Where The Heart Is partners residents with their neighbors, city staff, local businesses, schools, non-profits, elected officials, community centers or places of worship to create a neighborhood devised action plan. This means every year the program will look different depending on what the targeted neighborhood desires.
However, the goal remains the same; to build community among neighbors, stimulate home improvements, empower residents to act collectively, bring everyone to the table to pool assets and leverage skills to act and achieve success. The neighborhood identifies what projects or changes they want to see happen around them.
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Neighbors Helping Neighbors Day encourages people to get to know their closest allies- their neighbors. Everyone wants to be proud of their neighborhood and to love where they live; let's work together and make this dream a reality! We dream of a day where every spring Garlandites look for ways they can work together to help a neighbor in need. Only time will tell how far this reach will go! It takes engaged residents like YOU to make it a success!Back to Top
As Garland continues to approach build out, the need to maintain or improve our current housing stock becomes even more urgent. City staff were tasked to identifying the cause of declining neighborhoods and how to prevent them. So in 2104 the D.I.Y. Garland program was piloted in Carriagehouse Neighborhood, connecting residents with volunteers to improve the curb appeal of their homes. Over the years, the program has been modified and rebranded as WHERE THE HEART IS.
In 2017, residents of Orchard Hills neighborhood, worked with city staff to identify areas they wished to see change, locate neighbors that needed help maintaining their homes and catalyze social engagement.
As a team they decided they would like to use the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Day to beautify their neighborhood in several ways, in collaboration with City Staff, a local church, Keep Garland Beautiful and outside professionals their vision was made a reality. They worked with an artist to design a stencil they used to paint a larger thoroughfare bridge in the neighborhood. They had a clean-up in the local community garden where they weeded walkways, got the vegetable beds cleared for spring and planted a few fruit trees. They even worked on an existing butterfly garden at an entry point to their neighborhood to add more plant material and clean out trash. The group also helped four fellow neighbors to improve their house by painting, planting and fixing code violations.
They were concerned about the social divide between the neighbors in the newer Parkmont addition versus the older development of Orchard Hills. Neighbors wanted to get to know each other and find commonality. To this end they organized events meant to attract both sides and encourage camaraderie. Several pop up events were planned in shared spaces, brainstorming and project planning events were well attended and the neighbors worked together as equals.
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The targeted neighborhood is chosen by the Office of Neighborhood Vitality (ONV) staff after researching Resident Opinion Surveys, talking with Code Compliance Officers, Neighborhood Police Officers, driving thru neighborhoods, evaluating housing stock and talking with council members. We wanted to find an area that is obviously loved by its residents but might need a little outside assistance to develop the community aspect.
Click here to be contacted by the ONV for a job site evaluation. We will come out, meet with you and discuss what you would like to see done at your house. It could be as simple as adding a new mailbox or as laborious as painting your house! Please remember all work will be completed by fellow neighbors and volunteers on the April 14th workday. Projects should be something that can be done by an average able bodied person. If larger projects are identified we will do our best to accommodate.
Have you walked past a vacant lot and daydreamed of a dog obstacle course or community garden or just a plain old bench? Do you think life in the neighborhood would be enhanced by planting a few trees? Do you have any ideas you want to see discussed and maybe come to fruition? We want to hear them! No idea is to small! Email Nancy Tunell at NTunell@GarlandTX.gov to learn how to get started. Back to Top