La Plata County is celebrating Neighborhood Days. Neighborhood Days provide our communities the opportunity to meet, reconnect and strengthen the bonds neighbors have with each other. This initiative came from the adoption of the 2008 La Plata County Children, Youth and Family Master Plan.
The master plan’s Neighborhood and Community Committee made the following recommendation:
“Because strong communities arise from strong neighborhoods, La Plata County, with its towns of Bayfield, Durango and Ignacio, shall recognize and empower everyone from all our neighborhoods to create activities, places and organizations that help people find their voice. This will lead to closer-knit, more vibrant communities with happy people. These activities, places and organizations center around the idea of thriving relationships, where everyone contributes, every place is safe and everyone belongs.”
So, what can you do? Well, it can be as easy as having a potluck dinner, inviting your neighbors for a street clean-up day or even just having people over for the Broncos game. I know in our fast-paced, independent American lives, we sometimes feel shy or nervous to intrude on others. However, Neighborhood Days should be looked at as an empowerment opportunity for people to step out of their comfort zone to promote positive community development.
The great people at SWConnect.org have provided a good resource for community members to plan events. For more information, please visit www.swconnect.org/neighborhood-days.
You also can email me, if you want the 2013 logo and template to create your own flier. There are resources for rural and urban populations. Furthermore, we encourage people to take lots of photos and let us know how your event goes, in order to encourage more participation in the future.
Personally, I want to do a barbecue centered on using local foods. All this recent rain has helped the garden, and I know farmers markets have some fresh supplies for harvest season.
For many rural families, Neighborhood Day occurs each month at their 4-H club meeting. September is a good time for 4-H clubs to recruit more neighbors into the 17 clubs throughout La Plata County. 4-H clubs are family-oriented and provide youths and adults with leadership and life skills that strengthen our communities. Youths can participate in a diversity of projects ranging from foods and nutrition to outdoor adventures, robotics and livestock projects.
Enrollment for the 2013-14 4-H year is set to begin Oct. 1. We plan on having “4-H Open Houses” and recruitment events this fall throughout the county for prospective new members. In the meantime, if you would like more information, please don’t hesitate to stop by the Extension office or give us a call.
Finally, we are very excited to announce a sponsorship of $7,500 from Chevron. This money will be used for our STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) mobile kits that we will use to deliver after-school and school-enrichment activities in our area.
email@example.com or 382-6463. Greg Felsen is La Plata County 4-H youth development agent.