Even though it does not have an official public venue, the Reed neighborhood restarts its 'Picnic'

DAVID F. ASHTON - A local band known as the Reed Ramblers - with Mike Headrick on fiddle, RNA Chair Anne Tillinghast playing the bass ukulele, John Fraser on guitar, and Todd Kelley playing mandolin - performed lively folk music at this summers Reed Neighborhood Picnic. People who live in the Reed neighborhood, north of the college, don't have a park to call their own – so residents gathered in the corner of a neighbor's yard, under the shade of old apple tree, to restart their annual "Reed Neighborhood Picnic".

"We haven't had the picnic for a few years; the last one was at the [Reedwood Friends] Church, and the attendance was low – because people said they preferred closing off Raymond Street, and having it at our previous location," explained Reed Neighborhood Association (RNA) Chair Anne Tillinghast.

Impediments to hosting an annual gathering included the RNA Board disbanding and then reforming, she said.

"Two years ago, a few of us – each with very little experience – kept our neighborhood association going," Tillinghast told THE BEE while folks gathered for the picnic. "We've been plugging along, putting our communications back in place, and we reinstituted the annual picnic – and now, this year, we have a very strong Neighborhood Emergency Team as well."

As the picnic got underway, several tables were laden with potluck dishes and desserts. Some 100 neighbors enjoyed hot dogs and hamburgers fresh off the grill, as much as they did the live music by the Reed Ramblers quartet, and the casual conversation.

"It's important have a neighborhood picnic because it's helping to reestablish connections among neighbors, and creating face-to-face community friendships among those of us who live here," Tillinghast remarked. "We're working to create a sense of inclusion, a sense of community, and a sense of place – all of those being important to our feeling of well-being."

For more information about the Reed Neighborhood Association, go online –

You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.