The NEHCA promotes the area as a great place to call home by Connecting Neighbors to Cultivate Community. NEHCA serves neighbors who live with in a 3.6 square mile area of 3,500 households and nearly 7,000 residents of wide diversity. This diversity is our strength and sustenance. We also connect with city hall; one way we do that is by participating the in city’s budget process in June of each year. We have a set of bylaws and a defined service area to guide our activities and to do banking. These are a few special projects and issues NEHCA members initiated or resolved:
- Andrew Jackson Way: Secured installation of the first bus shelter in the area. Participated in site selection and property owner approval (April 2017)
- Rison Avenue: Collaborated with neighbors, other residents, police, and Community Development to stop drug trafficking at 812 Rison (Spring 2017)
- Oakwood Avenue: obtained commitment from Traffic Engineering to realign the road to two lanes instead of 4 lanes when the street is repaved. Projected completion date: 2020
- Oak Park Drive: secured a commitment by Public Works to repave since the standard evaluation scale did not adequately illustrate the need to repair the extraordinarily steep incline. (completed February 2016)
- Oakwood Ave & Maysville intersection: Secured evaluation of signage, after the stop sign, driving eastbound. The speed changes from 40 mph to 30 mph. A value-added sign for the reduced speed limit was installed to be in compliance with new federal guidelines. (August, 2016)
- Orba Drive at Oakwood Ave: requested evaluation of the sight distance on a steep, curved road. A four-way stop was installed to protect the homeowners at the intersection. There have been no traffic incidents since the 4-way stop was installed. An unintended benefit was slower traffic westbound on Oakwood Ave. past the Oak Park. (May, 2015)
- Chambers Drive residents’ backyards abut the deep, dark parking lot that was a haven for vagrancy. We pitched in to get approval to install a gate and have responsibility for taking the chain up and down each day. Vagrancy ended!
- Optimist Baseball Field: lobbied to cover up the open ditch on the west side (2012)
- Established a standing request for crime statistics for the service area, (July 2016) and continue to lobby for on-line access to statistics.
- Honored our police department by folding 1,000 peace cranes to demonstrate our desire for good relations between police and neighbors in all parts of our city. The garland of 1,000 paper cranes was on display outdoors at Optimist Park for one week. A single garland folded from the map of Huntsville is on display at HPD HQ. (July 2016)
Community Health, Education, and Recreation
- Donated money, time, and materials for the 7th and 8th grade Student Council trip to Washington DC (spring 2017)
- recruited more Reading Buddies to expand on initiative of Jackson Way Baptist Church (fall 2016)
- enlisted Big Brothers Big Sisters to focus on mentors for MLK and Montview and Chapman 5th grade boys by request of the principals of these schools (fall 2016)
- obtained commitment from Parks and Rec to expand the play area to install balance and coordination equipment and improve the layout of tables under the pavilion. Soccer goals were also delivered for pick-up games. (Winter 2017)
- obtained a picnic table for use by persons in a wheelchair and new playground equipment. The tennis court was refreshed at this time also. (2006)
- Used a $500 grant from the Huntsville Historical Society to buy benches. The City purchased the right type and installed them. (2006)
- Donated money for partial scholarships for two baseball players in the Civic League teams (March 2016 and 2017)
- Built sustainable trails in the land adjoining the park with Land Trust approvals. Work began in Oct. 2015, First Trail Opened March 2016. Easy access to trails increases property values in the area and are a regional destination for mountain bikers and hikers.
- New sections of the trails completed in early 2017, and a hand-built bridge was installed in April 2017. The project brought craftsman from other parts of the city to the area.
- Organized family kickball at Oak Park for general public (fall 2016 and spring 2017)
- Obtained raised garden boxes from the city’s Green Team budget (March 2015). Boxes are used as demonstration gardens. Private funds are used to installing pavers and do painting and signage with Green Team approval (Spring 2017)
- Installed the first Little Free Library on a city park with private funding and labor (Jan. 2015).
Optimist Recreation Center and Park
- Purchased kiddy-size, indoor soccer balls for summer games (Jan 2017)
- Secured permission to build and install a Little Free Library (recruitment began Sept 2016 )
- Hosted a free spring festival, the Garden Gathering, a swap meet for gardeners. Children made their own pizza gardens. Festival included a raffle, vendors, beekeeping and worm hotels. (April 8, 2017)
- O’Shaughnessy Drive: researched ownership and secured the removal of industrial trucks and equipment on the Hsv Utilities parcel. (March, 2016)
- Chapman & Waltham Drives: Lobbied for landscaping at the I-565 overpass (2002)
- Dallas&Lincoln Mill area: collaborated with Hsv Utilities for landscaping at the water tower (2000)
- Adopted Oak Park and Philpot Park – (2000)
- Adopted Oakwood Avenue for litter removal (winter 2016)
- Adopted Oak Park Trails as the Land Trust Trail Care Partner (April 2016)
2017 Board Members:
- President (Potentate of Possibilities): Frances Akridge
- Vice President (Grand Poobah and Civic Leader): Evan Smith
- Secretary (Exalted Scribe and Keeper of the Flame): Faith Plunkett
- Treasurer (Exalted money monitor): Sabrina Simõn
- Recruitment: Sabrina Simõn and Vaughn Bocchino
- Health and Safety: Allen Krell
- Planning: Evan Smith
- Beautification: Vaughn Bocchino, Patricia Gill
- Re-creation: Scott Akridge , Patricia Gill, & Shelly Miller for Chapman Pool.
- Communications: Frances Akridge
- Police Relations: Scott Akridge
- Education: April White, Chapman School Parent-Teacher-Student Association President and Lynda Tallyn
- Bylaws: Frances Akridge, Evan Smith, Sabrina Simõn
The association was established in the late 90’s.