What is the Newton Lower Falls Improvement Association?
The LFIA was active as early as 1915, when the Lower Falls Village Improvement Association raised $1,200 to help purchase the Hamilton Field (see slide 65) The LFIA received formal approval as a non-profit 501(c)3, organization by the IRS on August 9, 1998. The objectives of this all-volunteer association, as stated in the bylaws, are: “to promote the neighborly interests of its members; to foster community spirit; and to do such things as may be appropriate or necessary to accomplish civic improvement. Its attitude shall be at all times strictly non-partisan, non-political and non-sectarian.”
Regular membership in the LFIA is open to any person, 18 years old or over, “who owns property in the community of Newton Lower Falls; who is a resident; or who operates a business in that community.” Others who want “to assist in furthering the objectives of this Association” may become a Friend of the Newton Lower Falls Improvement Association. To be a member or a friend, you must pay the annual dues.
The LFIA is managed by a volunteer Board of Managers, elected for 2-year terms at the neighborhood biannual meetings that are held in the spring and fall. The Board, which meets publicly each month, usually consists of the President, Vice-President, and chairs of five standing committees: Civic, Nominating, Membership, Communications, and Beautification. Special committees are sometimes organized for specific purposes, such as Riverside, the Falls Ball, and the Progressive Dinner.
In addition to memberships dues, donations to the Beautification Fund and the General Fund support the work of the LFIA. The finances are managed by the Treasurer, who presents a financial report at the Board’s monthly meetings as well as at the biannual meetings.
The LFIA also manages the Lower Falls Listserv, open to all Lower Falls residents and city officials, and the Lower Falls Lowdown, a neighborhood newsletter. The listserv and newsletter provide opportunities for neighbors to share important (and not-so-important) information, resources, and issues, as well as to publicize local events and activities.
Through the efforts of the LFIA, the neighborhood enjoys various events and gatherings throughout the year, ranging from movie nights to garden tours to the annual Falls Ball, park clean-ups, and fall and spring planting days. By fostering the spirit of community and making neighborhood improvements, the LFIA is a major factor in helping to make Newton Lower Falls such a unique, friendly, and welcoming place.