Hundreds turn out for communities
March 28, 2010
They are the people who run your local homeowner's group. The neighborhood who has the sanitation department on speed dial and the folks who volunteer to serve on small committees to make sure the trees are trimmed.
They came by the hundreds Saturday to the 2010 Hillsborough County Neighborhoods Conference at Hillsborough Community College's Dale Mabry Campus.
"This is for those people who are the voice of their community," said event chairwoman Wanda Sloan. "These people are the voice for their communities."
Education was the main goal behind Build A Better Neighborhood Through Networking, which featured booths from county departments as well as private vendors, Sloan said. "We want to strengthen our communities, because if our communities are strong then our county and city is strong."
Jerry Frankhouser of the Bayside West Neighborhood Association has been working on his community's Web site, www.baysidewest.50megs.com, since 2006. He listened closely during the session, Feed Me! The Importance of Social Networks and Web sites.
"(The workshop) was very worthwhile," Frankhouser said. "I think I will be adding a Facebook page to our site now."
"I really got a lot from the workshop on the capabilities of Facebook and social media," said Al Montibello, who helps run the Durant Trails Homeowner's Association Web site, http://trailsatdurant.com.
Now in its seventh year and hosted by the Hillsborough County Office of Neighborhood Relations, Saturday's event offered 25 workshops drawing a range of people, from neighborhood association board members to homeowners. Workshops included: A Tree, A Flag? No It's A Cell Tower; All Together Now: Unity in Diversity; Florida-Friendly Landscaping; Code Enforcement for Houses Full of Trouble; What Can Be Recycled?; and Learn It, Grow It, Eat It: Community Gardens.
The $15 registration fee included breakfast, workshops and the chance to meet representatives of county departments, as well as local businesses and nonprofit organizations.
Teresa Berkulis ran the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County booth.
"We are getting mostly general questions today, but the event is more about education and outreach," she said.
For information on Neighborhood Relations, visit www.hillsborough county.org/onr/.
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