Neighbors on the Wildridge block in South Woodland Hills gathered on Tuesday, August 2nd, to celebrate National Night Out and to reconnect with neighbors.
Woodland Hills was one of the first Kingwood villages to be developed in the late 70’s, following Trailwood. Although early residents of the Wildridge block held neighborhood gatherings, the community was fractured after the oil bust of the mid 80’s. “A lot of people moved away and it was just never the same after that,” explained Sandra Lindsay.
The torch was picked up again when neighbors Brandi Baldwin and Carla Alvarez decided to organize a block party. “We thought it would be a good time right before school started so that kids could get to know each other,” stated Alvarez, “and the tie in with National Night Out was perfect!”
The organizers were expecting a modest turnout, but were pleasantly surprised then 40 percent of the households on the block participated. “We were hoping for maybe three or four other families to come, “ Baldwin said, “there were almost 80 people and we were just thrilled.”
National Night Out is an event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and is held the first Tuesday in August every year. The purpose is to develop a partnership between local law enforcement and the community to heighten drug and crime awareness.
Other Kingwood communities that participated this year included the Elm Grove and Mills Branch villages. While there has not been widespread involvement in Kingwood to date, other areas in Texas are enthusiastic participants.
Awards are given to communities based on population size. Texas shared top honors with Minnesota at the state level in 2004. Texas cities have a strong showing in the other divisions as well with top ten award winners in every category.
The National Night Out was just the beginning for the Wildridge block. When asked if future events were planned, Alvarez replied, “Oh definitely! We received a lot of great feedback and we can’t wait to plan the next one.