2021 Faces of Community - Melanie Swailes

2021 Faces of Community - Melanie Swailes

Melanie Swailes

Brentwood Community Association

Older communities are slowly redeveloping, and having a voice in the community’s future keeps this Faces of Community feature volunteer involved.

Melanie is a member of the Brentwood Community Association. She has been involved since 2014 and is a part of the Development and Transportation Committee.

“Brentwood is a community that was started in 1964,” explains Melanie. “It’s getting to the age now where there’s a lot of redevelopment coming.

“Because there’s redevelopment, we wanted to have some say in how the redevelopment happens.”

When some bigger development projects came to the community, residents saw the need to be more organized to have a bigger say in how the community redeveloped around them.

The community is now more engaged in the planning process.

“We are seeing more and more people get involved,” she says. “When we have a development permit, more people will respond to it or will say ‘hey, I now know that I can provide input, or I have some feedback’ and that’s pretty cool.”

A project Swailes is proud of is the painting of the Brentwood bike path. The path is behind the Brentwood Community Association and runs between Bearspaw Drive and St. Jean Brebeuf School.

“We had about 60 or 70 people from the community come out and paint this pathway,” says Swailes.

“Now every time I walk on it, it’s really neat because you walk down it and you can see all these neat motifs and different things on it.”

Melanie enjoys taking on projects and being involved with her community, but what keeps her coming back and volunteering is getting to meet people.

“There are so many really great people that I’ve met through doing things, through being involved in different things through the city or through the community,” says Melanie with a smile.

“It’s really neat when you see that something that you’ve done has actually had an impact in the community – like when somebody comes up to you and will say, ‘Hey, I read your article in the Brentwood Bugle or I got involved because of something I read or something you did.’ “