Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Indian Springs Village Association - do you know what this is?

Those folks who know me generally know that I am an advocate of village associations. As some people say, a village association is a "social organization". It is designed to bring people together for common cause and build upon hometown relationships for the good of the resident community. As you are aware, a village consists of neighborhoods. Within a neighborhood, there are usually less formal street neighborhoods or cul-de-sac social groups.

Personally, I like the idea of hometown socializing. We live in an era of pushing the garage door button to enter the garage and closing it behind us, never to see the neighbor waving at us from across the street. This time of the year, we have great opportunity to brave the outdoors and actually talk to a neighbor. Some neighborhoods are so closely knit that neighbors know exactly what is going on in the life of each of the neighbor's children. Do you? I do to some extent. After living in the same house for 10+ years, I know some neighbors who have lived here even longer than I. So it is easy to know their children and what is going on in their lives. It is more difficult to be friends with newcomers though. It takes an effort, well worth it, but some additional effort to make sure the appropriate contact is made regularly to become friends with a neighbor.

But back to the subject. A village association's roots are built at the neighborhood level. Each neighborhood should ask, who do we know on the village association board? I would very much like to hear from people in my neighborhood about issues and things that I can bring up to the other members of the board. I represent the Rush Haven residents in most of what I do on the board, but I also represent those who live on my immediate street, who have their very own unique issues. We are short this year in representative candidates and in RDRC board representatives. The election ballot only has three candidates for the RDRC in the WCA side of the village. OK, now I am getting into alphabet soup. Just forget I said that. Instead, think about writing in your name on the ballot in whatever village you reside! We need you. Please vote!!!!!!!!!!

Like other village associations in The Woodlands, every year, the Indian Springs Village sponsors certain events for the community. We fund three to four $1000 scholarships for those high school seniors who also contribute to the community. Our hope is that some day, some of them will return and participate on the board of this or some other association. Now is the time for Indian Springs Village residents to apply for this scholarship. Just go to the village website for specifics and the form to apply.

Another major event we organize is the Taste of the Village at Indian Springs Shopping Center. I will be publishing an article on the shopping center soon. This event is usually in the fall, about October. Look for the event; it is always fun for the entire family and it helps us to fund the scholarships. We do it for you.

We will be initiating another project to assist one or more schools with some projects this coming year. We want to reach out to all age groups of residents, but will be limited on funds in this first year, trying a new process. So we are now proposing a budget to include some school projects where some of our children attend public school.

We help other villages in their social projects by volunteering for their events, such as Panther Creek's Garage (booth) Sale, or participate in Earth Day or build and operate a float in our hometown July 4th parade.

Activities go far beyond that however. Village board members are learning the processes of the community and becoming aware of issues in the larger Township community. So The Woodlands is comprised of villages, but not organized around the concept of villages. Many people want this to occur. Some day we might have a mixture of village representatives and at large township directors on this board. At any rate, we need resident issue representation. There is another initiative to accomplish such representation through a liaison. We shall see what becomes of that initiative over the next few months.

Our village is different than most. Although we have two associations serving us, we have only one village association comprised of both sections. The section east of Falcon Wing is served by the Woodlands Community Association (WCA). The western section is served by The Woodlands Association (TWA). WCA is managed by residents. TWA is managed by the development company. Therefore, residents on the eastern side will notice that they place their vote in a different ballot box than the TWA residents west of Falcon Wing. This will all change in 2010 when the residents take over the management of the Township which will manage and govern the entire Woodlands.

Village Associations in The Woodlands
Indian Springs
Sterling Ridge
Grogan's Mill
Alden Bridge
Panther Creek
Cochran's Crossing - does not appear to have a web site
College Park
Creekside Park - no village association yet

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