(NDNC co-chair Parie Hines speaks while a heart collage is assembled; foreground, Amanda Leonard holds infant son Harpo)
Eleven adults and a baby comprised the turnout for last night’s North Delridge Neighborhood Council meeting. Having the next generation on hand seemed especially appropriate, since the agenda looked to the future, as well as dealing with the present and past.
Icebreaker question: “What makes Delridge different from other neighborhoods?”
The first reply: “More greenspace per capita.”
One of the other answers: “Longfellow Creek.”
Yet another: “A very low number of snobby people.”
And yet another: “The number of engaged neighbors.”
Likely an offshoot of that: “The sheer diversity of community-driven events and initiatives.”
Closeness to downtown was mentioned too, as were two huge institutions in North Delridge – the Nucor Steel plant, and Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, and last but not least, “The Delridge Move” – explained as, using Delridge’s continuous center turn lane to pass other cars.
They wrote their favorite things about Delridge on Valentine-style pieces of red paper – mentions for Dragonfly Park, Pearl’s Coffee and Tea, flowers in traffic circles, the Camp Long ropes course drew a mention, among others. (A collage resulted – in progress, in our photo above; see the full result on the NDNC website.)
What kind of projects and activities from the past would members like to do again? Building projects – like the playground – with a tangible result; small, social events like cider-press gatherings and ice-cream socials; street improvements (like the recent ones on 25th SW); community cleanups – which led to a side discussion about teaming up with nearby Puget Ridge if possible.
How to improve the neighborhood and strengthen love for it? Block parties, reaching out to neighbors, celebrate Neighbor Appreciation Day, Night Out block parties, organize walks … those were among the ideas offered. Also, periodically singling out a local volunteer for honors.
The community cleanup idea came back around, with beautification chair Lisa Taylor-Whitley suggesting monthly projects, not just the quarterly Adopt-A-Street. Perhaps they could focus on some of the area’s myriad stairways, it was suggested. (Watch the North Delridge Facebook group for event signup and pages.)
RESEARCH: A researcher who is studying this area as part of a UW project titled “Encountering Poverty: Everyday Life in Mixed-Income Neighborhoods” – told the group that she and her colleagues have been talking to people such as social-service professionals, and hope soon to start talking to neighborhood-council reps such as the NDNC members who were gathered for the meeting.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: The DESC project’s Advisory Committee will meet at 6:30 pm Wednesday at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, with a focus on crime prevention/safety elements in the project’s design … Transportation Committee chair Jake Vanderplas said two new bus stops are supposed to be set up before the Metro service change on February 16 kicks in the intended path for Route 50.
NDNC meets the second Monday of the month, 6:30 pm, usually at Delridge Library, but sometimes elsewhere, so keep an eye on their website at ndnc.org!