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You may wish to circulate a flyer to let the neighbours know about your project and to invite them to attend a planning meeting or an evening presentation and discussion. You can include a school grounds questionnaire with the flyer and a contact name, postal or e-mail address, and phone and fax numbers where people can send their comments.
You might want to explain to neighbours why you are planning to transform the school grounds and give them a list of the projects proposed by the school community. Ask them if they have any particular concerns and invite them to offer their suggestions.
Neighbours will often be able to provide useful information on community use of the grounds after hours.
When neighbours are included in the planning process they begin to feel a sense of ownership and their involvement can help to restore a sense of community responsibility and reduce after-hours vandalism. You will have to break the ice first by inviting them to participate.
Neighbours frequently volunteer to help with greening projects and many are willing to store materials and tools needed for work on projects at weekends when the school is closed. They also watch out for and report undesirable uses and acts of vandalism.