This weekend’s Neighbor Day is just in the nick of time
September 20, 2016
If you can't name your neighbors don't feel like the lone ranger. While a handful of residents may boast that their children, now grown, played together when they were toddlers on that very same cul de sac, most Parkites live in neighborhoods that are constantly turning over.
These days, it seems, new residents stay only two or three years before taking advantage of rising real estate prices to cash in and go elsewhere. The seldom-seen move-ins who follow commute to work or, increasingly, spend only a few months a year in their tony second homes in Old Town or Park Meadows.
It is no wonder we don't know our street-mates' names, let alone their kids' birthdays or whose dog belongs to who. At some point we just give up trying to send out another welcome wagon.
But, truth be told, in this increasingly unstable world, we need to know our neighbors more than ever. This week, Park City parents were reminded how much they rely on each other's support when tragedy strikes. We need to not only know our neighbor's children — we need to help watch out for them.
This weekend, a group of alumni from last year's Park City Leadership Class is spearheading the city's second annual Neighbor Day. The flexible event is meant to inspire neighborhoods throughout the city and the Snyderville Basin to interact in a variety of creative ways.
The format is flexible and can be individualized to suit diverse communities – cocktail parties for the gentrified, corn-hole tournaments for the flannel-shirt set, a treasure hunts for the kids, picnics, yard sales, book exchanges, etc. The point is just to reach out and meet each other. If you are lucky, you might gain a friend and 20 years from now you, too, can brag: our kids grew up together.
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The glue that holds the day together can be found on the web at pcneighborday.org.
The site includes block party ideas, templates for name tags, and a map where you can pin your neighborhood event or scout for one to attend in your vicinity.
The site also includes compelling research about the benefits of community ties, including lower stress and anxiety levels, a healthier environment and reduced crime rates.
Or you might ask a grandparent or a local senior citizen about what it was like to live on a street where everyone knew everyone else. Chances are they still remember those names and have wonderful stories to tell about the times they played, and cried, and celebrated together.
If you would like to start making memories too, plan to host or attend a Neighbor Day event this weekend. Several are already listed on the website and will be taking place this Friday Sept. 23 through Sunday Sept. 25.