Good Neighbor Awards

St. Paul Good Neighbor Revitalizes Merriam Park, Bringing Community Together

Written by Annie Barco

Each month, Nextdoor is honoring the good neighbors who are making a difference in their neighborhoods every day with our Good Neighbor Award. Each winner is nominated by their neighbors and will receive a gift card from Nextdoor in recognition of the positive impact they have made in their community.

To nominate a good neighbor in your community, click here.

Sarah Robinson is the type of neighbor that everyone wishes they had living next door. Since moving into the Nextdoor Merriam Park neighborhood, she has made countless contributions to her community and has greatly enhanced both the appearance and feel of the neighborhood. That’s why neighbor Deborah McLaren nominated Sarah for Nextdoor’s Good Neighbor Award.

Sarah is involved in several parts of her community, investing both time and money to ensure that Merriam Park remains a beautiful place to live. A few years ago, organic farmers moved into the neighborhood and built a greenhouse in their backyard. Sarah saw this as a wonderful opportunity to meet her new neighbors and get her children involved in something new. They planted thousands of flowers seeds in the greenhouse that they nurtured and eventually planted throughout the neighborhood.

The flowers lining the streets of Merriam Park.

The flowers lining the streets of Merriam Park.

Sarah encourages her neighbors to cut the flowers for their homes or for friends’ homes. “The flowers really bring the community together,” she says. “They make people smile, they lift people up, and I love that.”

As if the fresh flowers weren’t enough, Sarah also helped organize a neighborhood mural that required the approval of 75% of her community. Luckily, everyone loved the idea and, together, picked their favorite design. During the annual neighborhood block party – co-coordinated by Sarah – neighbors came together and painted the mural.

“Everyone in the neighborhood helped paint the mural, even the little ones. It was so fun and was a great activity for us to do all together,” Sarah says.

When the city repaved the road four years later, the beautiful mural was unfortunately covered up – but it didn’t take long for the community to paint a new mural, this one even brighter than the last.

Sarah and neighbors painting the new mural during this year’s block party.

Sarah and neighbors painting the new mural during this year’s block party.

While her neighbors often see her outside gardening with her children or hosting friends on her front porch, every Wednesday Sarah can be found in her kitchen cooking away. Sarah recently took a food safety course so that she could cook dinner every Wednesday night for the church down the street. This provides a free hot meal to anyone in the community who needs one. All of the meals are homemade and oftentimes take Sarah all day to prepare.


Sarah’s homemade minestrone soup that she served at the church last week.

As if these contributions aren’t enough, Sarah is also known for opening her doors to any family in need. One day a few years ago Sarah noticed a single mom dropping her young boy at the bus stop early in the morning on her way to work.

“He was a very sweet boy and I could really feel for his mother,” says Sarah. “Every parent wants to know their child is safe, and I knew that he’d be safer at my house then waiting at the bus stop alone.”

Sarah offered to have the boy come over before and after school. Thanks to her, he can now eat breakfast or grab an afternoon snack and play with Sarah’s own children until his mom was home from work.  

Sarah has truly made a positive impact on her neighborhood and is well deserving of Nextdoor’s Good Neighbor Award. Her neighbor, Deborah, describes her as a “truly warm, lovely, beautiful person,” and we couldn’t agree more. From all of us at Nextdoor, thank you Sarah for being such a good neighbor! You inspire us all.

Do you have a story about how you have used Nextdoor in your neighborhood? Let us know.

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