Make Your Neighborhood a Community
For some, long gone are the days when you would knock on your neighbor’s door to borrow a cup of sugar. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Creating a community within your neighborhood can build lifelong friendships, expand community engagement, and even increase your neighborhood’s property values. If you’re interested in building a community of engaged and supportive neighbors, try out some of these activities to get started.
Plant a Community Garden
A community garden is a great way to collectively save money on produce and teach each other (especially kids!) practical skills. Gardening is also known to be therapeutic and relieve stress. With a small investment from each household, you can purchase the materials you need to set up a seriously cool community asset!
Get a group of interested households together and make a plan. Does someone have an accessible side yard that gets a lot of light? Share the tools and set up a weekly gardening day with a rotating roster of neighbors who can supervise and participate each week. Decide what to grow by season, and be sure to take any neighborhood allergies into account. For a more detailed guide to starting a community garden, visit CommunityGarden.org.
Organize a Block Party
Halloween is around the corner, and it’s a great time to get to know your neighbors! Organize a neighborhood Halloween block party for all ages! Get everyone to bring something (drinks, candy, snacks, spooky decorations), set up some music, and get your best costumes ready!
You can plan a face-painting station for the kids if you know a particularly artistic neighbor or a costume contest where you can give out different prizes. Make it pet-friendly and invite neighbors to bring their dogs as well! You could even host a doggy costume contest. Doggy play dates could be the making of great human friendships, too!
Volunteer for Your Homeowner’s Association Board
If your neighborhood has a homeowner’s association, chances are they have a volunteer board that meets monthly and votes on decisions that are relevant to the community. Sign up for a volunteer position, or at the very least attend the meetings. Not only can you connect with the movers and shakers in your neighborhood, you can also stay involved in the decisions that affect you!
Organize Seasonal Events
If you have a little extra time on your hands, you could volunteer to help organize seasonal events that bring a little fun to your neighborhood. Since we’re getting into fall now, it’s a great time to host a community clothes swap as you’re clearing out your summer wardrobe and making space for fall/winter clothes. A clothes swap is a great way to update wardrobes and reduce clothing waste. Something you’ve outgrown or want to get rid of could be the perfect piece for someone else in your neighborhood.
Another great community activity for fall is a neighborhood pumpkin patch. Have everyone bring one or two pumpkins and supply materials for kids and adults to paint and/or carve the pumpkins. Serve some hot drinks and light snacks and you’ve got a great event to bring neighbors together this fall!
Create a Neighborhood Facebook Group
These days, most people are already on Facebook. Create a private group for members of your neighborhood. There, you can share community news, discuss important issues, better organize and plan events, and keep in touch with your neighbors!
A Facebook group is also the perfect place to post “bulletin board” style announcements. Invite people to announce when they have garage sales, or refer services like lawn care and dog walkers. A neighborhood Facebook group can improve communication between neighbors and create a happier community.
Building a more engaged community with your neighbors helps everyone. You get to know each other better and can create a sense of community and develop lasting friendships. You can also come together as a community to solve problems and make a happier neighborhood for everyone.