If you’ve come across this article, there’s a good chance you live, work, or play in Soulard. What do you love about it that has brought you here, or keeps bringing you back?

Our neighborhood has proudly built its diversity since the 19th Century, when Julia Soulard donated land to the city of St. Louis and immigrants from Germany, Austria and Bohemia began to settle in the area. Other ethnic groups followed, including Syrians, Hungarians, Croatians, Italians and Serbians. Today, Soulard thrives as a richly diverse neighborhood where everyone is welcome.

Would you like to make Soulard even better? One way you could do that is by joining Soulard’s neighborhood association, which is called the Soulard Restoration Group (SRG). I asked a few Soulard neighbors what they like about being involved in the SRG, and the following is what they shared with me.

“What I like most about SRG is the opportunity to find out what’s going on in the neighborhood as well as the opportunity to meet fellow neighbors,” explained Rita Backstrom.

“What I like most about the SRG is the fact that it is an association of neighbors who want to volunteer for the betterment of Soulard,” said Linda Kurdi.

“We like the SRG for the ability to interact with neighbors,” shared Bonita Leiber.  She continued by saying, “I can be as involved as I choose. I think the group has done a lot for the neighborhood.” She went on to say, “It is like a small town where people know each other.”

“Soulard offers something for everyone, but especially for those who choose to live here,” said Rita Backstrom.

That last response hits home for me. Choosing to live in Soulard gives our residents the opportunity to join the SRG and enjoy social activities in or out of the neighborhood like bowling, bicycle rides, baseball games, trivia nights, and more. SRG members can assist in fundraisers to improve our neighborhood, from Taste of Saint Louis and Mardi Gras to Oktoberfest and our own Holiday Parlour Tour.

Members who want to be more actively involved can join one or more of the SRG’s committees: Beautification, Coding & Zoning, Communications, Fundraising, Membership, Parlour Tour, Residential Promotions, Safety, or the Soulard Station committee. Finally, SRG members can contribute to community leadership as a committee chairperson or as a member of our Board of Directors.

Soulard is a neighborhood rich with opportunities. As Rita Backstrom explained, “Besides the wonderful neighbors, what I like most about the neighborhood is the walkability.” She went on to express her joy at being able to walk to see Christmas lights at the brewery, the Soulard Market, concerts in the park, to attend church, and to dine at local restaurants. Her favorite pleasures in Soulard are both simple and beautiful: seeing activity in Pontiac Square Park, hearing the church bells chime, viewing Soulard’s historic architecture, and taking in the annual pet parade.

Earlier this month, the SRG’s Membership committee hosted its annual Membership Party. This annual party—always the first Wednesday in May—is a chance for residents and friends of Soulard to reconnect with over 200 neighbors, make new friends, have a great time, and enjoy complimentary food and drink as they join or renew their membership in the SRG.