Kalamazoo's Milwood Neighborhood gets ready for Fall fun

Editor's note: This story is part of Southwest Michigan Second Wave's On the Ground Milwood series. If you have a story about the neighborhood please let us know here.

Fall is a fun time in Kalamazoo's Milwood Neighborhood.
Located at the southeast corner of the City of Kalamazoo, Milwood is considered Kalamazoo’s second-largest neighborhood in terms of population. It has about 8,000 residents.
In terms of geographic area, it is considered the city’s largest neighborhood, at 4.8 square miles.
“It’s a small town,” says John Hilliard, president of the Milwood Neighborhood Watch Association, which works to keep the neighborhood safe but also serves as its community association.
The Fall programming the neighborhood has planned includes a cluster of soon-to-happen events and activities that should give Milwood residents opportunities to build their community spirit. They are:
Adopting Milham Park -- Milham Park, the city’s largest public park, is located in Milwood. And community residents are being invited to come together on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, and Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, to help beautify a portion of the park as part of the City of Kalamazoo’s Adopt-a-Park Program.

The Kalamazoo Department of Parks & Recreation launched the program last spring. It invites volunteers to “adopt” any of the city’s 33 parks and 19 green spaces by organizing to do such things as pick up litter, clear fallen tree branches, edge sidewalks, or plant flowers. Kzoo Parks stands ready to provide volunteer groups with trash bags for clean-up work, reimbursement of up to $100 for flowers and plants, and free T-shirts.

More information about adopting a park is available here or by emailing the city parks department at this address. Residents can also call 311 (or 269-337-8000) for assistance. 
Making your vote count – The Neighborhood Watch Association is hosting a Kalamazoo City Commission Candidates Forum from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 12, to allow neighborhood residents to hear from those planning to run in the Nov. 2 election.
The event will take place at the Milwood Community Church, 3306 Lovers Lane.
On Nov. 2, voters will elect a mayor and four new city commissioners. Incumbent Mayor David Anderson is running for re-election and is being challenged by candidate Benjamin Stanley. The forum is to be held in two parts related to that.
Candidates for open seats on the commission will speak from 6 to 8 p.m. and the candidates for mayor will speak after that. Seating in the church will be limited to 32 people.
Halloween creativity – The annual Milwood Halloween Display Contest is scheduled for Oct. 15 to 31. The event is set to give bragging rights to those with an eye for making their homes frighteningly attractive for trick-or-treaters and those in the Halloween spirit. Those participating are asked to register by Oct. 15 by calling 269-290-9516.
Youngsters will be able to show off their Halloween costumes at the annual Halloween Forest in Milham Park. The City of Kalamazoo will host that annual event at the park from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30.
Light Up Milwood – Residents interested in helping to celebrate Christmas by lighting up the neighborhood with sidewalk luminaries are being invited to help with Light Up Milwood.
Christmas Eve luminaries got a wonderful response last year and some of those who missed them have expressed an interest in participating this year, Hilliard says. But he says, “We need volunteers to distribute event flyers, assemble luminary kits and distribute the kits.”
Those willing to volunteer to help with the Dec. 24, event are being asked to sign up here. More information about neighborhood events is available here

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Read more articles by Al Jones.

Al Jones is a freelance writer who has worked for many years as a reporter, editor, and columnist. He is the Project Editor for On the Ground Kalamazoo.