Third Neighborhood Conference Set for March 11

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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News item

Third Neighborhood Conference Set for March 11

Posted: 02/07/2017
Neighborhood ConferenceStrong residential neighborhoods are the foundation of a vibrant city, and ideas on how to build that foundation are the focus of the Neighborhood Conference on Saturday, March 11, at the Knoxville Convention Center. 

The free event, organized by the City of Knoxville’s Office of Neighborhoods, offers residents a crash course in top-notch neighboring: developing active neighborhood groups, accessing City services, organizing and promoting events, engaging City Council representatives, and other aspects of neighborhood development. 

Registration is now open at http://bit.ly/KnoxNeighbors. That page also has instructions for neighborhood groups interested in entering the T-shirt contest. 

Approximately 300 people attended the first Neighborhood Conference in 2013. Those numbers rose to 700 in 2015, and organizers expect about 700 attendees again this year. 

“The conference has grown beyond our expectations,” said Neighborhoods Coordinator David Massey. “It shows that residents are proud of their neighborhoods and are eager and willing to contribute to a high quality of life in our city.” 

The half-day conference begins at 7:30 a.m. with a continental breakfast and the opportunity to visit more than 80 information booths representing City and Knox County departments, local nonprofit organizations and event sponsors. Mayor Madeline Rogero and Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett will kick off the event at 8:30 a.m. Attendees can choose among the 22 workshops, which include: 

• A place-making workshop led by Liza Zenni, Director of the Arts & Culture Alliance; Jennifer Reynolds of the Timbercrest Neighborhood Association; and moderator Gerry Moll of the Fourth & Gill Neighborhood Organization and The Birdhouse Neighborhood Center.

• Tips on reducing energy bills led by Erin Gill, Director of the City’s Office of Sustainability, and Jennifer Alldredge of the local chapter of the Alliance to Save Energy.

• Ways to fight crime, presented by Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch.

• Flyers, newsletters, social media and other ways groups can reach out to their neighbors, led by Janice Tocher of the South Woodlawn Neighborhood Association, LaShea Brabson of the Wilder Street community, and Don Loy of Tatewood Neighborhood Watch.

• State laws, court rulings and pending litigation that have impacted or may impact the operation of formal homeowners associations (HOAs).

• Other workshops cover pets and wild animals, how to organize a neighborhood event, how to get involved in local schools, and many other topics. The two Mayors will help kick off two workshops designed specifically for students interested in learning about local government.

During lunch, Mayor Rogero will present the Diana Conn Good Neighbor of the Year Award, and the winner of the T-shirt design contest will also be announced.

Throughout the day, a slideshow depicting neighborhood groups in action will be on display, and the conference will end with a drawing for door prizes.

Neighborhood Conference sponsors include: Hatcher-Hill Properties, Waste Connections of Tennessee, Home Federal Bank, Cannon & Cannon Consulting Engineers, Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace Realtors, Elizabeth Eason Architecture, Knoxville Area Association of Realtors, Vaughn & Melton Civil Engineers, Broadway Carpets, Dover Development, First Tennessee Bank, Realty Executives, UT Federal Credit Union, and TIS Insurance Services. 

Neighborhood Conference-related Tweets and Instagram posts will be tagged with #KnoxNeighbors, and attendees are invited to tag theirs, too.