WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION?
Our bylaws state that “The purpose of the Association is to improve the quality of life and cultivate stronger relationships by lessening neighborhood tensions, and combat community deterioration by providing a forum for discussing matters important to the residents and property owners of Sherwood Forest and a means of addressing those issues.” While that may be a comprehensive statement of purpose, there are less formal and more compelling reasons for joining and supporting the neighborhood association.
WHAT CAN THE NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION DO FOR ME?
First and most importantly, the association is a way to create a sense of community in our neighborhood. General meetings, social events and being a block captain allow you to meet your neighbors who you may see coming and going, but never have a chance to talk with. Getting to know your neighbors not only helps Sherwood Forest feel more like home, but it can also help improve neighborhood safety and security, and can expand your network for business or personal interests.
Having an organized neighborhood association allows us representation on the Columbia Councll of Neighborhoods. The Columbia Council of Neighborhoods (CCN) is a volunteer, community-based umbrella organization which coordinates the activities of over eighty city neighborhood organizations. Government in Columbia has become increasingly oriented and responsive to neighborhood concens. City officials work closely with CCN and neighborhood leaders, staying in touch with what is happening throughout the city’s communities which results in a healthy relationship between citizens, leaders, and administrators. The Zoning Board, Planning Commission, and City Council all now routinely request the opinion of CCN and its members. Having a voice through the CCN allows Sherwood Forest to communicate our concerns and needs with an authority and influence that we could not achieve as individuals.
Safety is a number one issue for many residents, and the neighborhood association will coordinate a Neighborhood Watch and report on criminal activity in our area. The association also acts as a partner by sharing information with the City of Columbia Public Safety establishment. But an added benefit of the neighborhood association is the fact that when you get to know your neighbors, you can recognize outsiders or unusual activity in the neighborhood and alert your neighbors and the proper authorities.
An organized neighborhood association also allows us to apply for grants from the City of Columbia for neighborhood improvements such as beautification, signage and other projects to promote and enchance the quality of life in the neighborhood. The association can also give us a unified voice concerning traffic control, street and infrastructure improvements, zoning requests and other issues affecting our daily lives.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP THE NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION?
By paying your dues and joining the Sherwood Forest Neighborhood Association, you can add your voice to the debate determining the direction and purpose of the association. You can be involved by voting at general meetings, being a block captain, joining a committee, or volunteering to chair a committee, or offer to serve as an association officer. You can become a good neighbor in a great neighborhood that will be enhanced and improved by your involvement.