WORK PARTIES, ETC.
Work parties are conducted by groups of volunteers. The most common work parties are maintenance efforts at Ginger Creek Park and and the "neighbor-hood pathway."
Ginger Creek Park
Ginger Creek Park needs work several times a year. The work can involve pruning, planting, landscaping, trash pick-up, and the like. On occasion there is damage to be fixed, whether the result of vandalism or motor vehicle accident. The cutting of grass is not considered a work party because it does not involve a group or an announced gathering.
The "neighborhood pathway," a public sidewalk that runs between Index Avenue SE and Lake Youngs Way SE, requires maintenance at least annually. The work required is pruning of overhanging or intruding vegetation, removal of moss from the sidewalk, and general clean-up. This work is co-ordinated with---but does not necessarily involve---the neighbors whose property abuts the sidewalk.
The time spent by volunteers to perform this work, called "sweat equity." Volunteers use a city-supplied form to record the number of hours worked so we can get credit for it. This benefits us financially.
The need for a work party generally surfaces during a meeting of the Steering Committee. The Committee either schedules the work party or delegates that responsibility to an individual, who takes care of the scheduling outside of the meeting. In either case, an announcement then follows on this website, in a newsletter, on Nextdoor.com, and in a Yahoo e-mail group message.
Another form of work is the periodic picking up of litter. For several years the approach was to have infrequent "litter walks" in which volunteers gathered at a specific time and place to pick up litter in the neighborhood.
In 2017 that approach was discarded in favor of an informal version. Now if a litter walk takes place, it is done on an ad hoc basis by highly-motivated individuals: there is no planning, no announcement, and no gathering.
In addition, a new institution called "clean-up weekends" was established. As with the new style of litter walks, there is no planning and no gathering. TPNA announces one weekend a month as a "clean-up weekend," a period in which residents are encouraged to pick up litter at or near their house and dispose of it. The announcements are really just friendly reminders for residents to clean up when they can, not a directive to take action on any particular weekend. With this approach residents can pick up litter whenever it suits them and it and involves a much smaller personal commitment than with the former scheduled litter walks. Making an announcement every month helps to get people to think about litter on a continuing basis.
Both informal approaches have the same benefit: a more attractive environment and the resulting positive effect on property values and feelings about the community.
(Last revised on September 13, 2017)