Community is a powerful thing. If you barely know your neighbors, or your community isn’t well connected, start making time to build your community, get to know your neighbors, and enjoy the benefits of community living. Here are 12 ways that other communities have become a tight-knit circle of friends, and lent a hand to each other.
1. Take walks and bike rides
You won’t meet neighbors sitting on your couch. Get some fresh air and take a loop around the block frequently. You might meet someone in their front yard, or find someone else taking a walk.
2. Set up a community tool shed
You can save money (and storage space!) on the home tools and equipment that you only use a couple times a year. Tools like chain saws, leaf blowers, or snow blowers are only needed a couple times a year, and are big expense considering the amount of time you use them. Community tool libraries allow neighbors to donate their seldom-used tools for the neighborhood to share at their convenience. Often local community centers, businesses, or churches will offer spaces to store everything.
3. Spend more time in your front yard
While private backyards are perfect for relaxing and rejuvenating, backyards are not a good place to meet neighbors most of the time. Move some of your favorite backyard activities – like your garden, lawn furniture, or grill – to your front yard. You’ll be more approachable for your neighbors to walk over and strike up a conversation.
Do you and your neighbors work nearby each other, or do you attend the same church? You’re about to find out! Get to know your neighbors as you ride to shared locations, and save money and gas, too.
5. Buy solar panels together
If you can’t afford your own solar panels, see if your whole neighborhood would be interested in buying solar panels together. Solar companies offer discounts for groups who purchase in bulk, and it can benefit your whole community.
6. Create an emergency preparedness plan for your neighborhood
If something as simple as a power outage occurs, it’s nice to know who you can ask for help. A common meeting place, designated people with supplies, and the best way to communicate with everyone are good places to start. If a worse disaster should occur, you’ll be ready for that, too.
7. Organize a tour of your gardens
Why not share tips and tricks of gardening in your area with your neighbors? Organize a tour where you visit each neighbor’s garden, taste fresh produce, and discuss what works and what doesn’t work so you can all improve your gardens, and connect over your shared passion.
8. Plant a tree
Perhaps the elderly man at the end of the street needs help with his landscaping, or there’s a house that could use some trees or plants. Whatever the case is, planting a tree or other landscaping will build the sense of community as you all work together.
9. Have a community story night
Meet up at a local coffee shop, library, or other meeting place and tell stories about your neighborhood. You might be surprised what you learn from the people who have lived in your neighborhood longer than you, or you might have a story or two up your own sleeve. You’ll also start to get to know your neighbor’s lives and interests, and might find some history in common.
10. Shop local
You’ll get a chance to learn of the hidden talents or small businesses right on your block, like that your neighbor is also a bee keeper or sells produce out of their garden. Or, if you shop at local grocery stores and boutiques, you’re more likely to see some familiar faces!
11. Create a brand for your community or neighborhood
Having a sense of identity is crucial for any community. One option is to create a logo that represents the values of your neighborhood, and locate it on strategic places around the community, like banners on light poles and on email or printed communications.
12. Throw a block party
An old-fashioned block party is just the way to get everyone together and having fun. Fire up a grill, bring out some drinks and snacks, and invite all your neighbors to join. Be sure to check with your city in case you need a permit.