CROWN HEIGHTS — Flying high off the success of its town hall earlier this year, the Crow Hill Community Association has spent the first half of summer peppering Crown Heights north with new initiatives aimed at improving the neighborhood.
"We're all doing signatures — I've collected about 150 on my own," said member Constance Nugent-Miller, who spent one recent weekday afternoon circulating an association petition to bring more trash cans to Franklin Avenue.
"A lot of our cans have been stolen for scrap metal. The ones that weren't stolen are overflowing."
Ruthless scrappers and the litter they leave behind are just the tip of the iceberg for Crow Hill, which rallied two community meetings this spring in response to the growing sentiment among members and local residents that "business as usual was no longer working" in this rapidly changing swath of Crown Heights and "more people needed to get involved."
"We looked at what the community was talking about and we developed working groups," Nugent-Miller said. "I'm the team leader for community engagement, so they asked me to promote this."
Much like a community board, the association now includes committees for political engagement, housing, youth, and a catch-all called "Livable Neighborhood." Since this spring, those working groups have spawned initiatives as diverse as a 6 a.m. walking club, a book group and a community-service oriented artists collective.
"The artists got together and named themselves the Crown Heights Embassy," Nugent-Miller said. "I'm trying to get people signed up for a walking group to fight diabetes, obesity and cancer."
The walkers are mostly middle-aged women, the artists young men. But like other initiatives put forth by the association, those two seemingly disparate groups enjoy a certain synergy — in this case, the artists designed the walking group's flyers.
"You've got legs," the cheeky flyer reads. "We know how to use them."