Building a community in your small town seems like a daunting task. It is easy to get bogged down, thinking that there is too much to do, that you need too much authorization or that it would take too much money. Building a community is a reality, it's a change of mindset that involves taking small steps.
99% of the best things you can do for your city do not need anyone's permission.
Want to see examples of the real world? Deb Brown and I share small steps to great ideas in our March video SaveYour.Town, Big Ideas? Small steps!
I've already seen lists of things you can do for your citybut no writing for small towns. Let's fix that. Here are more than 60 ideas approved by small towns to build a community.
- Organize a jam session (music) downtown.
- Have lunch outside, in town. Speak and listen.
- Collect garbage. Share a photo online and invite others to do the same.
- Cook more and share with a neighbor.
- Market. Park and walk for shopping. Park further away from where you want to go.
- Bicycle. Bike your shopping. Bike at work. Bike at the park.
- Make a list of everything in your city where you can walk or bike in 30 minutes. You might be surprised.
- Hang out downtown, in the park, in squares and pocket parks. Take a book or a snack.
- Go to shows and events. Acclamation. Share praise online.
- Eat out in cafes and on picnic tables and benches downtown.
- Sit down for a meal with someone who does not look like you. Someone from the community who has a significantly different background, ethnicity, class, income level or education. Listening
- Go to the library and ask them what they have, apart from books. You will be surprised. (I get ebooks for my Kindle, digital magazines for my iPad and a workspace for my weekly colleagues.)
- Start a hashtag to share good news and ideas in your city. Comment, like and share good things.
- Take pictures of things you love in your city and share them online.
- Shop at the farmers market. Try something. Share online photos of what you cook.
- Enter a local store. Take 5 friends. Spend $ 10 each.
- Enter a local store. Take 2 pictures of something you did not know that they had for sale. Publish online.
- To plant a tree.
- Plant flowers in unexpected places.
- Dig and divide plants and place new plants in public spaces. Ask the neighbors if they have plants that you can divide and share.
- Hang the light garlands.
- Put your eyes wide on something. Use a non-destructive adhesive such as an adhesive tip.
- Talk to your neighbors.
- Head a photo walk. Invite friends to walk around and take pictures of good things. Write down the things you like and share them.
- Organize a street dance. Or empty dance or parking dance or …
- Start singing. No matter where, no matter when.
- Wash the exterior windows of an empty building.
- Shoot weeds from flowerbeds and boxes.
- Pelleting the snow for a neighbor.
- Dress the police of your house, make your porch inviting. So use it.
- Find something that requires a simple repair, such as a wooden flower box or a loose board on an empty building. Repair it.
- Work outside. Coworking in the park.
- Return broken flooring (such as cracked parking lots) in durable grass.
- Borrow an empty building for an activity or event. Let it be cleaner than you found it.
- Make a cardboard playground. All you need is cardboard, scissors, duct tape, random materials and objects, and children.
- Paint a temporary mural on parachute cloth, cardboard, coroplast (sign material) or sheet metal. Hang it with the help of magnets, adhesive tights or elastic cords.
- Add benches.
- Create chalk on sidewalks, bare walls and retaining walls.
- Exhibit works of art everywhere.
- Place direction signs for all sorts of things: parks, murals, art, businesses.
- Use the waterfront of your city. Mow and clean a small patch and hold an open picnic to begin. Talk about what you want to do or see. Can you boat or kayak?
- Hire a young person to help you.
- Paint something that needs it, such as a picnic table, bench or post.
- Barter and trade with each other. Ready to each other tools.
- Create a library of objects: tools, cake pans, kitchen utensils, musical instruments, just like library books.
- Start an old Geezers club, where older people can bring their tools and share a workspace with anyone who wants to create something.
- Organize a repair cafe: gather people who can repair items (including sewing) and let anyone bring anything that needs to be repaired.
- Create a wall or free space.
- Put books for free, preferably in a remote area of the library.
- Listen to people's stories. Document them.
- Hold a potluck in your house.
- Organize a neighborhood party in your neighborhood.
- Organize a community dinner, bringing together many people around the same table. Put the conversation starters on the tables.
- Show a movie outdoors.
- Mow an empty lot or the lawn of a neighbor.
- Improvise a public wading pool: ponds for children, water tanks for livestock.
- Improvise a public screening area: Drill holes in plastic pipes or in a garden hose.
- Post quilts or fabrics on a ramp, any ramp.
- Install a telescope and show people from other planets.
- Share a little wifi. Add a public wifi channel to your business or personal router. Post a sign. Find public Wi-Fi anywhere in town and display signs so other users can use it.
- Find fruit trees and walnut trees in your city. Get permission, then bring your friends to harvest and share the harvest. Ask the food bank or senior citizens center if they can use it. Give it to the farmers market or a free kiosk.
If you like them, answer and add your own ideas. I would like to go to 99 years old!
Join Deb Brown and me at SaveYour.Town for great ideas? Small steps! now until March 15 only.
About Becky McCray
Becky launched Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share stories and ideas of building businesses and rural communities with other small businessmen. She and her husband own an Alva, Oklahoma liquor store and a small ranch nearby. Becky is an international speaker on small business.
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