Do you get together with your neighbors on a regular basis? If the answer is no, you’re not alone—according to a 2015 study, only 20 percent of Americans regularly spend time with their neighbors, and a third of the country’s population has never interacted with neighbors. At Levitt, we always encourage people to get to know one another, whether that’s through enjoying free concerts together or through other kinds of community-building activities.
That’s why we love the idea behind Neighborday, a holiday devised seven years ago by media company GOOD to inspire Americans to reach out to folks living next door and plan a communal activity. A block party is one idea, but GOOD offers several other creative ways to forge friendships and build community pride within our neighborhoods. Here are four activities that you and your neighbors can put together just in time for Neighborday on April 29!
Host a walking tour and share the history of your community.
Do you have some local knowledge that you’d love to share with others? Plan a tour with your neighbors by tapping into that collective knowledge to create a map, plan a route and invite friends and family. You can find some inspiration from Valpraiso, Ind., which has several printable maps of their walking tours that cover local architecture and history.
Turn a vacant lot into a park.
Some simple landscaping and DIY play areas may be all you and your neighbors need to turn an empty lot into a fun, family-friendly park. If you need some tips on how to activate a space, GOOD has outlined how they made a pop-up park happen in south Los Angeles on their website.
Beautify your community with a neighborhood clean-up.
With some neighbors and a few household supplies like garbage bags and other tools, you can work together to remove trash and graffiti from your local area. Pacoima, Calif.,-based nonprofit Pacoima Beautiful encourages community members to reach out to local elected representatives to let them know about the clean-up—they may offer up some additional resources to help.
Organize a neighborhood yard sale.
Show off the handiwork of neighborhood artisans or raise money for a cause by hosting a yard sale that covers your entire block. It can stretch even further, too—just take a look at the annual 127 Corridor Sale, named after the interstate highway it runs along, and also dubbed “The World’s Longest Yardsale.” The event was originally started in 1987 to attract visitors to the back roads of Fentress County, Tenn., and the sale kept growing thanks to its continued success. Today, the yardsale stretches for 690 miles and across six states!
Feeling inspired to try one of these ideas, or to create a fun, new activity for you and your neighbors? Let us know in the comment section below!