Thursday, April 6, 2023

The Welcoming Wagon Rolls into Town

 Speaking of neighborhoods…

The Village of Kings Contrivance is having an Open House for new residents. It will be held on May 20, 2023, from 10:30 am to noon at Amherst House. This is the first such event - - targeted at welcoming new residents - - that I am aware of in all the years I have lived here. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been any. But it’s certainly not a regular practice in the Columbia Villages, to my knowledge.  

I think it’s a great idea. I used to wish that Oakland Mills had its own Welcome Wagonesque service that reached out to new residents. Time and again I was told “you just need to come down to the Village center and find out.” There's just one thing. What if you don’t know how much you don’t know?

For instance, this particular announcement does not tell you where the event is to be held. If you zero in on the building you can just about make out that it says Amherst House. So, what’s Amherst House? (Yes, I know, but that’s because I’ve lived here since 1999.) There are plenty of people who’ve lived in Oakland Mills a long time without know which is the Barn and which is the Other Barn. I got lost some years back trying to find the Owen Brown Community Center because I was sure it must be at the Owen Brown Village Center.

It isn’t. And most of the folks I asked at the Village Center didn’t know, either.

It’s possible that Kings Contrivance has been able to identify who the new residents are and will be sending them a dedicated mailing inviting them to the event which includes the address and directions to Amherst House. That would be the sort of initiative I had longed for way back when I was learning about Oakland Mills. I’ll reach out to them to learn more. 

As Columbia elections move ever nearer on the calendar, I think a lot about how initial contact with new residents can be the jumping off point for growing a community of neighbors who know about Columbia and want to get involved and participate. It’s a long-term investment.


…could lead to this:

Oh, and a reminder: Columbia Elections are April 22nd. Each village has its own rules, so check in to find out what you need to know. Many have mail-in ballot options and a growing number have online voting. 

I see so much online activity dedicated to keeping new residents out of Columbia/HoCo. This invitation is the first thing I have seen that says the opposite. It’s rather thrilling. 

One more thing. Do you have any new neighbors? Welcome them to the neighborhood. 

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