When Henry, a six-toed marmalade tabby cat with a penchant for adventure, wandered off last Halloween, his owner did not have to resort to posting flyers around the neighborhood. Instead, Sue McCormack turned to her neighbors via the Front Porch Forum.
McCormack, a member of the Maple Street Forum, is one of hundreds of Essex and Essex Junction residents who take advantage of this service. The forum aims to recapture the days when advice was traded over backyard fences, and recipes were shared during visits to the neighbor’s front porch.
Julie Miller-Johnson, who spearheaded the Countryside Front Porch Forum, said 132 members, about half of the neighborhood, have joined the service. Their forum is active, she said, with postings coming through every couple of days.
In some cases, the forum has become a way to reach out to those in need. Miller-Johnson recalled a fire in the neighborhood this past winter. Neighbors, she said, were actively communicating about ways in which to help the family.
“We’re not a front porch society anymore,” she said, adding, “The forum changed the way this neighborhood feels. People talk to each other.”