Snow shovel social: North Delta parents help clear school grounds

Groups of parents used social media to coordinate impromptu work parties to help ensure walkways and playgrounds were safe for their kids.

Parents hard at work clearing snow and ice from the walkways at Gray Elementary.

Rather than complain on social media when the snow began to fall last weekend, many North Delta neighbours used the Internet to get organized.

With January’s pesky flurries still fresh in their memories, several community members went back to school, shovels and snow blowers in hand, to help clear walking paths and playgrounds.

Residents were spotted working solo in late evenings, in large groups of parents and kids during the day, and even on Super Bowl Sunday.

Will and Jill Douglas attracted a shovelling crew out to Sunshine Hills Elementary on Sunday through a couple of simple social media posts looking to increase action instead of the complaints heard after January’s snowfall.

Parents and kids come together to help dig out Sunshine Hills Elementary. Photo credit: Jill Douglas

Parents and kids come together to help dig out Sunshine Hills Elementary. Photo credit: Jill Douglas

“All I did was post on Facebook and show up when I said I would,” Will Douglas said. “We had a dozen or so people come out on Sunday, with others coming on their own time. Kim Kautzman has been relentless in her shovelling efforts.”

Dana Chenier saw Douglas’ Facebook post in the North Delta Community Corner Facebook group. She then posted in the Sunshine Wood Parents group looking to gather people and shovels at Pinewood Elementary.

“I posted a message at 10:39 p.m. Saturday night, and people were texting back until after midnight,” Chenier said. “Twelve hours later, we had more than 25 adults and 15 kids with shovels in hand.”

The Delta School District strives to keep schools open if at all possible during winter weather, including through snowfalls, according to a statement on the district’s website from superintendent Doug Sheppard.

In response to news about the rogue snow shovel groups, a district spokesperson said there is no expectation for people to come out and shovel; however, it is great to have such community-minded people in Delta.

Parents at Gray Elementary also decided to be proactive in snow removal, with discussion at a PAC meeting that the district doesn’t have resources to clear playing areas for outdoor breaks.

“We came out as families, and shovelled for the kids, so they can go outside and have fun in the snow,” said Sonja Gustavsen, mother of three Gray students. “It turned into a fun event, with kids playing and lots of smiles.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: The day 28,000 Lollapalooza-goers rocked Cloverdale in 1994

Fans share memories of drugs, bad Smashing Pumpkins, Nick Cave walk-off and ‘letdown’ of Surrey date

Surrey veteran feels pinch from COVID-19 after cancelled surgery

Caught between two countries, and low income, soldier feels he’s been forgotten

Surrey parents, students navigate remote learning during COVID-19

The Surrey school district teachers are slowly rolling out plans for new way of educating

Two people fined for trying to re-sell N95 and surgical masks in Delta

Police confiscated over 5,000 masks and are working with Fraser Health to see them put to good use

Peace Arch News ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

VIDEO: How doctors in Canada will decide who lives and dies if pandemic worsens

Officials in several provinces have been developing guides so that doctors don’t feel alone

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Vancouver man, 21, charged after mother found dead in Squamish home

Ryan Grantham, 21, has been charged with second-degree murder

Fraser Valley’s tulips fields off limits to visitors due to COVID-19

Abbotsford and Chilliwack tulip farmers have announced their festival season won’t go ahead

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Most Read