Neighborhood Safety Work Team

Eric Smith – Think Tank

In May, the Neighborhood Safety Work Team of the Lincoln neighborhood of Springfield, Ohio, convened a “Meet-&-Greet” with the Chief of Police, four of the Police Department’s officers, 3 principals from area schools the mayor of Springfield and an estimated 45 residents.  A light dinner was cooked by residents with the ingredients supplied by the local church food pantry.  The purpose of the meeting was to start to build a relationship between the neighborhood residents and the police force charged with patrolling the area.  The tone of the meeting was generally positive so that the police would know that they had allies in the neighborhood, much as the residents would know that they had allies in the police force.  Ideas were exchanged regarding how to best coordinate efforts for highest impact.  One of the suggestions was to have better reporting of incidents of illegal activity.  The Neighborhood Safety Work Team has met since the Meet-&-Greet and a task force has been formed to look at how to launch a block watch program to better respond to safety concerns in the neighborhood on an ongoing basis.

Recreational Opportunities For Children and Youth Work Team

Eric Smith – Think Tank

Over the course of a week, from March 21 to March 28, a core group of Lincoln residents came together to discuss one of the issues that the community had described as being a top priority for the neighborhood – increased recreational opportunities for children and youth.

During the first meeting, the group described the issue and then brainstormed and organized possible solutions (see below). At a follow-up meeting, the group developed priority areas and action plans to implement the change they wanted to see. Their plan called for the creation of two work groups – the Bobcat Elites work group with a focus on athletics and the Promise Fundraisers with a focus on resource development.

In the three weeks since this community action group formed, the Bobcat Elites work group has further developed their plan and met with the appropriate leaders at the local Elementary School where they intend to hold twice-weekly sports clinics and organized play time on Saturdays. They have been busy recruiting volunteer coaches in order to be able to offer the program for free to area children and youth. They are also seeking out curricula to integrate team-building and character building lessons into their sports activities.

Meanwhile, the Promise Fundraisers work group has begun to further develop strategies for raising money to, among other things, cover the cost of purchasing sports equipment. Plans are in the works for fundraisers like cookouts with a “Promise” menu, community garage sales, and more.

What a fun example of what can be accomplished when residents gather around the issue that they care about enough to act on!


March 21, 2011



Field Trips



Community Gatherings

Fun & Games

Weekly sports leagues Building items together to bring in math skills Bring life back to South – some activities Fitness classes Toy/clothing drive Block parties Field day competitions
Sportsmanship camp Discipline Fishing, museums, parks YMCA Concessions @ events Dances Kite flying
Sports camps Teenage workforce Nature hunt Selling dinners Include parents to build confidence and community Cornhole toss activities
Volleyball, flag football, whiffle ball Trail biking Hot dog stands Community gardening (teach to grow their own) Family outings
Free sports activities Field trips (as reward) Fund raising Gardening Arts and crafts as day camps
Day trips (as reward) Arts and crafts