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Washington Voices

Hillyard nominated for Neighborhood of Year

Thu., March 26, 2009

The Greater Hillyard area has been nominated as Neighborhood of the Year by Neighborhoods USA, a national organization holding its convention in Spokane on May 21-23.

Greater Hillyard encompasses the neighborhoods of Bemiss, Whitman and Hillyard, and it’s been nominated in the multi-neighborhood partnerships category.

“This was the only NUSA competition category that considered the ways our organizations and neighborhoods work together across artificial boundaries to resolve community problems,” John Bogensberger, Greater Hillyard Business Association president, wrote in a statement announcing the nomination.

Among many events put on in the Greater Hillyard area are the summer Chalk Art Walk, the Hillyard Festival, Girls’ Day Out and Holiday Festival events.

The neighborhoods’ joint plans for developing the Joe E. Mann U.S. Army Reserve Center into a workforce development center, and neighborhoodwide cleanup were also mentioned.

“People ask us how we’ve managed to get so much done in a short time,” said Luke Tolley, Hillyard Neighborhood Council chair. “We got tired of everyone telling us that all we knew how to do was fight with one another. We decided to work in a different way.”

Just recently, the neighborhoods formed the Greater Hillyard-Northeast Planning Alliance.

Greater Hillyard has also volunteered to conduct one of the city’s 14 neighborhood pride tours taking place during the NUSA convention.

To pull all of this off, volunteers are always needed.

“We are working on a set of problems that’s a mile wide, but our volunteer forces are only an inch deep,” Bogensberger said. “We need all the help we can get.”

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