© Nancy Kelly - kingscountynews.ca
By Nancy Kelly
As Berwick’s new director of community development, Julie Glaser is anxious to start engaging residents of the Berwick area to make it one of the healthiest places to live in Atlantic Canada.
“I have lots of ideas and see opportunities to make some big and smaller things happen,” said Glaser.
The North Mountain resident brings experience in special event production and community development and has a keen interest in promoting cultural recreation and health and wellness. Also a published author, Glaser has collaborated most recently with the Free Spirit Therapeutic Riding Association in Morden and previously with the National Film Board.
Glaser said she was drawn to Berwick’s newly-created community development position because she saw its potential to “create linkages” between the town and its outlying communities.
“There are lots of micro-communities that feed into Berwick. What we have here in the Berwick area is what we need to build a growing community.”
Berwick, she believes, is unique in that it has created “so much goodwill” in a time when other towns are in decline or finding it hard to maintain momentum.
“Berwick has had the imagination, drive and commitment to make things work. There are lots of good things happening here to grown from,” she added.
Glaser wasn’t on the job long when she came to appreciate the town has also benefited from a high level of citizen engagement.
“People talk about Berwick with heart,” she said.
Glaser has spent the past few weeks reading reports, and “getting up to speed” on Berwick’s issues and initiatives. She looks forward to bringing a fresh perspective to community development in the town. She also wants to connect with members of the cultural community.
“That community does exist, and many people would be surprised to know the area is home to many artists.”
When it comes to economic development, another important component of her position, Glaser hopes to adopt a “floor to shore” approach to create a cohesive voice for businesses in and around the Berwick area.
Glaser, who says she has been described as someone who can “spin a lot of plates at the same time,” is looking forward to exploring the broadened mandate of her new position by reaching-out and engaging members of the community to become partners in community development.
“That is what I can contribute the most,” she added.