One of the things we hear a lot from residents in South Orange and Maplewood is how great it is to know your neighbors. These connections are often developed through Neighborhood and Block Associations. Neighborhood associations draw people closer to their town government and closer still to their fellow neighbors. They provide forums for residents to discuss and address issues specific to the neighborhood, offer opportunities for making social contacts, and participation can be fun.
Neighborhood associations maintain and improve the quality of life of our towns, increase citizen participation in local decision making, and form effective partnerships between municipal leaders and neighborhood residents.
Neighborhood associations are inclusive, reflecting the diversity which enriches a community. Members can include families, singles, retired people, youths, business owners, faith-based organizations, schools, homeowners, and renters.
There are a host of additional benefits to forming Neighborhood/Block Associations, including: joining neighbors in shared neighborhood projects, welcoming and introducing new residents, providing a support system for neighbors in need, sharing referrals for plumbers, babysitters, landscapers etc., and holding social events like block parties.
Topics that are frequently on neighborhood association agendas include:
- Neighborhood streets, traffic control and patterns, transportation planning
- Parks and open spaces
- Municipal services
- Community events
- Neighborhood social events
- Crime prevention and safety
- Capital improvements
- Land Use (zone changes, variances, zoning ordinances)
The Community Coalition on Race can host your neighborhood association web page or provide a link to your existing website. The Community Coalition also offers a Group List Serve called SOMNAN for all neighborhood association and block group leaders. This email service is a great way to keep neighborhoods connected with one another and to share information important to your neighbors across the two towns. To join SOMNAN, click here. Below are links to existing South Orange/Maplewood Neighborhood Association web pages.
Berkshire Park: http://www.twotowns.org/bpna
Midland Park: http://www.twotowns.org/mpna
Montrose Park Historic District: http://www.montroseparksonj.org
Tuxedo Park Association: http://www.twotowns.org/tuxedopark
Seton Village Neighborhood Association: http://www.twotowns.org/svna