Y’ville planning picnic, inviting its neighbors

A good neighbor is a great blessing, according to the Greek philosopher Hesiod.

In order to encourage neighborliness, Youngsville is planning a Neighbor Day celebration.

The “recreation commission is encouraging households in the Youngsville, Pittsfield and Brokenstraw area to invite their neighbors to a picnic at Island Park from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 27,” borough secretary Abbey Wolfe said.

“I thought it would be a great opportunity to get everyone involved in using our parks and help spark some friendly conversation between families who may or may not know one another or spend that much time together,” Abbey Wolfe said. “Neighbor Day is a global celebration of the people who we share our space with and part of our shared space, beyond our boundary lines, is Island Park.”

Wolfe and recreation commission member Colette ‘Cookie’ Nelson have been spearheading the effort.

“The Youngsville Recreation Committee is trying to foster a strong community through activities and involvement and one of the best ways to do this, we feel, is getting your residents together in a fun environment,” Nelson said. “Unfortunately, with the widespread use of cellphones and computers, we have lost some of that personal interaction with our neighbors and friends. Instead of talking with your neighbor at the fence in your backyard, we text.”

“We hope by having this event… that maybe we can bring some of our community together for a fun relaxing day,” she said.

The commission will provide the hot dogs and those in attendance are welcome to bring the remaining fixings for a meal for their neighbors.

Commission members also plan to host games “to promote a little healthy competition between neighbors,” Wolfe said.

In addition to bringing neighbors together, the recreation commission is working to showcase Island Park.

“Many call Island Park Youngsville’s hidden gem,” Wolfe said. “It has a great playground, wide-open field space, baseball, tennis, basketball, etc.”

“But, unless you have kids you really aren’t using Island Park and most of the main recreation facilities in Youngsville,” Wolfe said.

“Get your neighbor and come to Island Park for the afternoon,” Nelson said. “Bring a picnic blanket and stretch it out in the grass, bring a frisbee toss it around. Just come out and visit.”

While the commission is only organizing an event in the borough, the spirit of the occasion is much wider.

“If residents can’t make it to Island Park that day, do something in your own yard with your neighbors,” Nelson said. “This is a global event, so towns and cities around the world will be doing their own type of event. Since we are a small community, we are going to start small with the hopes of next year growing it.”

“If you can’t make it on the 27th or maybe you don’t live in the area, we still encourage you to introduce yourself to your neighbors, plan a get together, and enjoy the company of those around you,” Wolfe said.