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Learn how to nurture your neighborhood at conference

If you want to know how to do everything from writing a neighborhood grant to navigating deed restrictions, you'll want to attend this year's Hillsborough County Neighborhoods Conference.

The event, hosted by the county's Office of Neighborhood Relations, is from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. March 29.

"I love it because it's community oriented,'' said Carlton Lewis, a Town 'N Country civic activist. "It's one of the most important things government does.''

This is the conference's fifth year. It is being held at Hillsborough Community College's Dale Mabry Highway campus. The event includes 24 workshops aimed at building stronger neighborhoods.

"It's a way for people to make connections with different associations and for leaders to network with each other,'' said Wanda Sloan, conference chairman. "We'll have exhibits and booths where they can meet with officials from government and from business.''

As many as 500 people have attended the conference in previous years. They have come looking for ways to do everything from hiring a property manager to finding a mediator for debt collection.

"We've had booths for hurricane preparedness to education on Florida-friendly plants,'' Sloan said. "There is a different display for every table you go to.''

The daylong event costs $12 until March 14; $15 after that date. The entry fee includes breakfast and an awards luncheon.

This also will be the first year Shelly Blood, who led the county's Office of Neighborhood Relations, will not be in attendance. Blood retired from Hillsborough County this month.

"The department is staying the same, to serve the neighborhoods,'' Sloan said. "We'll be under a new umbrella but we'll still be doing the same thing.''

Jackie Ripley can be reached at

ripley@sptimes.com or at (813) 269-5308.

>>if you go

Making connections

When: 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. March 29

Where: Hillsborough Community College, Dale Mabry campus, 4001 Tampa Bay Blvd.

Cost: $12 until March 14; $15 afterward

Registration forms can be obtained at hillsborough

county.org/onr or by calling the Hillsborough County Office of Neighborhood Relations at (813) 272-5860.

Learn how to nurture your neighborhood at conference 03/06/08 [Last modified: Thursday, March 6, 2008 5:01am]
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