When you think of community it’s a lot more than houses built side-by-side. It’s about togetherness, neighbors bonding over the common interest of their surroundings. What’s the weather? What color did a house get painted? Who’s driving what car? To help infuse the community there’s a central meeting place, a Grange. But, what’s really in a Grange? Is it important to a community?
The Grange – Defining a Community
In the past a Grange has been a place for groups to the gather; farming communities, men’s and women’s groups, etc. would all congregate at the grange. It’d be a place citizens could go to vote in rural community issues. Today, newer suburban developers are bringing back The Grange, as a focal point to act as that gathering place and building around it. By having a central community gathering place, the community has that rural, “small town” America feel. There something comforting about living in a community that’s small; it’s more relaxing, away from the hustle of the city. In that way, a Grange can help define the community.
Bringing a Community Together
Whether it’s a town hall style meeting or a social event, as the central focal point of the community the Grange brings neighbors together over a common issue. Some events that happen are 4th of July Celebrations, Fall Festivals and Christmas holiday activities. Kids and adults have fun and celebrate the season with neighbors. Cultural events happen there too, art festivals, wine tastings and more. Groups such as a bridge clubs, hiking clubs, mom groups all gather there. If the Grange is open for business than it acts as if it’s a lobby to the community. You’ll find all of the information along with a friendly neighbor that will share community information or just a cup of coffee.
The effects of a grange in the community are huge. The Grange gives its community a focal point, a place to gather for events, a place for newcomers to get information – it can even act as a pseudo place of government for the neighborhood. Most importantly it brings a community together; neighbors can share a common appreciation and passion for the neighborhood. A community is in fact stronger when a grange is in the community, it not only defines the community but it helps sell the community. It portrays the image of small town America and a place where people can settle down and raise their kids. When you asked does a Grange matter to a community? The answer is, absolutely.
Guest content provided by Bruce Zander, lifestyle columnist for The Meadows – a Grange Centered Community.