Friday, October 28, 2011

Housing and Neighborhood Development (HAND) update

Neighborhood code enforcement is not part of the Sherwood Oaks Neighbors mission. But, if anyone is interested in learning more about code enforcement, the city is offering a free workshop on it. HAND offers lots of educational opportunities throughout the year. We'll pass those along via our e-mail list and the blog.

The HAND Update
An updated listing of information for Bloomington residents

HAND has developed a workshop to gain a better understanding how code enforcement works in our neighborhoods. You will have the opportunity to interact with HAND staff regarding issues and questions you have about how it works.

Understanding how code enforcement works in our Bloomington neighborhoods!

When you see a yard with overgrown weeds, tires in the yard, trash strewn all over - an eyesore in your neighborhood - what can you do? Who are you going to call?

The City of Bloomington Housing and Neighborhood Development (HAND) Department! HAND enforces ordinances related to upkeep of property. You just need to contact HAND and they can have a Code Enforcement Officer come to check on the situation.

The Neighborhood Leadership Series is giving residents an opportunity to meet with the Code Enforcement Officers. The City will host a session on “Neighborhood Code Enforcement” on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Council Chambers of City Hall. The evening will feature interactive presentations on how Code Enforcement came to be in Bloomington, rental inspections and reporting concerns, unsafe structures, and Title VI of the Bloomington Municipal Code, which addresses weeds and trash. Staff from Community Justice and Mediation Center also will be on hand to talk about their services.

The session is free and open to the public. For further information contact Vickie Provine at 349-3505 or

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

November 12th meeting location, call for agenda items

We have found a meeting room for November 12th, from 11-12, at the Sherwood Oaks Christain Church. The room is R362. Please enter on the west side of the building, the door is marked with a large 3. Go up the stairs (or elevator), turn right, follow the hallway left. The room is about halfway down that hallway to the right. There is a sign at the top of the stairwell and the rooms are marked. There will be no childcare available so the church requests this: "There are several meetings in the same area that day so if folks do bring children, please make sure they stay in the room with you and are not allowed to roam the hallways unattended."

Vickie Provine of H.A.N.D. (Housing and Neighborhood Development) will be our guest speaker to talk to us about starting a neighborhood association and to address our questions.

Possible Agenda Items for This and Future Meetings:
-next meeting date and place
-discuss the Winter Luminary Project (see our Oct. 1 blog post for details)
-getting the word out
-volunteer board/committees and/or block leaders
-"Sherwood Oaks Neighbors"
-finances: donations for specific events and/or projects
-future of "goat farm" property

Please send us your ideas for agenda items for this and future meetings. Thanks.

Monday, October 10, 2011

leaf collection information

It's that time of year...
The City of Bloomington posts leaf collection information here:

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Oct. 1 organizational meeting minutes

The inaugural meeting for “Sherwood Oaks Neighbors” took place on Saturday, October 1st at Sherwood Oaks Park. The weather was beautiful and we had a great turn-out. Thank you so much to those whose schedules allowed them to attend.

WE HAVE ESTABLISHED A NEW CONTACT ADDRESS: If you know of neighbors that would like to stay informed but do not have e-mail access, we will be happy to mail them updates. Also, please take a look at our neighborhood blog:
for information and events.

As this was an organizational meeting, no decisions were made or motions passed. The organizers introduced themselves and talked about their inspiration and goals for a neighborhood association. They are Lisa Wrasse, Noma Maier , Ceci Schrock, and Ellen Lyon. Our goal is to create a greater sense of community. We love the idea of reaching out to our neighbors to plan neighborhood events like block parties, ice cream socials and garage sales. We also want to have an efficeint way to get word out about issues such as safety and pitching in to help neighbors in need. Many of us have other projects in mind so we have registered our group with the city in order to take advantage of the initiatives Bloomington has to offer.

The bulk of our first meeting was to have everyone introduce themselves. In that way we were able to learn more about each other and hear some of the ideas for what we may accomplish as a group. One of the attendees was the very first resident of Sherwood Oaks, Wilbur Turner. Mr. Turner moved into the neighborhood in October of 1965. There were several others who have made Sherwood Oaks their home for many years and also families,like mine, that have recently moved in. All agreed this is a great place to live! The city provided us with a map that was available for all to view the homes included within our association boundaries. The homes, comprised of Sherwood Oaks I and II, number 471!

The next meeting is set for Saturday, November 12th at 11 a.m. Vickie Provine of HAND, Housing and Neighborhood Development, will be our guest speaker. She will outline what Bloomington has to offer organized neighborhood associations. Another e-mail will be sent when we have finalized a meeting space. Kim Baer is looking into meeting at the Lighthouse Christian Church, as it is the closest venue. If anyone has suggestions for a space, please let us know.

We look forward to seeing you at the next meeting,

Ellen, Lisa, Noma and Ceci
Sherwood Oaks Neighbors

Sunday, October 2, 2011

International Walk to School Day is October 5th

Please look out for lots more foot traffic on Wednesday, October 5th. Many families will be walking to Childs to participate in International Walk to School Day.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sherwood Oaks Neighbors is born

We had a great turnout at our organizational meeting today. Thanks so much to everyone who attended or otherwise expressed interest in developing an association. Meeting minutes will be posted shortly so please check back. The overall consensus among those present today seemed to be that Sherwood Oaks Neighbors might be a fitting name for our organization. We now have an e-mail address for neighborhood business:
If you wish to be on a mailing list to receive neighborhood news please e-mail and we will get you on the e-mail distribution list. Or, if you already sent Ellen your e-mail address she will be adding you to that list automatically. We can use the distribution list to share neighborhood news, as well as collect feedback, ideas for upcoming meeting agendas, etc. We also plan to post items of interest on this blog site.

For an overview of support offered by the City of Bloomington for neighborhoods please see this web site:
To explore what other Bloomington neighborhood associations have done/are doing please see these pages on the City of Bloomington web site:
list of neighborhood associations with web site links
past Small and Simple Grant recipients
past Neighborhood Improvement Grant projects
I would like to toss out an idea for consideration at the next meeting. Before returning to Bloomington our family lived for a time in Coralville, Iowa. While we were there we fell in love with a beautiful, yet simple, Coralville December tradition called the Aisle of Lights. If there is interest, this might be a tradition we could easily establish in Sherwood Oaks. So many neighbors already decorate for the holidays. It is easy to envision, for one night, the addition of sidewalk luminaries lining the neighborhood corridor of Allendale, Bainbridge, Laura Way, and Heather Drive (and any other streets where folks want to participate). To see what this is all about please follow this link for a virtual trip to Iowa:
Aisle of Lights