Come discover for the first time or rediscover Woodbury’s Carver Lake Park and help us clean up one of our community’s most beautiful natural resources on Saturday, June 20, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Carver Lake Park! 

With all the spacious acres of Carver Lake Park, you can practice social distancing, while you and your family or your local club or organization volunteer to help us clean up the park, together with one of our partners, the City of Woodbury.  In addition to that, we will join the city in planting a special tree to commemorate the 50th  Anniversary of Earth Day! 

Be sure to wear your garden gloves and good sturdy shoes (no sandals), and please wear your mask. The Woodbury Park and Recreation staff will provide bags for you to help collect trash and debris. It’s FREE! It will be a fun outdoor activity after weeks of Minnesota’s stay at home orders.  

We will provide bottled water for participants. We also have seedlings available for participants to take home, and for kids to take home a FREE Water Wonderful Activity Book, ages 5-8 (while supplies last).

This is the second of a two-part report from Woodbury Thrives Social Connectedness Action Team Co-leader Dana Boyle

Being self-sufficient is a quality that is highly valued by many in our culture. There is something beautiful, though, in being able to also be reliant on others. Doing so can make life richer and provide a safety net for the unexpected, as we are experiencing now. The importance of knowing one’s neighbors and building at least a comfortable ease with one another goes beyond kindness. It is also practical. Over the fence relationships can result in something simple, like sharing garden plants as well as the names of good contractors. In addition, though, when life changes happen – including a job loss, retirement, illness, injury, loss of a family member or beloved pet, or the shock of a pandemic – neighbors can offer a vital social and/or physical lifeline, making each person visible and combatting the detrimental health aspects of social isolation.

How can you reach out to build stronger neighborly relationships? 

  • Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself. Now, when more people are out and about, it is much easier than having to knock on someone’s door. Not every interaction may be successful, but most people are open to a friendly smile and the chance to share a greeting.
  • Consider pairing up with a neighbor who is either well-connected already or someone who also wants to get to know others, and plan a little get-together (an ice cream social, potluck dessert party, meet-up at the playground, etc.) when social distancing measures are a thing of the past
  • Focus very locally and don’t worry about meeting everyone in your neighborhood or complex
  • Show up for Neighborhood Night Out or other social events (when they are once again allowed), and be intentional about introducing yourself to others
  • Volunteer! Being on a committee for your neighborhood association, Woodbury Thrives (part of the non-profit WoodburyCommunity Foundation) or other civic groups helps you, as you focus on helping others
  • Take walks through your neighborhood and our great parks and trails. Make eye contact and say hello when you pass others. Pretty soon, you’ll recognize familiar faces.
  • Don’t assume that everyone else is well-connected or from around here. Newcomers, in particular, have a challenging time meeting others. By reaching out, you may be helping someone new feel more a part of our community.

This is the first of a two-part report from Woodbury Thrives Social Connectedness Action Team Co-leader Dana Boyle

When neighborhoods and housing complexes are originally established, many of the initial residents naturally form close connections with their neighbors. As communities grow and change, though, people tend to lose touch with neighbors, and many of us eventually find the focus turned to our own properties, professions and family lives. 

Enter COVID-19 and this opportunity to change patterns and make new connections or reestablish old ones, as we stroll the sidewalks, streets and nearby trails. We have heard stories throughout Woodbury of people, who are abiding by important social distancing rules, but finding ways to learn each other’s names, find out where everyone grew up, hear about interests and hobbies, and naturally seek commonalities. 

One such pod of neighbors began coming outside informally at 5:00 p.m. each night, weather permitting, to check in and catch up with one another. Many did not know each other, even though they’d lived in close proximity for years and years. At these gatherings, family members stay close, while everyone else leaves a gap of 6’ or more. “At first, it took daily texts, to remind and encourage attendance. It was also a small effort to gather contact information for everyone,” shared the organizer. “But after a few weeks, it became a habit. Together we have laughed, shared recipes, discussed landscape and gardening plans, toasted a neighbor on his birthday and cheered en masse for a little girl in the cul de sacwho took her first bicycle ride with no training wheels. We have offered to be there if anyone needs anything and we have made new friendships that will last well beyond our days of sheltering-in-place.” 

Other neighbor groups are finding ways to connect at different times and in diverse ways. Even the simple idea of going to the end of your driveway or apartment door and waving, at a designated time, counts. Why? Because it offers a chance to visually check in with those living around you, in case someone needs assistance. It also gives you and those around you a stronger sense of belonging to something bigger than oneself – and humans benefit from that, no matter whether we are introverts or extroverts.

Look for the second part of this report in the next issue of the Woodbury Thrives e-newsletter.