Berkeley Neighbors builds community year round
Berkeley Road resident Yolanda Stone and her neighbors love their street, love the Heights, and hope their enthusiasm spreads.
Stone helped organize the Berkeley Neighbors in 2006, to host a number of events throughout the year to, as she said, “come together as a community and develop relationships.”
“We have a core group of about 10 [neighbors] who meet regularly to plan events,” said Stone. “We usually have about 75 people who come to the block party, and we’re trying to have something for everyone.” Stone attended the neighborhood leadership training that FutureHeights hosted last April, along with several of her neighbors. “Our association covers Berkeley from the west side of Taylor Road,” she said.
Berkeley Neighbors hosts a block party every other year in late summer, and a garage sale in alternate years. On Saturday, Oct. 20, the group will host a neighborhood plant exchange. “We’re asking Berkeley Neighbors to put plants from their gardens that they want to divide into plastic containers and put them on the tree lawn by 9 a.m.” said Stone. “It’s a fun way for us to share with neighbors and an inexpensive way to add to our own gardens.”
For the past two years, Berkeley Neighbors has participated in National Night Out: America’s Night Out Against Crime (NNO), a national event sponsored by National Association of Town Watch. The 29th annual NNO was held on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012. More than 30 Berkeley Road residents joined more than 37 million people in 15,000 communities nationwide in turning on porch lights and walking together along their street to show solidarity and take a stand against crime.
“We carried flashlights and lanterns as we greeted and talked with one another,” said Stone. “Several generations were represented, from a two-year-old in a wagon to a senior citizen using a cane. We asked residents along the route to turn on their front lights, lock their doors, and join us.”
Stone said the group was a little larger this year than last and that she hopes to spread the word to surrounding neighborhood groups. “I’d like to see even more people on our block, and in other Heights neighborhoods, participate next year,” she said. “It’s held on the first Tuesday in August every year.”
Berkeley residents are not planning to stay indoors this winter. The group is organizing a holiday caroling event for December. To learn more, contact Yolanda Stone at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deanna Bremer Fisher
Deanna Bremer Fisher is executive director of FutureHeights and publisher of the Heights Observer.