It is a special treat to be a tourist in your own town, and on yesterday’s Walking Wednesday casual guide of Sycamore Park, it was exactly that for me.
For those unfamiliar with Walking Wednesdays, the fabulous Neighborhood Resource Coordinator, Andi Crawford, assists in neighborhood members facilitating walking tours of their own communities. This was my co-VISTA, Brittany, and my first taste of (literally) walking and talking with Lansing citizens. While the atmosphere was casual, the thrill of being “out in the community” was energizing me.
As a graduate of East Lansing High School, but just now becoming a full-time resident of the Capital City, I knew little of the neighborhoods I did not travel through during Drivers Ed class, or whatever else one does in high school. It was a great snapshot moment as a new VISTA member to spend time with residents, the true experts of the city, and to hear how everyone viewed their little slice of paradise.
With Sycamore Park being just South of Downtown, its residents have quick access to the world-class amenities of MSU, Cooley Law School Stadium, the local river trail, Fenner Park, seemingly endless green spaces, and Lansing nightlife.
About a dozen of us took to the paved road to see the uniquely crafted and gracefully aging homes of Sycamore Park. With the trees in full bloom, green summer leaves and the summer solstice having just occurred, it was perfect weather to hear stories, laugh, ask questions, admire Mt. Hope School, and discover a Little Free Library.
To end the evening Neighborhood Association President, Paul Wozniak, amazed us with the wonders of a watermelon slicer. All in all, it was exciting to be a part of community building by simply enjoying a person’s neighborhood with them. I anticipate hearing more from and working with these residents in the future, as they would be wonderful Love Your Block participants.
Blog post written by VISTA Clara Martinez.