Even though I do the agenda for our meetings, I never know exactly where they will flow, and the meeting April 11th was no exception.
We started with a presentation from Max Morange of the Bellingham Food Bank. 50% of Food Bank clients are children and seniors, and fresh produce is high on the list of what is healthiest, hardest to get, and most wanted. The Food Bank not only accepts donations of food – they also generate food production and go collect it. Sources range from gleaning a farmer’s fields to picking the apples you are going to let drop to the ground from the tree in your backyard to helping build small, raised bed gardens where neighbors can grow their own food. Their programs reduce waste and provide fresh, local food to people in need. They are also encouraging “Victory Gardens”, where gardeners raise more than usual so there is extra for others to be distributed through the Food Bank. Here is a link to information on their Garden Project and VictoryGardens. If you love to garden, this is an opportunity to indulge your passion and help a neighbor at the same time.
Then Richard Maneval, a volunteer with the Bellingham Police Department, talked about Neighborhood Night Out (which used to be called Night Out Against Crime). The name has changed, but the purpose hasn’t: bringing neighbors together so they are communicating. It seems that neighborhood communication is not crime friendly…I can’t think of an easier way to beat the bad guys! The official NNO date is the 1st Tuesday of August. Quite a lot of discussion was generated, beginning with memories of NNO gatherings in the past, continuing to the difficulty of organizing and involving the entire Edgemoor Neighborhood, and then listening to stories of areas within the Neighborhood where there is an annual tradition of a block party. The more we talked, the more sensible that approach seemed, so the ENA would like to encourage and, if necessary, facilitate informal block parties. It would be kind of cool if they were all on the same night, but the timing isn’t as important as the doing. We’ll be talking about this more at the next meeting and on Nextdoor.
Lauri presented some recommended bylaw changes relative to elections and offices – we will vote on them at the May meeting.
Communication is an ongoing issue…trying to make sure people know what is going on so they have input in issues and aren’t blindsided by events. We discussed additional ways to reach out – you may even find an ENA flyer in your newspaper box one of these days, delivered by our board member/bicycle courier,Terry Montonye.
We discussed the annual meeting, which will be held at Lairmont Manor on June 11th. Watch Nextdoor for final information on the speaker(s). We will also hold elections for the board…if you like what happened in the neighborhood last year and want to be part of the process, consider running for a position on the board. If you didn’t like what happened in the neighborhood last year and want to influence the process, consider running for a position on the board. See – it’s for everybody!