SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- David Burton, community development specialist with University of Missouri Extension, is teaching two sessions of Neighboring 201 at local libraries to celebrate Mister Roger’s birthday on March 20. 

These classes provide an overview of neighboring, offer strategies for connecting, and explain how neighboring can improve your community, health, and quality of life.

Attendees to either program can apply for neighborhood mini-grants of $250 from the Greene County Extension Council. 

The training is also valuable to anyone wanting to learn to become a more engaged neighbor.


Neighboring 201 will begin at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, March 19, at the Schweitzer Brentwood Library community room. To register, call 417-883-1974. 

At the public library in Republic, Neighboring 201 begins at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, March 26, in the community room. Register for this class by calling 417-732-7284.

The goal in 2022 is to see the idea of being an engaged neighbor and the value of developing neighbor relationships spread throughout the county. But the process begins by attending one of the face-to-face Neighboring 201 classes offered this spring in Greene County.


There is $1,200 in grant money earmarked for neighboring efforts in Ash Grove, $2,000 earmarked for Republic, and $2,500 open to other Springfield and Greene County residents. 

The Greene County MU Extension Council provides these monies in partnership with the Greene County Commission and Republic Communication Foundation.

The money must be applied for on the Greene County MU Extension Council website at 

After documentation from the event is provided, funds are paid as a reimbursement for actual expenses up to $250.


The extension council offered mini-grants in 2021 to help jumpstart neighborhood activities.

In 2021, 10 neighborhood projects were funded, including a neighborhood ice cream social, neighborhood picnic, neighborhood clean-up day, front porch concert series, neighborhood garden, a neighborhood business festival, and even a neighborhood Fourth of July parade.


You are invited to turn talk into action by participating in Greene County MU Extension's "100 Acts of Kindness Challenge" from March 20 to Saturday, March 26, 2022. 

This challenge is being organized to celebrate Mister Fred Roger's birthday and "Won't You Be My Neighbor Day" on March 20.

Our goal is for residents of Greene County to report over 100 acts of kindness toward their neighbors during the week.

Individuals can register their act of kindness and enter a random prize drawing on the MU Extension website at


Neighboring is the art and skill of building relationships with the people who live in the closest proximity to you. Being a good neighbor offers tremendous health benefits, leads to reductions in crime, reduces loneliness, improves communities, and improves your quality of life.

David Burton is at the forefront of a national movement that recognizes the importance of neighboring in community development. He has served as a County Engagement Specialist with University of Missouri Extension for over 20 years and recently created the Engaged Neighbor Program. As part of that effort, he offers several neighbor-focused classes like "Neighboring 101," neighborhood mini-grants, and a monthly emailed newsletter on neighboring. 

Burton also directs a “We Are Neighbors” initiative in Springfield, coordinates LAWN (Lawn Art With Neighbors) April 23-May 8, Won't You Be My Neighbor Day activities (March 20), and Missouri Good Neighbor Week (Sept. 28-Oct. 4) in Missouri. He says the goal is to encourage the development of engaged neighbor relationships, foster healthy neighborhoods, develop grassroots leaders, and fund neighborhood connectors in underserved communities.

To learn more about our "Engaged Neighbor" program or the impact of neighboring, go online to or contact David Burton by email or telephone at (417) 881-8909. "Becoming an Engaged Neighbor" can also be found on Facebook.

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