The Green Acres Neighborhood Association (GANA) was created in 1958 in response to threats along its borders. Over the decades GANA has waxed and waned — and waxed again. Beginning in 2003, GANA started to meet regularly after some years, and created events — ice cream socials, solstice and equinox parties, potlucks, speaker series, plant swaps — all to help foster a sense of community. In 2006, in dialogue with the city of Bloomington, Green Acres created an official plan that is featured on the city gov website, as and remains as the first and only neighborhood to feature the philosophy of sustainability in its official vision statement, as follows:
Green Acres aims to become a sustainable community that embraces neighborliness and forges partnerships within and beyond its borders.
In 2016 GANA itself functions mostly as an e-mail list, though we do hold functions once in a while, the most recent being a neighborhood concert at the corner of Hillsdale and 4th Street on a Sunday afternoon in late summer, 2014.
On the old website for the Green Acres Neighborhood Association we wrote that GANA “attempts to foster more communication, celebration, and sense of community amongst Green Acres residents, provide us with a forum for our thoughts and concerns, and help keep us informed on upcoming neighborhood events. This site is intended to be a ‘virtual community,’ with the goal of maintaining and nurturing a physical community.”
The “Offerings,” “Services” and “Wanted!” pages (all which need to be updated!) aim to both help neighbors find each other when they need to, and to foster interconnectivity within the neighborhood ecosystem. As in permaculture: the greater the number and variety of exchanges within an ecosystem, the stronger and more resilient it becomes.
As our Green Acres Village grows and strengthens, it has begun to absorb many of the functions of the old Neighborhood Association.
GANA and GANA participants have won a number of awards from the city of Bloomington In 2009, GANA helped start up the Green Acres Neighborhood Garden (now the Green Acres Urban Farm). Since that time, GANA activities have fallen off, with garden activities, including workshops and celebrations, taking its place.
In 2011, the neighborhood birthed another initiative, the Green Acres Neighborhood EcoVillage (now Green Acres Village), in order to further instantiate the objectives of the official plan for the Green Acres Neighborhood archived on the city of Bloomington.gov site in 2007.
GANA always has a table at the annual Blooming Neighborhood Celebration organized by Bloomington city’s HAND (Housing and Neighborhood Development) department in June.