This is a town loaded with ‘neighborhood’ entities- neighborhood watches, neighborhood associations, neighborhood centers- and this can be confusing. To clarify, most neighborhood watches and associations are all-volunteer-driven organizations, many of which focus their efforts on an area of several square blocks. They may affiliate with LPD’s Neighborhood Watch Program or the Lansing Neighborhood Council or both. New groups form all the time, while others, like ENO, have been around for several decades and advocate for an entire quadrant of the city.
In contrast to these, Allen Neighborhood Center is a non-profit community development agency. We are staffed and funded, and we are governed by a Board of Directors that sets the direction for the organization. ANC works in close partnership with ENO and a multitude of organized neighborhoods. Here is all the information you need to know about creating community in the Eastside and Lansing.
The Eastside is comprised of both typical midwestern style and quaint homes, featuring colorful facades and interesting architectural details. But, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
Over 8000 households make up this affordable, friendly, and walkable community. The area is home to younger families and long-time residents who have grown up here, raised their families, and now choose to enjoy their retirement in the neighborhood.
The diversity of the Eastside is a prominent reason for people to choose to live here. Artists and auto workers, medical professionals and graduate students, people of all cultural and ethnic backgrounds enjoy a lively mix of ideas, traditions, and lifestyles.
People who live on the Eastside make more than a great location choice; they enjoy the best of an urban lifestyle.
- Within walking distance of schools, parks, shopping, churches, and medical facilities.
- Easy access to CATA bus lines.
- Convenient to MSU, LCC, Cooley Law School, the Capitol, and downtown Lansing.
- Quick access to major highways.
For all things Eastside, check out these quick links:
Map of Eastside Neighborhood Groups
Lansing Neighborhood Resource Handbook
Neighborhood Safety Booklet
Lansing Community Builders Handbook
Eastside Neighborhood Organization (ENO)
Get Active in Your Community
Included in this list are links and information to get your voice heard in the Eastside:
Eastern Neighbors: Chris Silsby, 484-8615. Meets 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6:30 with a potluck.
East Village Neighborhood: Jody Washington, 805-9337. Meets as needed.
FAIR: Theresa Moore, 367-2059. Meets 1st Thursday of the month, 6:30 PM at Allen Neighborhood Center.
Foster Your Neighborhood: Brian Baer, 371.2857 or contact by email: firstname.lastname@example.org . See their website for information on joining their Yahoo group mailing list. Meets the 3rd Wednesday of the month at Foster Community Center at 7:00 PM, Room 211.
Green Oaks: Julann Vittone, 488-4783. Meets 4th Thursday of each month (except Nov. and Dec.), 6 PM at Christ Lutheran Church. Visit their website greenoaks.jandyonline.com or write them an email at email@example.com .
Hunter Park East: http://hunterparkeast-blog.tumblr.com/
Hunter Park West (aka Hunter Park Neighbors):
Regent Oaks: Jackie Dillinger at firstname.lastname@example.org. Meets every three months, 6:30pm at ANC.
Oak Park: Judy Hackett, 371-4214. Meets 3rd Tuesday of each month at Allen Neighborhood Center at 7:00 PM.
Potter Walsh: Deb Biehler, 485-9692, email@example.com. Meets the 2nd Monday of every month at 6:20 PM at Faith Fellowship Baptist Church, 1001 Dakin St.
Prospect Protectors: Corie Jason, 482-8756, firstname.lastname@example.org. Meets as needed.
Your Neighborhood: George Berghorn, 862-7821, email@example.com. Or contact Dave Muylle, 484-334.
Active Neighboring Tips and Resources
Thanks to Jennie Grau, Vincent Delgado and Rosa Robinson for these wonderful resources.
Commitment to Community
On the Eastside, you’ll find many people committed to preserving and improving their community and celebrating its uniqueness, people who work with neighbors to develop creative solutions to problems and challenges, and people who are just plain good neighbors.
The Eastside Neighborhood Organization (ENO) is an umbrella group of over twenty active neighborhood associations that serve nearly every part of the Eastside. These groups not only add names to the faces that pass by on the street but offer ways to encourage friendly relationships through participation in many activities:
- Spring flower planting
- Summer picnics and block parties
- Organized youth sports
- Clean-up days
- Old-fashioned caroling through the neighborhood
These are just some of the things that make it easy to get to know your neighbors, and have fun at the same time. This well-developed network of organizations and the people who participate in them help to maintain the strong social fabric and sense of belonging that have long characterized the Eastside.
In 2001, the Eastside summit produced a plan for the Eastside titled “Growing in Community”. This plan has provided the blueprint for much of what we do at Allen Neighborhood Center. You can download it in PDF format or as a Word document.
Community Builder’s Toolbox
ANC has compiled a guide to community organizing for anyone interested in started or growing a neighborhood organization. Sections of the guide are available for download below. All the files are in PDF format and open in a new window.
- Lansing Community Builders Handbook
- 14 Steps to Building a New Neighborhood Organization
- Identifying Your Leadership Team
- Basic Polling Sheet
- The Benefits of Personal Contact
- Canvassing: What Do You Say to People?
- Characteristics of Good Issues
- Creating a Sense of Community
- How to Cut an Issue
- Pointers for Setting Up Block Meetings
- Preparing for the First Meeting
- Reasons for Lack of Participation
- Seven Ways to Build Community Leadership
- Seven Steps to Conducting an Event
- Volunteers — Where Are They?