The City of Springfield, KY3 and other sponsors are partnering for a series of celebrations in Springfield parks to celebrate Good Neighbor Week Sept. 28–Oct. 4.
The celebrations will be held 5-7:30 p.m.:
- Thursday, Sept. 28 at Chesterfield Park
- Friday, Sept. 29 at Nichols Park
- Monday, Oct. 2 at Smith Park
- Tuesday, Oct. 3 at Fassnight Park
- Wednesday, Oct. 4 at Sequiota Park.
Good Neighbor Week is a statewide event aimed at encouraging acts of kindness. In addition to the City and KY3, Springfield’s Good Neighbor Week celebrations are sponsored by Hatch Foundation, Springfield-Greene County Park Board, Community Partnership of the Ozarks, Engaged Neighbor Program at the University of Missouri Extension, Aaron Sachs & Associates, Price Cutter and Springfield-Greene County Library District.
Those who come out to the celebrations will meet the KY3 First Alert weather team, receive a free bike helmet from Aaron Sachs and enjoy an ice cream social by Hiland Dairy. Children will also receive free coloring books, courtesy of KY3 and Aire Serv. Entertainment will be provided by some of the finalists from the Great Route 66 Talent Search.
“We understand the importance of strong neighborhoods, and want to promote connections and good will, fostering a sense of community throughout Springfield,” said Cora Scott, the City’s director of Public Information & Civic Engagement. “Come and learn your park’s rich history and discover great volunteer opportunities as well.”
KY3 General Manager Brian McDonough hopes attendees will enjoy a nice evening meeting their neighbors in their local park.
“We used to all gather at our neighborhood park and it was such a fond childhood memory,” he said. “I hope we can bring some of that simple joy to the forefront. We really are more alike than we are different.”
David Burton, University of Missouri Extension community development specialist, spearheads the Greene County extension’s Engaged Neighbor program to encourage the development of engaged neighbor relationships, foster healthy neighborhoods, develop grassroots leaders and fund neighborhood connectors. He will speak at the events and ask neighbors to take a “good neighbor pledge.”
“With all of the national attention this week has received, we have increased our goal for reported acts of neighboring and have big future plans, but we do need Missourians to take action and then participate by reporting what they did on our website,” Burton said. “This is also a great time for state residents to nominate someone for recognition as the most engaged neighbor in Missouri.”
You can easily nominate top engaged neighbors and report acts of neighboring at http://missourigoodneighborweek.com.
Contact information submitted is used to reporting purposes and for mailing of prizes. This year, all engaged neighbor nominees will receive a unique keychain by mail, and the top 10 nominees statewide will receive $100 and a framable certificate. Those judged to have done the “top acts of neighboring” will receive the same prize package.
A submission is an entry to both the statewide and county recognition programs.
Hatch Foundation Director Erin Danastasio got involved with Springfield’s Good Neighbor Week because her foundation is involved with Clean Green Springfield, an annual citywide cleanup and beautification campaign, and sees the need to encourage the types of community volunteerism that help make Springfield better.
About Good Neighbor Week
Gov. Mike Parson signed HB1738 on July 1, 2022 establishing Good Neighbor Week. The bill was introduced by state Rep. Bishop Davidson of Republic.
The celebration period begins on Sept. 28, which is also National Good Neighbor Day (first created in 1978 by President Jimmy Carter). The week is jointly organized by University of Missouri Extension and the Hopeful Neighborhood Project.
Missourians from all walks of life celebrated the first Missouri Good Neighbor Week (Sept. 28-Oct. 4, 2022). The goal was to record 10,000 acts of neighboring, but the week ended with 12,854 acts reported and more than 113 people nominated as engaged neighbors. Nominations of individuals or reports of neighboring came from 63 of Missouri’s 114 counties.
“I love discussing the acts of neighboring that got reported,” said Burton. “These are the stories that do not normally make the news but are the behaviors that are impactful to our own health, community, and neighborhoods.”
In 2022, 17 Missourians, including Sharon Taylor Gullett and Pam Buhr of Springfield, were recognized with statewide awards as part of Good Neighbor Week.
“Research shows us that knowing one’s neighbors reduces loneliness, crime and isolation, leading to safer and more vibrant communities,” said Burton. “Missouri setting aside a whole week is a real game-changer, I think, at a time it was desperately needed.”