About the Author
The Sum of the Parts
Guest, September 27, 2012 | Name Your Neighborhood
By Bruce Carlson
I am a member of the Neighborhood Identification Steering Committee and have been focusing on the Northwest Quadrant of Edina. One of things I have learned through serving on the Name Your Neighborhood project is that everyone has their own definition of what constitutes their neighborhood. For some individuals, their neighborhood is as small as a few blocks.
However, to foster the formation of civic neighborhood associations, we envision neighborhoods as a larger geographic area. Moving from a few blocks to 20 or more blocks expands the area where individuals can be informed and provide input with respect to city projects or initiatives. We have started to refer to these larger areas as “neighborhood communities.”
In all the quadrants of Edina, formal and informal entities exist within the boundaries of what we envision to be larger defined neighborhood communities. For example, I have lived on the west side of Highlands Park for 23 years and just learned that there is an “Edina Highlands Neighborhood Association” on the east side of the park consisting of 72 homes. Over 20 years ago, they organized for social activities and specific neighborhood issues affecting them. Other organizations throughout Edina have been created for reasons ranging from social interaction, historic designation, neighborhood watch, street improvements, school boundaries and or commercial development issues. A few examples of other existing entities include organizations associated with Fox Meadow Park, Bredesen Park, Viking Hills, Brucewood, Countryside and Brookside Heights. Other long-established organizations include Parkwood Knolls, Morningside, White Oaks, Country Club and Indian Hills, just to name a few. Edina also has numerous Home Owners Associations associated with their apartment, condo, town home or twin home developments.
Most all of the entities mentioned above will be a part of a larger defined neighborhood community; however, this will not take the place or eliminate existing groups. Neighborhood communities will, I hope, always contain several types of groups or associations within their greater boundaries. Civic neighborhood associations can successfully coexist with other groups as they offer a welcomed and involved foundation that is already a factor in creating a vital and relevant community. Ultimately, we’re all on Team Edina — everyone can participate, have a role and we all benefit from the Sum of the Parts!