If you’ve read my newspaper pieces, this might be a bit repetitive. But, I think the topic bears repeating!
I live on a wonderful street.
It is a relatively quiet cul-de-sac in a suburban area. The housing is fairly homogeneous and uninspiring. Garages and driveways dominate. The trees are not very big, and much of the landscape is rather dull. There is no history.
The wonderful comes from the people. This is a street full of friends. It is the kind of street where you smile and say hello or stop to chat with every person you pass.
The abundance of children on our street has certainly been one of the driving forces behind this phenomenon. The children playing on the front lawns, drawing on the driveway or cycling in circles (and circles and circles and circles) at the top of the street have helped build community. And, now that community is established, children and parents are more likely to feel safe and comfortable being out front. It’s a positive feedback loop.
This is the kind of street where you can borrow a ladder, share a beer after work, or ask someone to watch your house. We have a yearly barbecue, but we have also shared play dates, birthday parties and walks to school, a quarter cow, homegrown produce, baking supplies and babysitting.
When problems come up, this is the kind of place where people band together to find solutions. It is the kind of neighbourhood where people will rescue your stray garbage can, help shovel the driveway or comb the neighbourhood for your missing cat.
When you live on a hill, as we do, the soccer balls roll quickly, but there is always someone to help you chase them down.
Here are a few more ideas to keep the ball rolling:
– Street Parties
– A contact list to be used for emergencies and street-related events or issues
– Asking for help
– Offering help
– Street competitions (e.g.: best snowman)
– Exchanges (e.g.: perennials, books)
– Garage Sales
– Neighbourhood cleanups
– Walking school buses
Do you live in a friendly community?
What makes it special?