most projects involve clean-ups that will help beautify community spaces, the more important aspect is bringing people together to do the work.

“It’s not that we’re passionate about picking up garbage,” he said. “The goal is to unite people of the cities they live in through simple acts of love.”

Jonsson said the event may be defined by a week on the calendar but its spirit has no limitations.

“If we all spend three hours loving our community, imagine the change that can happen,” he said.

• To learn more about Love My City Week, or to get involved with one of its projects, go to lovemycityweek.com.

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