Olde Preble Neighborhood Association hosts first National Night Out

Olde Preble Neighborhood Association hosts first National Night Out gathering.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -- Tuesday marks the 35 anniversary of National Night Out, but it's the first for one of Green Bay's east side communities.

“Kids meet other kids, elderly people who are often fearful of going out say, ‘oh I didn't know you lived in the neighborhood still,’ so it's been neat just watching people interact with each other,” said Karen Johnston, a volunteer with the newly formed Olde Preble Neighborhood Association.

Talk of a neighborhood association has come up in the past, and it started this time the only way it could have, dinner between two neighbors.

“We wanted to live in a neighborhood where we knew the people we live next to and sort of a connected community, so we looked into forming one and started last November,” said Association President, Ryan Groshek.

The gathering at Gagnon Park for National Night Out is a first for the community.

It was complete with a barbershop quartet, The Baylanders; games for the kids and a demonstration from Green Bay K9 Officers Pyro and Neo.

“Our only interaction with police officers are a lot of times negative, so it's important to sometimes just see them and talk with them on grounds where we're not in trouble, no one is in trouble, and just have a chance to get to know them as people,” said Groshek.

Beyond Tuesday night, the association has some ideas to make the neighborhood better.

“Some of us would love to look at putting in a dog park somewhere, for those of us that walk their dogs. We've looked at speeding is a huge problem in our area, especially along Newberry, so we've looked into what sorts of things could we do to reduce speeding,” said Groshek.

The neighborhood association meets at St. Bernard Parish Hall the second Monday of each month.