Take pride in your neighbourhood
Participating in The Great Community Clean Up is an excellent way of doing something good for your street, writes Erin Reilly.
We’ve all heard that buying the worst house on the best street is a good way to get your foot in the door of a trendy suburb. But what defines a ‘‘best street’’? And does it actually have to be in the best part of town?
I don’t think so. To me, the ‘‘best street’’ is characterised less by the financial value of the properties in the area and more by the general vibe on the streets.
On a best street, neighbourhood kids ride their bikes around en masse without fear of being mown down by boy racers, bins and letterboxes aren’t overflowing, berms and gardens are well-maintained, and neighbours casually swap lemons for feijoas across their fences.
These and more characteristics contribute to overall ‘‘neighbourhood pride’’. Don’t mistake neighbourhood pride for cockiness that your part of town is better than someone else’s, though. No, neighbourhood pride is all about taking ownership of your community alongside everyone else who lives there and creating a lovely part of the world that you’re all proud to call your own.
So how can communities contribute to neighbourhood pride? First up, watch your waste. Clean streets are a certain step to nicer neighbourhoods, and all it takes is a little proactiveness and foresight. If you see something that shouldn’t be there, pick it up and put it in the bin – it’s as simple as that. Prevent your rubbish and recycling from spilling all over the street by tying your bins and lids down. Carry out regular outdoor ‘‘spring cleans’’ by getting your whole street involved. Encourage your street to enter The Great Community Clean Up 2018. Not only will you help make your neighbourhood cleaner, healthier and ‘‘happier’’, you’ll also be in to win some great prizes thanks to Neighbourly and The Warehouse.
Letterboxes are prime locations for clutter thanks to everyone’s neighbourhood nemesis: junk mail. Instead of leaving unwanted leaflets to fester in and around the entrance to your property, affix a cheap ‘‘no junk mail’’ sign to your letterbox (you can get these from most $2-type stores).
Keep the front of your house in ship-shape condition by regularly mowing your lawns and berms too. Councils in some parts of the country manage berms, but if you don’t live in one of those areas or you think the council doesn’t do it often enough, head out to the roadside and give them a quick once-over next time you do your own lawns. A few extra minutes is all it takes to make sure your home gives a great first impression.
The most obvious but probably the most difficult is simply getting out and about in your community and meeting the people you live just a few metres away from. Wellconnected neighbourhoods are safe, secure and satisfying places to live.
Find out more about The Great Community Clean Up 2018 at neighbourly.co.nz/ greatcommunitycleanup.
Beach Haven Playcentre Outdoor Explorers who took part in last year’s Great Community Clean Up.