Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: Evergreen neighborhood communication - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Joe Birch

Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: Evergreen neighborhood communication

Turns out that improving your neighborhood has everything to do with communication.

Neighborhoods that keep current in the war on crime and the battle against blight have one thing in common. A steady flow of communication.

An annual pot luck supper in the Evergreen district features home made dishes and down home neighborliness.

"I can meet my neighbors, get a chance to see who is actually taking back the neighborhood and the community and who my friends are," Evergreen newcomer Chip Williamson said.

Bill Bullock, a long time Evergreen leader, says a key to neighborhood unity is block by block leadership:

"Evergreen was sort of founded on communication and the first real communication for Evergreen that still exists is our network of block captains," Bullock said.

A half-dozen times a year, Evergreen's sixty block captains visit each home, delivering flyers up and down tree lined streets.

Evergreen sits west of Overton Park, bounded by Poplar, North Parkway and Watkins.

Each week, a newsy e-mail arrives in the computers of about half of Evergreen's 1,500 residents.

"It's a huge benefit because you get to know the safety of the neighborhood, you find out who's renting, who needs help and that's another thing---with home improvements and things like that---there's a lot of hints with who people trust," resident Jennifer Bulmann said.

The web also connects Memphis police to Evergreen as a test neighborhood for Cyber-Watch; the M-P-D delivers all kinds of crime statistics that made Evergreeners first to hear about the recent rash of sawed-off shotgun robberies of around nearby Rhodes College.

Inspector Mark Collins said crime is down 10 percent in the Midtown precinct he commands that includes Evergreen.

"You need to see who it is policing your community. And that's these officers right here," Collins said.

Close and constant communication, common sense, grassroots neighborliness. It's a mix that has Evergreen constantly Taking Back Our Neighborhoods.

Click here to e-mail Joe Birch.

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