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.

The Tribune (NZ) - - BACKYARD BANTER -

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.

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