The Quiet Times neighborhood north of Main Street just west of Garden Ridge took advantage of the sunny, mild weather on Oct. 7 to get outside and be neighborly with a block party. The group has had get-togethers twice a year in the spring and fall for the past three years.
The City of Lewisville encourages residents to have block parties as a way to engage with their neighbors and build better neighborhoods. Lewisville offers the free use of its “Rock the Block” trailer, which comes with everything needed to host a block party, including tables, chairs, games and more.
The Quiet Times party featured visits from the mayor and city council members, police officers and code enforcement officers. They raffled off donated prizes and offered pizza and popcorn for their guests. A bounce house entertained the kids, and people of all ages played with the life-sized Jenga stack. Neighbors were treated to a mini-concert from neighbor Raymond Watkins, who builds cigar box guitars.
The neighborhood was recognized by Mayor Rudy Durham with a proclamation for its efforts at staying connected. In commending the group for the example it is setting, neighborhood services coordinator Yolanda Wilson said “You guys have done an awesome job and come a long way.”
Wilson said one of her department’s goals is to help residents engage with their neighbors.
“It helps us to reduce crime, but not only that — to bring an awareness about your neighbors [who] might be in need of something,” she said. “It might be someone who’s lost a husband, a child or something and they just need that connection with the community.”
Councilmember Bob Troyer presented the neighborhood lead and crime watch coordinator Joe Derrick with the certificate on behalf of the mayor.
Derrick moved to Lewisville in 1989, he said, to get away from Dallas.
“I finally just got tired of not knowing our neighbors,” Derrick said. “After I retired, I tried to figure out what my purpose was.”
After some prayer, he came to the conclusion it was his job to make people smile and try to get people together.
“So, I decided my neighborhood is a good place to start.”
Since there is no homeowners association, the neighborhood group formed around their residents’ membership in Nextdoor.com, a social networking website centered around local neighborhoods. Derrick organizes the parties through the website, where he is the neighborhood lead. Derrick said that 43 percent of his neighborhood’s 460 homes had memberships on Nextdoor.
Derrick said that his neighbors are working class and the homes have rear-entry garages and that with people gone during the day, neighbors don’t get to know each other like they used to. Derrick’s goal with the party was to get 100 to 150 people to attend, relax, and get to know each other.
During the event, the mayor and several members of the city council stopped by to talk with residents. Neighborhood resource officer J.T. Flores and LPD Assistant Chief Todd Taylor attended to make themselves available to hear residents’ concerns.
To learn more about hosting your own block party and how the City of Lewisville can help, contact Yolanda Wilson at 972-219-3736 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.