Neighboring 101 monthly class going strong, attracting a national audience on Zoom

  • Published: Wednesday, April 21, 2021

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- University of Missouri Extension is continuing a series of free programs in 2021 known as "Neighboring 101." These are free classes that are taught live via zoom once a month during the noon hour.

"In these monthly zoom classes, we are looking at the neighboring issue by highlighting examples across the nation of where neighboring is being done well," said David Burton, community development specialist, University of Missouri Extension.

The original idea was to do six classes in 2020 and then repeat those same classes.

"Honestly, in 2020, I thought we might have 10-15 local people sign up for Neighboring 101, but we now have over 300 enrolled representing communities from all across America," said Burton. "Turns out there is a lot of interest in neighboring, and this class is reaching and connecting community leaders and thought leaders on this issue. That is helping MU Extension connect with other organizations that understand how neighboring and community development connect."

The Neighboring 101 class is free, but advance registration is required. Individuals who enroll in "Neighboring 101" can attend live sessions to ask questions and network. Recordings of the classes are only available to people enrolled in the class.

Upcoming classes in 2021 include May 20 with Hannah King and Community Partnership of the Ozarks on creating a neighborhood tool library along with Tim DeTillis, owner of the National Good Neighbor URL. On June 17, the class will feature an interview with Dave Runyon, author of "The Art of Neighboring." In July, class members will discuss community plans for National Good Neighbor Day and some ideas on expanding efforts nationwide. Individuals can enroll online at

"Throughout 2021, I will be interviewing practitioners of neighboring as a community development approach from across the nation as well as authors who have explored the idea of neighboring or place attachment," said Burton.

Developing relationships with our neighbors may provide a solution to our national epidemic of loneliness and feelings of isolation and depression. Active neighboring also helps people, organizations, and communities expand the participation and breadth of voices while respecting differences and embracing the diversity that makes communities vibrant places to live, work, and play. But neighboring takes effort, purposeful planning, and time.

University of Missouri Extension is at the forefront of a national movement that recognizes the importance of neighboring in community development. More about the impact of neighboring can be found online at or by contacting David Burton at [email protected] or 417-881-8909.

Writer: David Burton

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David Burton

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