A Time To Reflect

As autumn takes a more firm hold on us, it seems a good time to review and reflect on what we’ve been up to for the past 18 months and where we go from here.

We are so very fortunate to live where we do. Our neighbors and those who lived here before us have done exceptional work to not only preserve the gorgeous, historical physical structures that surround us, but also to sustain a safe, inclusive, and supportive sense of community. From the enhancements to the commercial block of Washington Street, to the restoration of single family homes by several new families, and from the redevelopment of the old St. Paul’s school, to the modernization of Central Elementary, significant new investments are proof-positive that Central Neighborhood is the most desirable place to live in Valparaiso.

In the 18 months or so, since we re-engaged and re-organized the neighborhood association, we have accomplished quite a bit:

  • We increased our social media presence and engagement on Facebook and NextDoor apps
  • We launched a brand new website at centralneighborhood.org
  • We used this new platform to publish a blog post making the case to save home at 105 Michigan Avenue, drafted a petition that gained some 350 or so signatures, and, most importantly, successfully reversed the library’s plans move or destroy the home
  • We used our regular monthly meetings to host conversations with community leaders, including some from Central Elementary, the Valpo Police Department, the library’s board of trustees, and the developer of the St. Paul’s Square project
  • We hosted several social events making many new, meaningful connections
  • We re-established our active legal good standing of the non-profit corporation with Secretary of State and Department of Revenue

We owe a great debt of gratitude to the people who came before us and organized our neighborhood. We are a model that other neighborhoods around the city are looking to emulate. And, yet, there is still so much more that we can do. For example,

  • We can re-iterate and re-emphasize the imperative to maintain Central Elementary as a vibrant neighborhood school
  • We can work on calming the traffic on our neighborhood streets
  • We can help each other more with household maintenance and improvement projects
  • We can create a pool of shared tools and other resources for borrowing by neighbors when needed
  • We can petition for and work to create a railroad quiet zone along the old Grand Trunk Western, now CN, line
  • We can engage new neighbors proactively and gather together socially even more often to get to know one another better
  • and more…

We will never agree with one another on everything. That’s not the point. The point is to know each other so that, when we differ, we can live together peacefully, share our common ground, and continue working on our common goals.

It is my pleasure and privilege to serve in this role.

All the best,
Bill Durnell
President, Central Neighborhood Association
Get involved. Make history.

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