Saturday, April 2, 2011

Being a Good Neighbor; Watching Out for Our Neighbors

There are only two rules at the Stoddart Avenue Community Garden. The first one is: Be a Good Neighbor. Principally, this means do not make a nuisance of yourself, keep things pretty and clean, and make people glad to see you. Lately, it has taken on a new meaning. Since August, two people have been murdered within feet of and/or on the Garden lawn. The most recent was less than a week ago on Monday. It is simply unacceptable that people cannot feel safe at or near a community garden. Being a good neighbor has become more important than simply keeping a tidy garden.

Today was the first meeting in a few years for the Franklin Park Neighborhood Block Watch (FPNBW). For the foreseeable future, it will be meeting the first Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at the East Main Street Policing Center at 950 East Main Street. The Co-chairs are Susan Wilson-Brooks and the SACG’s own Barb Carter and is assisted by the area community resource officer, Theresa Kalous. They have applied for grant funding to support a security camera for the Stoddart Avenue neighborhood and to support the reinvigoration of the FPNBW. The FPNBW covers the neighborhoods between Nelson Road and Morrison Avenue and East Main Street and Broad Street.

They are looking for volunteers to organize the residents of each street in the neighborhood so that we all know who are neighbors are and who to call if trouble arises. Barb is the captain for Stoddart Avenue and the SACG’s Mari Sunami is the current captain for Fairwood, but would like a co-captain. Susan would also like a co-captain for Bryden.

We are also organizing social events to take back our streets from common thugs. The First Event will be a neighborhood clean up to celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, April 16, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. It will consist of picking up the considerable amount of litter on Stoddart Avenue and in the alley between Stoddart and Morrison. Volunteers should meet at the SACG to pick up supplies and refreshments.

Future events will include a neighborhood beautification effort to pick up more litter and plant flowers donated by Children’s Hospital. Keep Columbus Beautiful will also help us with graffiti remediation projects (so start making a list of the houses and buildings in the neighborhood we should start with). National Night Out will likely be July 5, 2011. [Editor's Note: I've heard from someone else that it is August 2]. We’ll also help with a block party.

Handouts were distributed. You can get more information about Olde Towne East block watches in the 12th Precinct at Select 12th Precinct Block Watch Groups and scroll down to Franklin Park Block Watch. However, note that we are meeting on the first Saturday of the month at 1:00 and not the fourth Tuesday at 7.

For more information, email Barb or Officer Kalous at: or call 614.645.1412.

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