End of an Era for Laurel Corner Neighborhood Association
August 2-9, 2006
By ANDY HART, The Hartford News Staff Writer
Those of you that travel Farmington Avenue on a regular basis know that the corner of Laurel Street and Farmington Avenue is changing. Green grass and bright flowers have replaced bare dirt and broken glass.
Behind these changes is the Laurel Corner Neighborhood Association. From small beginnings in 2002, this grassroots organization has developed a mission of creating stronger local community life, believing that stronger social connections will eventually foster changes. Little by little, civic involvement on a shoestring has resulted in the brighter landscape and a greater sense of neighborhood well-being.
In 2005, Tom Shelto, owner of the corner commercial space, offered the empty storefront to the group. “What a boost that was,” said Brenda McCumber, one of the volunteers. “We had a home, a very visible, convenient home. It was a great gift.”
Last Friday, July 28, the group held the last of its weekly “coffe hours” at the vacant corner storefront. Companions & Homemakers is opening a caregiver and recruitment center on Laurel Corner. The company provides homecare to the elderly and wants to be a positive influence in the community.
McCumber said the Laurel Corner Neighborhood Association would like to thank the many people and organizations that have helped the organization. “The Farmington Avenue Alliance and the Knox Parks Foundation have been unendingly generous with their time and resources,” she said. “Our Police Community Service Officer Jim Barrett was a constant source of supportive enthusiasm and community connections. Numerous local businesses and individuals have supported our events. You know who you are. Thanks to all!”
The Laurel Corner Neighborhood Association will hold its next community meeting on September 13 at a location to be announced. If you know of space the group can use, please call 944-5300 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We don’t know exactly what is next, but we are looking forward to figuring it out,” said McCumber.