Habitat for Humanity of Springfield Leads a Community Conversation
By: Melissa Adler, Community Outreach Development Associate, HFHS
Part of what makes Woodland Heights beautiful is also one its greatest challenges. Streets and yards are full of mature trees that need to be trimmed.
At a recent neighborhood meeting, residents talked about trees, and they also talked about creating murals, transforming alleys into urban trails and repairing historical brick sidewalks. The conversation was started by a short survey that residents filled out as they entered the Springfield Dream Center for dinner and fellowship.
Feedback Loop Pilot Prototype:
The survey is part of the Feedback Loop Pilot Prototype, which includes a grant from Habitat for Humanity International. Habitat for Humanity of Springfield is one of twelve neighborhood revitalization affiliates nationwide that are trying a different way of creating conversations. Immediately following dinner the results of the survey were shared with residents. This is called closing the loop.
One of the survey questions asked residents to suggest community projects. The ideas overflowed and so did the discussion. A handful of ideas were prioritized and 10 residents volunteered to choose one from the list and work on the six-month project. Josh, one of the volunteers, said he thought the community conversation was great. “Seriously, I have never been more optimistic after a neighborhood event. Asset based community development for the win!”
Asset based community development is at the core of neighborhood revitalization. Goals are set based on strengths already present in the neighborhood. Observers of the community conversation would undoubtedly put engaged residents at the top of the assets list in Woodland Heights.
If you are a business that can help with tree maintenance or for more information about Habitat for Humanity of Springfield’s partnership with Woodland Heights, contact Melissa Adler at 417-829-4001 x 116.