“I want Greenport to be like what it used to be,” said Penelope Rudder, co-founder of the Greenport Community Association. “Instead of being so isolated and not knowing who to call, we want to open the door … and be there for one another.”
After almost a year of planning and preparation, the Greenport Community Association has formed.
The new group aims to improve relationships between locals and recognize the skills of community members, Ms. Rudder said.
After the success of the inaugural meeting Jan. 12, which brought roughly 30 people to Floyd Memorial Library, the group was motivated to commune again, Ms. Rudder said. The group has met twice since then.
“For these first few meetings, we’re just listening, understanding what people love about living here and what they want to change,” Ms. Rudder said. “That commentary will help us build up the organization.”
Ms. Rudder, who created the Free Little Pantry in the village, said she and Randy Wade of Greenport sat down on a bench in Mitchell Park last summer to discuss a potential community-based organization. She said she knew the people of Greenport were eager to discuss local issues and connect, as she’s seen through the pantry, but there’s a lack of opportunity for them to do so.
“There’s a gap in this community between people, how they relate to one another, get a deeper understanding for one another,” Ms. Rudder said. “We have that desire to be neighbors; we just have to sit down and make the time to do that.”
The group will hold a potluck Saturday, March 23, at 6 p.m. in the community room at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church on Main Street. All community members are encouraged to attend, chat and address community concerns.
Moving forward, Ms. Rudder said, the organization plans to hold similar community-wide events to create rituals that bind Greenport locals together.
The organization is still in the early stages, she said. Potential administrative roles and major topics of discussion will be defined once the organization receives more community feedback. When the time comes, the group hopes to be certified as a federal nonprofit.
“Randy and I are certainly the founders of this, we both had this idea and sat down — but it’s not only our ideas that will evolve,” Ms. Rudder said. “It’s mostly from what other people want. It’s not just our thing, it’s everyone’s thing.”