Keeping Community During the Frigid Months

Sara Grochowski
Do It Green! Minnesota


Springtime in Minnesota means waiting for the snow to melt, analyzing when the last thaw will happen and slowly emerging from hibernation. It can also often mean “re-meeting” the neighbors… the ones you saw raking leaves in October and, after the first snowfall, wondered if they relocated to warmer weather. Chances are, your neighbors may have thought the same about you. Winter can be harsh in Minnesota but keeping and building community with your neighbors can be just as vital to your health.

  • Host a neighborhood potluck. Send out invitations with specifics on what to bring (such as appetizer, main dish, dessert) and reconnect with your neighbors.
  • Bake and decorate cookies. Then deliver bags to your neighbors.
  • Create a neighborhood/block newsletter on your computer. Give each neighbor an age appropriate job. Email or drop off the finished newsletter.
  • Shovel when your neighbors are out.
  • Build an igloo in the front yard and gather the neighbors to help. When properly constructed, the temperature inside an igloo will remain between 19° F and 61° F with just body heat, even if the temperature outside dips to −49° F. Search on wikiHow for detailed instructions, then recruit your family and neighbors to help. Have someone stay inside to routinely fuel everyone with hot chocolate and energy bars.
  • Organize a winter block party either outside or have each participant host a snack in their home and go door to door visiting and eating.
  • Work with your local community center and organize a day of winter olympics. Games could be indoor or outdoor. Use your imagination to plan the games.
  • Be creative. Even the smallest gestures can create a communal feel in your area.

How to build an igloo,

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