By Mary Louise Ott
On a Sunday afternoon in April, a whir of drills and the smell of paint mixes with laughter in a South Tabor garage. Six neighbors work side by side to assemble and paint ten house-shaped cedar boxes each with a distinctive green roof. The boxes, later fitted with brochure dispensers, neighborhood logos, and mounted on copper topped posts throughout the South Tabor neighborhood, are information kiosks designed and built by the South Tabor Neighborhood Association (STNA) Communications Team.
STNA is connecting neighbors to each other one at a time by placing these low-tech kiosks in high-use pedestrian and bicycle corridors throughout the neighborhood. Five have been installed and five are waiting for new volunteer energy.
Aron Goffin, chair of the STNA Communications Team, led the effort to make an idea first considered more than a year ago a reality. Goffin states, “One of the primary purposes of this project is to help neighbors who may not otherwise be connected to information electronically to ensure equitable access. The other is to get people out and about and to build community.”
STNA newsletters posted in the first five kiosks have been flying out of the brochure boxes.“We have to keep restocking every few days.” Goffin says. Newsletters will be posted quarterly, fliers for neighborhood events such as the summer movie, the Harvest Fest, and the Spring Clean-up will fill the boxes in between.
Goffin is pleased with the project and eager to finish installation, “Volunteers are welcome to help with phase two of the kiosk installation process.”
Ben Olsen, a member of the communications team, is enthusiastic about the project, “The upscale, yet simple design of the kiosk helps establish a unique image within the neighborhood, and identifies South Tabor as a cohesive unit rather than a collection of streets and avenues. We are hoping the idea will catch on and creative neighbors will install their own version of our kiosk design.”