Michaela’s Story

Meet inCOMMON’s 2021 Neighborhood Hero Award Winner for Park Avenue – Michaela! 

Tell us about your experience in the neighborhood. 

We’ll have lived here for 9 years this spring. We love that we have good neighbors. People are just generally helpful and kind. Our street is generally pretty quiet, which is nice. All the work that we have done on the house has helped to make it feel like home. Also, we love that our kids get to grow up in a diverse neighborhood. They get to be friends with kids with different experiences and backgrounds. We know that not everyone gets to grow up in a neighborhood like that, so we are thankful for that opportunity. Our favorite place usually depends on the day. We love the parks that we have access to. Sometimes we like to walk down to the little pocket playground on the corner and other times we like to make the extra trip to get over to Hanscom Park. We also like that we aren’t too far from the field club trail where we can go biking. 

You obviously were involved in a lot of activities in the neighborhood this year. Which activity was your favorite this year and why?

My favorite this year was the small Tuesday night cookouts that we did over the summer. It was nice having something that was open invite to stay connected with neighbors. It was a smaller group, but it made it easier to talk to people and know was going on with everyone. 

What do you think makes a good neighbor? Why does it matter to you to be a good neighbor? 

A good neighbor is someone who care about the people around them. It doesn’t have to be a lot of work. Things like small hellos go a long way. It involved taking care of your property and keeping your eyes out for others on your block. For me personally, I just love people. I like getting to know my neighbors and making new friends. For my husband and I, we feel it is a part of God’s calling to be good neighbors. We aim to be faithfully present in our neighborhood and try to love people well. Again, it isn’t always big things, but being there for people. 

What do you hope your neighborhood will be like in five years or ten years? What’s your dream for Park Avenue/Walnut Hill? 

Over the next several years I hope to see good redevelopment happening where developers are working with stakeholders to provide better living conditions for those that live her already without pricing people out of the neighborhood. Additionally, I hope to see more workforce development so that neighbors can live in better circumstances and have more stability in their lives. Overall, I really want to see people connected to each other. I wish there was less disconnect between blocks, that our neighborhood would continue to be diverse but be more connected. I love the connections that we have on our street and I would love to see that level of connection on each street across the neighborhood. 

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