Providing tools and support to community members to create local initiatives that build local capacity and leadership, increase environmental sustainability, and foster greater livability and vitality.
Build Social Ties and a Sense of Community
One of the first steps to building social ties is getting people together to talk about the issues that matter. Potlucks, community meetings, and shared activities like park or river cleanups are a great way to introduce people to one another. Help create a local identity that makes your neighborhood special by holding a block party or coordinating a walking tour in your area. Get people talking about “placemaking,” the idea that investing in your unique place is an important way to build social capital. Start a neighborhood newsletter through Front Porch Forum or a similar service.
Looking for fun and creative ways to bring people together? Start a Green Drinks social. Bring people together through film screenings or book clubs; see our Arts and Culture Corner for recent film and book recommendations. Or, generate lively entertainment and promote local artists while raising support for a local cause through creative fundraising events like Art Battles or the ladies’ arm-wrestling group CLAW.
Also, don’t forget to harness social media and other online tools to engage folks. The web offers simple, inexpensive ways to share information (Facebook, Twitter, Ning, WordPress), create presentations (Prezi), collaborate jointly (Google Documents), raise money (Kickstarter), and develop online surveys, polls, and discussion forums (Survey Monkey, keypad polling). For face-to-face meetings, consider fun, interactive approaches like The World Café or an Open Space Workshop, or establish a community meeting space like the Halifax Hub.