My family and I have lived in the South Burlington VT. Chamberlin neighborhood for over thirty years, yet I am only now beginning to realize the many ways a community neighborhood can be fulfilling.
Sure, a neighborhood is people living near one another. Living near each other and relating to a common community name does not guarantee knowing each other or the neighborhood's unique personality. We strive for sense of place as well as small close-knit friendly neighborhoods. Yet, busy schedules, long work hours, and auto intensive transportation perhaps deter some of us from getting the most out of what we have nearby.
An invite to a community gathering and workshop at Dumont park in October began to open my eyes to a community I have glazed over for too long. The walk through the park and the socialization inspired me to photograph all the nature parks in South Burlington. Then I followed up with a backyard bird series (16 bird species) in addition to my backyard flower series. This exploring and sharing of community next developed into taking photographs of the Chamberlin district.
The more I bike and walk, the more I see others biking and walking, and gardening, and eager to chat, real neighborly-like. I am only now finding folks of divergent backgrounds, talents, and interest just around the corner from me. The only invite required to step into this sense of community is to take a walk and say hello to someone you see on the way.
Every neighborhood has a story. My SB Walk Around the Block photo series is an attempt to capture some of the essence of our South Burlington communities.
These photos and this neighborhood speaks many languages. However, the most common is "Welcome". The most common architecture is one that exudes pride in residency and common community. Simple yet creative touches add unique beauty and enhancement to nearly every home frontage.
Enjoy the photos, yes. However, it would be a shame not to experience firsthand the beauty encountered from a walk around the block in your neighborhood. As the banner of one resident reads, "Welcome Friends!" What are you waiting for? Get on your bike or simply take a walk. What have you driven by in a car so many times, but not seen? I hope the photos entice you to see more for yourself.
Let me know if you have a community event or even a neighborhood, you would like me to photograph and share sense of place and community with others on my website.Be proud of your neighbors and your neighborhood. You have good reason to do so.
To view the Walk Around the Block-Chamberlin Neighborhood photo series as well as the Backyard Flowers, the Bird series, and the Nature Park photo series, visit the table of contents page @ http://www.litterwithastorytotell.blogspot.com/p/contents.html.
Bernie publishes short stories and photos reflecting Vermont values of Green and Clean and Community. He urges us all to pick up litter in order to protect our water, wildlife, and human health.
Bernie resides in South Burlington, Vermont.