Leadership wants everyone to be good neighbors
September 22, 2015
Who are the people in your neighborhood?
The Leadership Park City Class XXI wants you to find out that’s why the team has designated Saturday, Sept. 26, as Neighbor Day, said Will Pratt, fundraising chair for the county-wide Neighbor Day Project.
Leadership Park City is a city program designed to identify and train individuals for leadership roles. Each year, the class creates a legacy project that aims to an overall positive impact on Park City and Summit County.
Past projects have included civility, water conservation, local trails and a children’s book about civic responsibility.
"Our class this year has chosen to focus on neighborhood relationships in our community," Pratt explained. "Our area hosts a lot of high-profile events, and we thought we could focus on smaller, grass-roots types of events that will bring the community and individuals together and celebrate their neighborhood personalities."
The purpose of Neighbor Day is to get local residents to take time to get to know their neighbors better.
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"We want to help coordinate new events or enhance events that have already been planned for Saturday," Pratt said.
The events range from an "American Ninja" party at a neighborhood in Pinebrook to a highway cleanup in Samak that will be followed by a lunch at a restaurant.
"The [Snyderville] Basin area will host a garage sale for their celebration," Pratt said. "So, you see, it all depends on what the neighborhood wants to do."
To keep track of the different Neighbor Day events, the leadership class has created a website, http://www.pcneighborday.org that lists all the events that have been registered so far.
"We encourage people to visit the website and see what’s happening," Pratt said. "We also ask them to register their neighborhoods or register individually if they want to start an event on their own."
At the very least, the class asks the public to talk with at least three neighbors they don’t know.
"We encourage people to get to know neighbors they don’t know or get to know the ones they already know a little better," Pratt said. "This can be a challenge in Park City because we have many second-home owners who are here only a few months out of the year. So, we felt this is a good time to push this concept."
Leadership Park City Class XXI, which is comprised of approximately 30 local Park City and Summit County residents, came up with the Neighbor Day idea in March, according to Pratt.
"We initially brainstormed ideas for our class project and this rose to the top as the best way to not only bring our class together, but bring the community together," he said.
Neighbor Day comes at a crucial time because of the divide that has developed in politics, race and beliefs, Pratt said.
"We did note in our discussions that we are seeing modern-day issues of social isolation, device-centric lifestyles and lack of opportunities, combined with faceless communication that affect people of all ages in all socio-economic classes," he said. "Multiple studies have concluded that knowing your neighbors and having good neighbor relations can improve safety, decrease anxiety and increase general happiness."
Pratt said the class wants to make Neighbor Day an annual event and it’s well on its way.
"The City and County councils have declared Sept. 26 as Park City Neighbor Day," he said. "We’re proud of that, and hope to have a good number of people participate this weekend because this is our legacy."
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