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Travelling picnic table a moving meeting point for northwest Calgary communities

You’ve seen pop-up markets in Calgary.

You’ve seen pop-up benches. Heck, you’ve seen pop-up journalism.

But have you seen a travelling picnic table? It just pops up, too.

It’s happening in the northwest communities of Thorncliffe and Greenview, and it’s a place where area residents can set up a board game, roll out a potluck or just take a load off on a hot summer day and have a chat.

City of Calgary community social worker Tannis Eapen said the initiative came out of a creative session with area residents who took part in This is My Neighbourhood, a city-driven program to help bring communities together.

“They thought it would be cool to have something that could go to different spots in the neighbourhood,” Eapen said.

Every week the travelling picnic table goes to a different spot in the Thorncliffe/Greenview area, and, in conjunction with a summer program called Neighbourhood Adventures, participating youth will knock on residents’ doors around the new placement, informing them that it’s there and encouraging its use.

Eapen said one of the main goals of the This is My Neighbourhood program is to promote social cohesion and connectivity in communities and the table acts as a gathering spot for citizens.

The Thorncliffe Greenview Community Association likes the picnic table idea, and Thomas Taverner, program and marketing coordinator with the TGCA, called the stopping point “pretty cool.”

Taverner said it was meant to be a meeting point for people to then participate in activities together.

“We want to have our community be inclusive and get people together,” said Taverner.

The travelling table project will go on all summer and Eapen is hoping that area residents will take on the project moving forward, with the table residing in a semi-permanent spot and it being moved to certain areas in the community upon request.

You can follow the community’s enjoyment of the travelling picnic table on Instagram @tgtravellingtable.