Press Release

Active Marion Neighborhood Associations Increase, Achieving Positive Results Share

May 28, 2019  |  Layla Price-Bodkin

There is a pleas­ing increase in neigh­bor­hood asso­ci­a­tions and com­mu­ni­ca­tion between neigh­bors and city offi­cials. As a result, each asso­ci­a­tion suc­cess­ful­ly acti­vat­ed or reac­ti­vat­ed has seen pos­i­tive change in their neighborhoods. 

It takes inten­tion to main­tain a wel­com­ing neigh­bor­hood. Form­ing a new asso­ci­a­tion or join­ing the work of the cur­rent asso­ci­a­tion gives you a means to ral­ly toward an inten­tion­al vision,” expressed Neigh­bor­hood Asso­ci­a­tion Coor­di­na­tor, Kay­la Johnson.

Whether new or renewed, John­son locates the assets of a neigh­bor­hood and sparks con­ver­sa­tion by ask­ing res­i­dents what they love and enjoy about their neigh­bor­hood. The con­ver­sa­tion first gives the group a goal to build from its strengths. Neigh­bors also point out things they want to work on togeth­er. As a result, sev­er­al projects begin to form. 

Pho­to of Euclid Neigh­bor­hood Asso­ci­a­tion uti­liz­ing their Com­mu­ni­ty Foun­da­tion grant to plant trees (Cour­tesy of Michelle Doyle).

It’s fas­ci­nat­ing the cre­ativ­i­ty that exists in our neigh­bor­hoods. There’s always an inter­est to clean up’ or tack­le the crime’, how­ev­er, we try to cou­ple reac­tive respons­es with proac­tive activ­i­ties. Many neigh­bor­hoods have focused on rehab­bing a park and/​or imple­ment­ing a com­mu­ni­ty gar­den or pub­lic art project, and have actu­al­ly seen a decrease in blight or crime in those areas,” added Johnson.

Over a year ago when John­son start­ed her role with the City, there were only 9 active neigh­bor­hoods. Today, through John­son and her team of neigh­bor­hood lead­ers, there are now 16 with more wait­ing in the wings. John­son says she is pac­ing her­self to ensure each group is ful­ly empow­ered with lead­er­ship in place before mov­ing on to a new area. She also works with estab­lished neigh­bor­hoods to col­lec­tive­ly prob­lem-solve and make sure each has access to resources need­ed to imple­ment their vision. 

Active Neigh­bor­hood Asso­ci­a­tions are vital for a com­mu­ni­ty to grow and pros­per. While we have made numer­ous improve­ments to infra­struc­ture these past three years, it’s our cit­i­zens that make Mar­i­on a place peo­ple want to call home much like John­son has done. After attend­ing Indi­ana Wes­leyan Uni­ver­si­ty, Kay­la made a deci­sion to remain in Mar­i­on instead of return­ing to North Car­oli­na. She has done a remark­able job in sup­port­ing exist­ing Neigh­bor­hood Asso­ci­a­tions and in cre­at­ing and revi­tal­iz­ing those that have been dor­mant. It’s these efforts between local gov­ern­ment and com­mu­ni­ty that ensure a strong and vibrant future for Mar­i­on.” — May­or Jess Alumbaugh

To get involved in an asso­ci­a­tion, vis­it the fol­low­ing the link: city​of​mar​i​on​.in​.gov/​n​e​i​g​h​b​o​r​hoods.

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