We have a wonderful neighborhood right here in Southeast Texas that has “raised the bar,” as neighborhoods go. The Oaks Historic District neighborhood, which extends to all points like a compass from around Calder and Seventh Street, has activities all year for residents to get to know each other.
Also, of great interest to Gardengate, is the Yard of the Month program. The most recent “Yard of the Month” winners are George Beverly, Charles Dale and (August 2012) Larry and Etta Lyda. Congratulations!
In case your neighborhood may be interested in implementing a similar program, Virginia Jordan, the association president, gave us a little history of YOM. “The program began several years ago when we realized that exterior improvements were catching. When one neighbor made yard improvements, the surrounding residents began to make improvements of their own,” she said. “We present the winner with a gardening trowel and an etched set of Oaks Historic District wine glasses … with our thanks for taking the time to improve the neighborhood — one yard at a time.”
Paula Blazek adds, “We have been selecting a Yard of the Month for several years now to highlight positive efforts that enhance our neighborhood.” Another Oaks member, Gretchen Hargroder, is especially proud of the Oaks Historic District and the well-kept yards around this beautiful part of Beaumont.
Selection Committee Chairman Julie Camara reports that July brings the annual meeting for electing new board members, which most recently was held at Café del Rio with a free fajita bar and drink for paid dues members. What a great idea! Dues are $25 per household for the year. October is the annual family picnic either at the reclaimed Ida Reed Dog Park or McClean Park at Pecos and Seventh. Neighbors provide free hot dogs, links and cold drinks. The “Best Dressed Dog” award is given that night, as it is a Halloween costume event. The Oaks also sponsors a booth for Dogtoberfest.
December brings an open house Christmas party for members at a lovely neighborhood home. Spring is the Preservation Bash, the major annual fundraiser. Last year, the hosts were Jeff Fritz and Mary Olsen at their beautiful home. This event is open to the public for $30 ,and you can count on live music, a silent auction and great food, according to Camara.
Recent projects have been to reclaim the dog park in conjunction with the city. Also, the Oaks will landscape Pecos Boulevard once it has been redone by the city. They will be placing artistic bike racks in front of local businesses working with the Lower Calder Merchants Association (LOCA). Great work, Oaks Historic District members! You make Beaumont proud.