Monday, January 3, 2005

GANA Meeting Minutes

GANA (Green Acres Neighborhood Association) Meeting
7:00 PM, 1/3/05
Georgia Schaich's house

Georgia Schaich, Julia Jackson, Halley Walsh, Ann Kreilkamp


  • By-laws interim report
  • CONA Meeting
  • Mark Brostoff presentation

Because the only ones to attend this meeting were those on the By-laws Committee, there was no interim report. We brainstormed on neighborhood connectivity and on the new website that Julia is creating. Georgia and Ann ask others to join them at the CONA (Council of neighborhood Associations) training scheduled for February 5, at Showers Building, 8:30 AM to noon. Mark Brostoff of Monroe City Citizens Council presented an exciting idea for both neighborhood emergency preparedness and for building a sense of community in Green Acres. See below.

The Process
Over the past year, GANA meetings have drawn between six and ten people. This time, as the four of us sat there, waiting and hoping for others to walk in the door, we discussed our disappointment. Our October tent party drew a lot of neighbors out of the woodwork, and we had assumed we were well on our way towards building a vibrant sense of community here in Green Acres.

We had changed the meeting from Thursday to Monday nights, to accommodate those who schedules conflicted with Thursday, and now we wonder if Monday doesn't work for anybody! For the next meeting, we've decided to change again, and will meet for coffee on Sunday, February 27 at 4 pm at the new Bakehouse on 3rd Street.

The four people present then brainstormed further on our neighborhood as community. A few ideas: 1) encourage Green Acres as a starter neighborhood for young families who wish to buy homes, 2) join with other neighborhood associations to get the city to regulate duration and frequency of For Rent signs, 3) get a dinner party of eight or so neighbors together at one of the nearby restaurants (Prospect Hill Neighborhood does this), 4) a spring garage sale, 4) activities for kids, like a designated “fun street” (teenage Halley, who did her homework early so she could attend the GANA meeting, tells us there are 30 kids who ride the bus from this neighborhood &emdash;quite a surprise to the rest of us).

Meanwhile, Julia has volunteered to create a website for GANA. Thanks, Julia! Here are some of her and our ideas for the website:
  • a place to join our emailing list
  • a page to feature one Green Acres resident per month
  • a unique, original page for each resident that he or she could create with a password and easy-to-use tools provided on the site
  • interests, needs, hobbies, a photo, etc. you name it!
  • a survey (to gather information such as mapping the neighborhood for residents
  • talents, skills, special needs, etc.)
  • links to CONA, HAND and other neighborhood association websites
  • a Kids Corner
  • Archives of minutes from past meetings
  • Bulletin Board
  • for example, who has plant cuttings to give away, or needs them; who wants to teach or learn knitting, or tai chi, or how to bake a soufflĂ©, etc.
  • emergency information
Julia would love your feedback on these ideas, and on any others you would like to see on the website. Please contact her at

Georgia and Ann will attend the CONA training on Saturday (8:30 am -12 noon at Showers), and hope others will join us. Five workshops are to run concurrently and if three more Green Acres residents come, we can each represent GANA at one of the workshops and then report to the others. So come! It will be fun, eye-opening, and inspiring to see how other neighborhood associations work. For more information, contact either Georgia, or Ann at

Mark Brostoff, Chairperson of Monroe County Citizen Corps Council (MCCC), then presented the city's expanded and enhanced National Neighborhood Watch Program. MCCC wants to get neighborhoods involved as affiliate members, by training a group from each neighborhood as a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Ten to fifteen people are needed to form a team. They will be trained in search and rescue, fire suppression, disaster medical preparation, preparedness, disaster psychology, and disaster preparedness. The class will be 20 hours long, with support material provided (a book, plus an emergency backpack with appropriate equipment). After a disaster, the neighborhood team would be the first on the scene, until first responders arrived. They would go house to house to check on people who are hurt or need help, then mark the houses as needing or not needing further attention from first responders.

Please consider joining our neighborhood CERT team, and please tells others about this valuable volunteer opportunity. This program may interest students who live in this area. (If a student from this area is trained and moves to another area in Monroe County, he or she will then be assigned to the team from that area. So don't let temporary status in Green Acres deter you!)

Also, Mark talked about the “Are You Ready” individual and family disaster preparedness program put on by FEMA (Federal Emergency Preparedness Association), as a course on-line, or as training for families and others which Mark would provide. Please contact Mark at for more information on either of these programs.

And please join us at our next GANA meeting, Sunday, February 27, 4 pm, at the new 3rd Street Bakehouse!

Ann Kreilkamp

View full story>>