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NEIGHBORHOODS: El Chaparral

Tuesday, May 2, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 2:35 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

[Note: this story has been modified since its original posting.]

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Tucked away a mile outside the traffic of Broadway is El Chaparral subdivision, a neighborhood that is ever-evolving.

El Chaparral, which has about 400 single-family homes and duplexes, is officially outside the city limits. Most of the homes are 20 to 30 years old.

According to homeowners Trudy and Walt McManus, their neighborhood comprises a diverse group, including established residents, people who are renting and new homeowners like themselves.

“You have a well-blended mixture out here,” Walt McManus said. “There is a lot of neighborhood pride. We feel like we are our own little community. We are located conveniently to everything.”El Chaparral’s location is one perk, but not the only one. The neighborhood association’s goal is to inform neighbors about area events to give neighbors a chance to get to know one another.

The McManus family is excited about sharing its new addition with the neighbors. The couple had their their first child, a daughter, on March 29. They plan on raising her in their family’s current home in El Chaparral and letting her grow up in the community.

“We don’t plan on going anywhere. This is a great neighborhood to raise children,” Walt McManus said. The neighborhood is well-manicured and boasts a plethora of yellow signs on every street warning drivers to watch for children. There are basketball hoops standing in nearly every driveway, children racing on bikes in the streets and groups of mothers pushing infants in strollers.

Lindsey Walsh has been coming to El Chaparral for a safe and picturesque jog for the last few months. She had been looking for a fun alternative to jogging on a trail when she came across El Chaparral.

“The neighborhood is a great place to run, the streets are safe, and you’re surrounded by a real hometown feel. It’s one of those places where people wave to you even though they don’t know you,” Walsh said.

According to Walt McManus, the neighborhood residents promote the safe, comfortable atmosphere that Walsh referred to.

“It’s great because you know your neighbors and say hello to your neighbors. You don’t have to be best friends with everyone in the neighborhood, but you know who these people are and who lives around you,” he said.

Last year the neighborhood residents promoted more activities in addition to their yearly garage sale, including a neighborhood bake sale. The neighborhood also hosts a Christmas light contest.

Future projects for the neighborhood include working with Boone Electric to get street lights to make it safer.

The neighborhood is also seeing the area around El Chaparral grow, with the development of The Vineyards, a major subdivision on the south side of Route WW, starting at El Chaparral.

For more information and current updates on El Chaparral visit the neighborhood association Web site at ecna.missouri.org. And to see what is happening in your neighborhood or the 62 other Columbia neighborhood associations visit www.gocolumbiamo.com and click on neighborhood associations.


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