Residents of Austin’s central-city Allandale neighborhood love the Allandale Neighborhood Association (ANA), a non-profit organization that works to “promote and protect the quality of life, safety, residential characteristics, and property values of the neighborhood.”
But Allandale neighbors will tell you it’s much more than marketing messaging. It’s the heart of the neighborhood, a group of neighborhood volunteers who work hard to make sure Allandale is a lively, friendly and beautiful place to live.
The association fulfills many roles in the neighborhood, with various committees assigned to tackle various issues.
One subset of the ANA organizes events for neighborhood residents. Among the most popular is the annual Fourth of July parade, launched in 1960, where neighbors show off polished-up classic cars and beautifully decorated floats. Kids on skateboards and parents pushing decorated strollers get into the action, too. There’s always delicious food and fun entertainment, too, after the parade.
Periodic neighborhood-wide garage sales are another popular event hosted by the association. These sales are less swap meet and more social event, according to some neighbors. Another activity sponsored by the association is Movies in the Park, a festive occasion where families gather at Northwest District park, in the heart of the neighborhood, to see a free movie and munch on yummies from food trucks that are on hand.
The Allandale Neighborhood Association’s safety committee sponsors periodic CPR training and refresher courses at the Northwest Recreation Center on Northland Drive. The neighborhood association also holds recycling days to encourage residents to drop off batteries and paint cans — items that shouldn’t go into landfills.
The ANA organizes occasional beautification events to keep area parks and greenspaces looking tip-top. Neighbors are asked to don their work gloves and help out by removing invasive plants, refreshing native plants, and shoring up hike and bike trails. The organization also raises funds for larger beautification and restoration projects.
Allandale residents look forward to the ANA’s bi-monthly newsletters, which are full of news and information about the neighborhood.
One of the Allandale Neighborhood Association’s most important roles is that of an advocate. As any issue — land use or right of way, for example — arises that might affect the neighborhood, the association is involved, making sure neighborhood interests are protected at City Hall and beyond.
The association also acts as historian for the area, documenting the neighborhood’s long and storied history. Allandale was part of a land grant by the president of the Republic of Texas, Mirabeau B Lamar, to George W. Davis as a reward for his participation in the Battle of San Jacinto. Many members of the Davis family are buried in a cemetery that exists to this day in the neighborhood on Vine Street.
“All in all,” says Maxavenue real estate agent Debbie Tomiski, who’s lived in Allandale for many years, “the neighborhood association makes Allandale a better community.”
Membership in the association is optional, and dues are $20 a year. You can learn more about the group by visiting their website.