By Kristin Jones
I recently wrote about Lago Vista Mobile Home Park, just outside of the city of Loveland. In meetings convened by The Colorado Trust, residents have been talking about how to strengthen their community.
The meetings are part of The Trust’s Community Partnerships grant strategy, which asks communities to take the reins in advancing their own health by building on the strengths of the places where they live, work and play.
This was Lago Vista residents’ first idea: A movie night. On Saturday, more than a hundred residents got together for popcorn, snow cones and barbeque. Their kids jumped in a couple of bouncy castles, played badminton or ran around on the grass. When the sun went down, they watched Big Hero 6.
The whole thing was organized and run by a group of Lago Vista residents who thought an event like this would help bring neighbors together, and broaden a conversation they’ve been having.
Ramon Guijarro wandered into the event serendipitously; he was taking his kids to the playground. I asked him the same questions that everyone answered in exchange for their meal tickets: What do you like about your neighborhood? What’s tough about it? What would it take for the neighborhood to thrive?
Guijarro’s answer to the first question came easily: The neighborhood feels safe for his kids. The second question, about what’s tough about living here? Guijarro thought for a moment: Nothing, he said.
Not that day.