Roots & Wings Online

Neighborhood Reppin' - Keeping Ladera Connected and Fun!

Ladera has been known as a connected community since its inception — a unique place for families who want to plug into family values and their community. For over 20 years, Ladera Ranch has brought residents together through the design of its interconnecting neighborhoods, pocket parks, walking trails, and volunteer opportunities.

The LARMAC Neighborhood Representative (NR) and LARCS Neighborhood Activity Coordinator (NAC) roles were created to maintain strong communication and connect residents through neighborhood block parties and social gatherings.

Neighborhood activities bring families together by providing a way for them to interact. New residents appreciate feeling welcomed and having an opportunity to meet other neighbors who have lived here for some time. “Neighborhood block parties provide a way for our neighborhood to carry on annual traditions, some of which have been established for close to 20 years, and create new ones,” Christine says.

This past December, Christine organized their traditional winter block party. She says, “The day begins when we gather outside to enjoy donuts before decorating luminaries to place around the neighborhood for the holidays. The kids love getting involved and using wagons.” Neighbors acknowledge that without Christine’s efforts, such experiences wouldn’t happen.

When a NAC is present in a neighborhood, it gives the residents a point person willing to step up and coordinate a neighborhood activity and ensure that everyone in the neighborhood is invited.

As a Neighborhood Representative, Amy participates in LARMAC elections. She says, “My primary responsibility in the neighborhood is maintaining our community directory, welcoming new neighbors, and helping residents connect with the appropriate LARMAC and community contacts for any issues that may arise. I’ve lived in Ladera since 2008 and have interacted with many of the LARMAC departments. I can save my neighbors time and any potential frustration by helping direct them.”

The question Amy is asked most frequently is about the role the County of Orange and LARMAC play in Ladera Ranch. As an unincorporated community, it can be confusing to understand the role of each entity. She helps provides clarity to neighbors before they reach out to the County or LARMAC. 

Amy recommends that new families get involved. “There are so many great clubs, events, and activities. As a new resident, I was involved in a group for couples without children; I joined baby groups when I had my children, book clubs, and various other programs. There are so many ways to meet your neighbors and have fun,” she says with a smile.

Before moving to Ladera Ranch five years ago, Joya had lived in urban settings where she says it’s easy to go years without meeting or speaking with your neighbors. That can be an isolating experience.

After serving a year on the LARCS Technology Advisory Committee, she learned more about how the NR and NAC positions worked. The roles were both a natural fit for her since she likes to be well-informed on what’s happening in her community and wanted to learn how LARMAC operated.

For Joya and her family, community means getting to know their neighbors, making lasting memories with other families through get-togethers, sports, and special events, and giving of their time.

Joya appreciates how her neighbors look out for one another, help each other, and work collectively to “make our little slice of Orange County so special.” 

Our annual community events draw so many — Harvest Festival, Summer Concert Series, and July 4th Celebration would not be possible without the generous help of fellow neighbors. And that means something! Joya encourages neighbors to visit “Opportunities to volunteer at upcoming events are there, and most of them don’t require much of a time commitment.”

There are volunteer opportunities for everyone here. And the best part — that’s where you will meet more great people. I’ve met so many of my best friends in Ladera through volunteering, and I’ll take those friendships with me no matter where I go.

Contact LARMAC if you're interested in serving as a Neighborhood Representative.  

Contact LARCS if you're interested in serving as a Neighborhood Activity Coordinator