East Mt. Airy Neighbors (EMAN) announced Tuesday that the organization is applying to be a designated Neighborhood Advisory Committee. The NAC program gives a minimum of $60,000 over the course of a year to successful applicants.

"It will help us do more of what we do and enhance our current services," stated EMAN President Kent Reichert.

EMAN will be partnering with Mt. Airy USA (MAUSA) in the application process for a one year contract with a three year option. With the funds, the organization will better connect neighbors with government services and promote sustainability.

EMAN Community Living

The EMAN Community Living board voted to approach the Philadelphia Fund to create a donor-advised fund.

EMAN Community Living is a subsidiary of the EMAN organization which once provided residential living and home services for intellectually disabled adults. Reichert explained that over the past few years its assets have been liquidated and amount to more than one million dollars.

The new donor advised endowment will be established "to fund worthy causes" in EMAN's geographic area, Reichert said.

Set up is expected to be completed within three to four months, at which time interested organizations in the community can apply for grants. Philadelphia Fund will manage the process, however the EMAN Community Living board will still exercise authority.

"We're interested to see who comes to us," Reichert remarked.

Picnic in the Garden

EMAN has officially set a date for it's newest community event. The happening will be called "Picnic in the Garden" and will be held June 22 from 11 a.m. to 2 pm. at the Awbury Arboretum.

Admission to the picnic will be free for EMAN and Awbury Arboretum members. An undetermined fee will be charged for others who wish to attend.

A $3,000 grant from the Philadelphia Activities Fund will help defray most, but not all, of the costs involved, said EMAN's Executive Director, Elayne Bender. The admission price for non-members will be nominal, she noted.

The picnic's focus will be on health, wellness activities and nutrition. Representatives from Weavers Way and its Mt. Airy's Bike Collective will take part in the intergenerational event.

Other business

Board member Derek Green reported that EMAN has submitted letters to the city's Zoning Board of Adjustment stating that it was "unable to come to a consensus" regarding the zoning issues surrounding two neighborhood properties. One of the properties, at 229 E. Johnson St., involves a variance request by owner Pamela McHerrin to convert the single family home into a seven-room boarding house.

The other property, at 48 E. Durham St., involves a variance request by owner Mary Schofield. Schofield, a licensed massage therapist, wants to provide services to clients in her home.

Green said EMAN has also sent a letter to the ZBA in support of a house at 6930 Ardleigh St. which was listed and sold as a duplex, then later discovered to be zoned as a single family home. The property owner wants the current zoning to be changed.

With Mt. Airy Day only a month away, EMAN is actively seeking volunteers. The annual fair will again take place on the grounds of the Cliveden Historic Trust on May 4 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year, residents can share their culinary talents by contributing to the Mt. Airy Cookbook. Recipe submission forms will be available at the event.