These neighborhood organizations went the extra mile to engage their residents

It's that time of year when Hillsborough County recognizes its most civically involved communities through the Neighborhood Awards program. The awards are held annually to highlight neighborhood organizations that have fostered healthy, safe, and engaged neighborhoods through exceptional programs, projects, and events. The announcement coincides with the National Good Neighbor Day on Sept. 28, established in 1978 to encourage people to take time to care for and connect with their neighbors. These award winners are all semifinalists for the Hillsborough County 2023 Neighborhood of the Year Award (NOTY). The NOTY Award winner will be announced in the coming weeks.

Parks help communities thrive

Created in the 1930s, the Keystone Civic Association has a rich history of partnering with Hillsborough County government to help improve the lives of its residents. A collaboration with the Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation department in the 1950s resulted in what is now known as the recreation center at in Odessa that specializes in after-school programs and summer camps for kids. A cornerstone of the Keystone community, the park serves as a hub for residents and is the site of the association's meetings. Through this community partnership, countless events and programs have taken place at the park, including Thanksgiving food drives, movies in the park, fall festivals, and many more. These community events have earned the association the 2023 Engaged Neighborhood Award.

Coexisting with Florida wildlife

With more wildlife interactions and sightings than ever before, the Summerfield Master Community Association in Riverview took matters into its own hands. Inviting a representative from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to speak to its members, they learned the different animal species they may encounter in their neighborhood and how to handle them if they do. Learning to coexist with the natural world is a pillar of being a responsible resident and makes this association the winner of the 2023 Safe Neighborhood Award. Psst…interested in learning more about how to best interact with - or stay away from - nature? Check out the video recording from the 2023 Neighborhoods Expo titled Coyotes, Cats, Dogs, Alligators … Oh My!

Keeping Hillsborough beautiful

What started as a project funded through the County's Neighborhood Mini-Grant program several years ago has blossomed into an annual event that engages dozens of Calusa Trace Homeowners Association (HOA) members. In 2022, armed with trash bags, volunteers from the HOA, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, and students and faculty from Steinbrenner High School spent up to two hours walking along Calusa Trace Boulevard, collecting hundreds of pounds of garbage. This cleanup event not only brings the community together, but also benefits the natural environment, including the nearby conservation areas and ponds in the Lutz area, earning the Calusa Trace HOA the 2023 Healthy Neighborhood Award.
Learn more about the Neighborhood Awards program.

Image Caption: Calusa Trace Homeowners Association hosts an annual community clean-up event.
Posted: 2/2/2024, 6:26:56 PM