Whether you have just moved in or have lived here for years, your neighborhood association offers a way to get involved, voice your opinion and make new friends.


ÒNeighborhood associations weave people together,Ó says Trish Parrish, president of the Gastonwood-Coronado Hills Neighborhood Association.


ÒYour voice will be heard, and your vote counts.Ó


Most neighborhood associations have similar agendas, such as crime watch, neighborhood beautification and code enforcement. Another common thread: These associations always welcome member participation in a variety of activities and leadership positions.


ÒParticipating gives you a way to meet other people, get involved and have a feeling of whatÕs going on in the neighborhood,Ó says Hillary Hoover, vice president of the Vickery Place Neighborhood Association.


Shortly after moving in, Ridgewood Park resident Susan Edgley noticed a flier posted in a shopping center about a neighborhood association meeting.


Assuming it was her neighborhood association that was convening, Edgley attended the meeting . After a few minutes, she realized the meeting was for another neighborhood. And she soon learned that her neighborhood didnÕt even have an association.


So Edgley formed one. Shortly after assembling a five-person steering committee, the Ridgewood Park Neighborhood Association was born, holding its inaugural meeting in May 1996.


ÒWeÕre really proud of what weÕve accomplished,Ó says Edgley, who serves as the association president.


ÒAs a team, we can accomplish a lot more than working individually.


ÒWe carry more weight when we work as a team.Ó


Although most neighborhood associations charge annual dues, usually no more than $15, some, like Vickery Place, donÕt have dues.


Common activities among neighborhood associations are block parties, alley and park clean-ups, Yard of the Month awards and participation in the annual National Night Out Against Crime.


ÒA lot of people say: I donÕt know where to meet people,Ó Parrish says.


ÒIt (a neighborhood association) is a great place to meet people. People think the most desirable places to live are desirable because they sense that feeling of community.Ó


To learn more about your neighborhood association or if your neighborhood has an active association, call Preservation Dallas at 214-821-3290.