FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Local city and neighborhood association leaders are taking part in the Regional Neighborhood Network Conference at the Grand Wayne Center this weekend. For them, it is a chance to discuss what’s working in their communities and what is not, so that they can improve their neighborhoods.
“Best practices are a great way of learning what works in other communities and you can take something like that and even make it better and then make it your own,” said Cindy Joyner, Director of Community Development for the City of Fort Wayne. “To me, it is extremely helpful when you go to these conferences to see what other communities are doing, and you may not have even thought of doing.”
Many of the local leaders attending take part in the conference every year as it rotates cities. LaRez Neighborhood Association president Pat Turner says one of the things she looks for is new ideas to get her neighbors involved.
“Main thing is to get people involved,” said Turner. “We just need people to get involved even when there’s not a problem. We need you to be involved in the good time as well as the bad.”
Joyner says increasing community involvement should be important to everyone who wants to make their cities they best they can be.
“We are only better in our neighborhoods when we all come together collectively,” said Joyner. “It makes us stronger as a community and frankly our neighborhoods are the backbone of our community. And so to be able to make sure they’re all thriving, they’re healthy, they’re vibrant, is just a cornerstone for us.”
The conference will continue through Saturday. WANE 15’s Terra Brantley will moderate a panel discussion featuring Mayor Tom Henry as well as Gary, Indiana mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and Lima, Ohio mayor David Berger.