It's a neighbourhood where nature is only a few steps away, while the hub of traffic and city are just part of the view.
The Westwood Plateau in Coquitlam is, by all standards, is one of the most desirable neighbourhoods in Metro Vancouver. But even this idyllic setting isn't immune to crime.
Just ask Mary Nelson.
She and her family of five live in the neighbourhood on Berkshire Crescent. A few years back, thieves were breaking into cars in the neighbourhood.
So the residents banded together and formed a Block Watch team to stop the break-ins. With Nelson at the helm as captain, the team posted signs and met with neighbours. They implored homeowners to report any theft, no matter how big or small.
"The end result from that is we ended up having people reporting enough instances that the police actually increased their monitoring in the neighbourhood," said Nelson, who heads up the BerkshireTurnberry Block Watch team. Eventually, bait cars were brought to the area to help catch the crooks.
"It definitely worked out well for us that way," Nelson said.
For three years, the mother of three has been the captain of her local Block Watch. Nelson said she took on the task to be an example to her children and provide them a welcoming and safe environment.
She doesn't have to stroll the street with a baseball bat chasing undesirables from the neighbourhood like a vigilante.
Instead, Nelson liaises between Coquitlam RCMP and residents in her area through e-mail and the occasional meeting.
If something nefarious is going on in the neighbourhood, police will let Nelson know, who then spreads the word to members. And in BerkshireTurnberry, residents are buying into to the concept.
Of the 80 homes in Nelson's block, 75 have signed up for the program, more than 90 per cent.
In fact, the Block Watch program, which is operated out of Coquitlam with the local RCMP serving Port Coquitlam, Anmore and Belcarra, continues to grow year-over-year.
There are now 7,000 homes trained and registered in the program, along with 374 teams.
Heather McRitchie is the Blockwatch co-ordinator with the City of Coquitlam. She's been with the program since it was launched in 1985.
McRitchie said the popularity of the program is in part due to what she referred to as the enhanced Block Watch "fan-out system."
The fan-out system works like this: the Block Watch coordinators participate in weekly stat meetings with the RCMP.
The police then give the co-ordinators any pertinent information about any crime or safety issues in a specific neigbourhood in the area.
"We're actually in the loop of what's happening, and we're able to send that information out to our Block Watch captains, and, in turn, can send that information out to their Block Watch groups," McRitchie said.
In the case of Belcarra, the entire community is under Block Watch, which also serves as its emergency preparedness and response program.
And after a quarter century with Block Watch, McRitchie is certain the program works.
"I've seen so many success stories where it does work, especially in neighbourhoods where they've been having problems and people aren't communicating with each other," she said.
"I've seen it have great benefit in certain neighbourhoods where they've gotten to know one another and they're more comfortable calling the police."
The lynchpin of the program is the captain.
To become one in Coquitlam, they need security clearance, and once approved, they receive a pin and a letter to take to neighbours to sign them up as participants if they want to join.
Once that's done, McRitchie will host a meeting of the block and go over home security items, tips on target-hardening the home, personal safety, and when and how to call police. A Block Watch sign is then erected in the neighbourhood.
In some cases, homeowners under Block Watch can be eligible for a discount from their home insurer.
Nelson credited the program's co-ordinators for being supportive and accommodating in helping the group get off the ground.
But it's a bit of a different story in Port Moody.
The Block Watch program in the City of Arts is virtually non-existent.
Port Moody Police spokesperson Luke van Winkel surmised a lot of the captains have retired, and the
make-up of neighbourhoods has changed.
He suggested the empty nesting parents are moving out and the younger families moving in are unsure of the Block Watch program.
The police are hoping to put an end to the trend. The department has launched a campaign to get new blood into the Block Watch program.
The push for volunteers comes after the most recent targeted shooting in the Glenayre area.
On Sept. 8, Joseph Markel, 32, was gunned down at his home in the 900-block of Wallace Wynd. It was the third shooting in Port Moody since May.
It also sparked an impromptu public forum two days later to discuss the shootings and general safety in the community. Some of the discussion at the forum surrounded on ways members of the public can help in the fight against crime.
"We are trying to bring [Block Watch] back," Van Winkel said.
He said the new version of the program won't be all that different from the old Block Watch - it will still involve keeping an eye out for suspicious activity in the neighbourhood - but information will passed on through modern communication like e-mails.
With more people living in apartments and condos in the city, the program will also be open to multi-family buildings.
"It is a neighbourhood, it is your community, just because it's not a cul-de-sac with everybody having a front lawn, doesn't make it any less of a community," Van Winkel said.
Port Moody police have been putting up information flyers at coffee shops and notices in mailboxes.
And if the department is successful in relaunching Block Watch in Port Moody, Van Winkel is confident it will help decrease criminal activity.
"I know that it works and there is a real sense of involvement," Van Winkel said.