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Published September 10, 2011, 08:37 PM

Near North Neighborhood Association Hopes To Set Example For Other Neighborhoods

A neighborhood association in Grand Forks is working to bring the community together by creating family-friendly events. The Near North Neighborhood Association hosted a kids carnival with outdoor movies in Town Square Saturday night.

A neighborhood association in Grand Forks is working to bring the community together by creating family-friendly events. The Near North Neighborhood Association hosted a kids carnival with outdoor movies in Town Square Saturday night.

"We figured we'd have kind of a family game night, something to get people out of their houses and a way to interact with their neighbors," Near North Neighborhood Project Coordinator Cory England said.

The Near North Neighborhood Association has been hosting more family-friendly events as a way to reach out to the community.

"I love meeting new people and people from the community, and having other kid events to do," Grand Forks resident Mary Hoeckle said.

"Get people to know each other, because part of having a functioning neighborhood is knowing your neighbors," England said.

The Near North Neighborhood Association has grown since 2007. The association hopes that other neighborhoods in Grand Forks follow in its footsteps to help create a better sense of community."

"When this program was created it's kind of a pilot project for other neighborhoods in the city. So the intention is in future years to expand and create, you know, a riverside neighborhood association, and a near south association and just keep going until all the areas of the city have a core neighborhood," England said.

Near North Neighborhood has many older houses with a lot of history. The association helps keep up the economic viability of the area. It also promotes civic engagement.

"We got a bunch of neighbors together and we lobbied the city and we had a ton of the sidewalks in the neighborhood re-done, and not only is it safer, but it just looks nicer so public perception of the neighborhood has gone up because of that," England said.

The group hopes to keep promoting positive change and service in the community. The association is the first to be recognized under the Mayor's Urban Neighborhood Initiative.

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