New free Zoom class explores importance of neighboring

  • Published: Monday, Nov. 2, 2020

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension has launched "Neighboring 101," a free series of noon classes that will be taught live via Zoom.

"In these monthly Zoom classes, we will highlight examples across the nation of neighboring done well," said David Burton, MU Extension community development specialist.

While classes are free, advance registration is required. The first class is Nov. 19. For details and registration, go to and enter "Neighboring 101" in the search bar.

The first six sessions of the class will examine the topic of neighboring, look at examples from Indiana, Michigan, Canada and elsewhere, and review State Farm's landmark 2015 study on neighboring.


"When we think about making a community more robust, we often think of financial or economic gains," Burton said. "But building social capital through networks and reciprocity impacts our community more. The single best way to grow social capital is with the concept of neighboring."

Developing relationships with neighbors may provide a solution to the national epidemic of loneliness and feelings of isolation and depression, he said.

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, planning and time, Burton said.


MU Extension is at the forefront of a national movement that recognizes the importance of neighboring in community development. For individuals wanting to earn certification as an "engaged neighbor," register for the online class "Becoming an Engaged Neighbor" at

For more information about the classes and the impact of neighboring, search, or contact David Burton at [email protected] or 417-881-8909.

Writer: David Burton

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David Burton

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