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Mayor Launches Neighborhood Challenge

6/22/2013

Initiative Encourages Neighborhoods to be Green, Healthy and Involved

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Karl Dean today launched the Mayor’s Neighborhood Challenge, a new initiative that encourages and recognizes Nashville’s neighborhoods in three areas that contribute to a high quality of life: being green, healthy and involved in the community. It is patterned after Mayor Dean’s successful Mayor’s Workplace Challenge that currently has about 190 participating businesses.

“We are fortunate we have a city with engaged residents and strong community groups who work hard to make their neighborhoods even better places to live,” Mayor Dean said. “Through the Neighborhood Challenge, we will help connect our neighborhoods and residents with many resources and services available specifically to help them promote environmental practices, volunteerism and healthy living.”

Starting today, residents, neighborhood groups, community groups, faith groups and others can go to http://mayorsneighborhoodchallenge.com to sign up for the challenge. An online scorecard includes questions about neighborhood practices as they relate to being green, healthy and promoting volunteerism. Based on their overall score in each category, neighborhoods can achieve bronze, silver or gold status and can continually update their scorecards throughout the challenge period. The challenge is retroactive from January 1, 2013, meaning neighborhood or community activities since the beginning of the year can count toward items on the scorecard. The challenge will run through Oct. 31, 2013.

Participating neighborhoods will be recognized by Mayor Dean at the conclusion of the challenge. Mayor Dean will hold a tree planting event with the top-scoring neighborhood in the green category, and neighbors will be given the opportunity to select where the trees will be planted. For the top-scoring neighborhood in the involved category, Mayor Dean will host a block party for the neighbors. They will also receive free leadership training from Lipscomb University’s Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership to help them better recruit and engage members. And Mayor Dean will host a healthy neighborhood picnic for the top-scoring neighborhood in the healthy category.

The Mayor’s Neighborhood Challenge builds on the momentum of Mayor Dean’s other initiatives to improve the quality of life in Nashville, including health challenges like Walk 100 Miles with the Mayor and the Mayor’s Challenge 5K Walk/Run; the Nashville Open Space Plan and Nashville Energy Works energy-saving initiative; his Impact Nashville program to increase civic engagement and Excellence in Volunteer Engagement, which recognizes nonprofits for high-quality volunteer management.

As part of the launch of the Mayor’s Neighborhood Challenge, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods announced it will be adopting Nextdoor.com (www.nextdoor.com), a free and private social network for neighborhoods that gives the city the ability to communicate with neighborhoods on the Nextdoor platform. On Nextdoor.com, neighbors can create private websites to easily connect with their neighbors about the things that matter to them and receive pertinent information from the city. By connecting and organizing online, neighbors can bring back a stronger sense of community to their neighborhoods. 

At today’s kick-off at the Music City Center, Nashvillians received training on how to participate in the Neighborhood Challenge. The event included informational booths and giveaways from various Metro departments and community nonprofits, as well as family-friendly activities, including an appearance by Tennessee Titans mascot T-Rac. Those who signed up for the Neighborhood Challenge at the event were eligible to win prizes donated by the Nashville Predators, including autographed pucks and souvenir sticks, as well as a Team Green membership from Lightning 100 radio station.