The past year has been a challenge for so many of us and in so many different ways. For most community associations, all their usual events, gatherings, and activities had to be postponed or canceled. But as things begin to return to normal, and community associations have found ways to adapt, there are an increasing number of ideas and opportunities to bring residents back together in your HOA community.
At Yellowstone Landscape, we’ve had the privilege of getting a front row seat to watch how many of the HOAs that we work with have adapted and introduced new ways of fostering “togetherness,” even in these trying times. We’ve also been part of many of these events in various capacities, whether it’s been helping to prepare the landscape in advance of the event, helping to serve residents during it, or even helping to clean up after it.
We’ve also been proud to sponsor some of these activities with our community management partners.
We know that you might be looking for ideas to bring your own community back together, so here are 4 ideas that we’ve seen work really well, that you may want to try out in your own communities.
1. Adding More Outdoor Amenities
Outdoor areas are more important than ever before. One trend that we’re seeing is the addition or the grooming of more outdoor areas. Perhaps you have a large open field that’s never really been used for anything before. You might want to turn that into functional outdoor space so that you can host more events outside.
We’ve been involved in various projects aimed at cleaning up and beautifying unused green space. And we’re seeing some really great events being put together in these spaces once they’re ready.
Here are just some outdoor event ideas for your open green spaces.
- Outdoor movie night: Many communities are setting up an inflatable big screen and asking residents to bring blankets or chairs for a fun night out on the lawn.
- Outdoor picnics: Gather the community for an outdoor picnic, potluck or ice cream social. Nothing brings people together like food. A few folding tables and an online signup sheet is all it takes to create a great community gathering.
- Food truck night: Instead of having people bring their own food, why not invite some local food trucks to set up and sell their specialities? Residents will love an opportunity to sample the choices from many different food trucks in one location.
- Concerts or other outdoor entertainment: HOAs are bringing in various types of outdoor entertainment including bands, comedians, or even magicians for the kids. Many of these performers haven’t been able to perform for a year, and would jump at the chance to get back on stage.
- Outdoor meetings: Do you normally hold your community meetings inside? Sick of Zoom? With the right outdoor amenity space, you can bring those meetings safely outdoors!
The key, if you’re going to host some of your typical events outside, is to make sure that the area is safe and ready-to-use. That means making sure there are no ants, weeds and debris are cleaned up, and any lawn areas are regularly mowed.
2. Give Your Residents a Sweet Treat
Another idea that we’ve seen implemented at various HOAs that we work with has been bringing in some special treats during certain hours at the pool or clubhouse. For instance, we’ve seen a number of HOAs bring in an ice cream or icee truck—and then all the kids would get a free treat during a designated hour.
In fact, Yellowstone Landscape has even sponsored some of these treat trucks for some of our community partners.
Besides being a nice, feel-good gesture, this has been a way to inspire neighbors to be together again. It’s helped to inspire some socializing when people are more in need of it than ever before!
3. Community-Wide Yard Sales
Another activity that we’ve seen commonly hosted in HOAs has been community-wide yard sales. A lot of people have taken time during the pandemic to organize and clean their homes. Now, they’re looking to get rid of some items they no longer want or need. A community yard sale is just the answer!
These events end up being a great way to get neighbors out of their homes and socializing with one another. Inevitably everyone ends up walking around and checking out what their neighbors have for sale!
Landscaping services may fit into these events with extra enhancements or clean-ups. Even staking or roping off common areas to keep shoppers from parking in your grass.
Adding seasonal flowers to a front entrance or to some of the community’s plant beds is a really nice way to make the HOA look its best. This is important as you’re sure to attract new people to the community during this event. These could be potential future residents so you want to inspire the best first impression possible.
We’ve also been involved in clean-up after these events. After lots of extra visitors come to your community, the outdoor areas may just need some tidying up.
4. Community/Charitable Walks or Runs
Finally, we’ve also seen communities come together to host a walk or run. Whether it’s for a charitable cause or it’s just a community-inspired event, these can be a great way to gather together.
HOA communities that already have walking trails are more easily set up for these types of events. But some communities are just marking off a path through the neighborhood’s common areas and roadways.
We’ve also been involved with these types of events by helping with set up and clean up. Like a yard sale, a large walk, run, or charity fundraiser can attract a lot of visitors and you want to make sure that your property is looking its best. Of course, with so many more people passing through your community, some clean-up may be needed afterwards.
Walks and runs are another great way to get your vendor partners involved in your community. Ask them to be a sponsor or to attend the event. These are great ways that you can forge deeper partnerships with the vendors that support you. At Yellowstone Landscape, we love these types of opportunities as they allow us to get more involved with the HOAs that we work with.
Ready to be Your Landscape Partner
Whether it’s an enhancement project for an upcoming outdoor event you have planned, ongoing maintenance, or both, partnering with the best commercial landscaping company is going to help you achieve your wants and needs so that you can make your property more appealing as well as more functional.
At Yellowstone Landscape, we care deeply about the partnerships we have forged with HOA communities. We have been so impressed by the way that communities have adapted and continued to put the focus on their residents, even through these difficult times. And, we’ve been proud to be a part of many of the innovative ideas and community events that they’ve hosted.
When it comes to helping your residents get the most out of your HOA, we’re here to help. We are committed to serving you and being a partner in any way that we can.
Are you looking to partner with a commercial landscape company that has your HOA’s best interest at heart? Request a consultation today. We’ll meet to learn more about your property and its challenges and come up with a comprehensive plan to take care of all of the details for you.