Starting a neighbourhood beautification initiative can have an incredibility positive impact on a community. A case study on the Downtown Peterborough BIA found that work to beautify the neighbourhood helped bring more companies—and residents—to the area. The website Useful Community Development says beautification projects make a statement: someone cares about this place.
If you’re looking to improve your community, we have some ideas (and a few participation gifts) that can help bring residents together, for the benefit of the whole neighbourhood.
Pick a project and get resident buy-in
Get your volunteers excited by having a few specific projects in mind. Consider your local parks—do they need weeding and planting? Are there neighbours who need help trimming trees or repainting their houses? Or would the local streets benefit from litter clean up? Having ideas can show residents how quickly and easily changes can be made. Getting the local community to weigh in on proposed projects is critical, as they may have other ideas for helpful projects. Make community members aware of beautification efforts with signs that promote contact information where residents can weigh in or ask questions. You can also have volunteers go door-to-door with Door Hangers outlining upcoming projects.
As part of the planning process, find people who will get involved and stay with a project until it is finished. Besides neighbourhood residents, consider recruiting volunteers from local scout troops, churches and community service groups. Be sure to thank them with a gift, like a water bottle. Give away T-Shirts to create a sense of community pride and unity among volunteers on the day of the project.
Spread the word
Once your volunteer roster is set, it’s time to make everyone knows about your project. Get the word out about the date and location—and don’t forget to plan a rain date! Offer volunteers supplies that can be used even after the project is complete, like a utility tote or a bucket to haul just about anything. If the project involves beautifying parks or gardens, give volunteers seeds that attract bees or butterflies to use wherever they choose.
Beauty is in the eye of the neighbourhood
Neighbourhood beautification initiatives can attract new businesses and residents, help revitalize an area and provide a sense of community pride. With a plan, great volunteers and participation gifts, you’ll have everyone asking, “Won’t you be my neighbor?”