Every morning after walking their boston terrier, Bandit, Pendleton Heights Neighborhood Association President Whitney Barnardo and her husband eat breakfast together before she works from home for about eight hours as the director of operations for Visalia, a data analysis company.
She then spends an hour or two doing neighborhood-related tasks such as going to socials and meetings or responding to emails.
On top of that, she takes care of her four-month-old daughter and stewards the community orchard, both of which she says are exciting and rewarding—but a lot of work.
“As they say, ‘long days, short years,’” Barnardo said.
Barnardo grew up north of Kansas City. She moved to the Northeast five years ago. Three years later, she became the Pendleton Heights Neighborhood Association President.
Barnardo said her goal as the Pendleton Heights president is to bring the community together. She does this through the community garden, monthly socials, and connecting residents to opportunities.
“Really bringing people together, getting people out of their homes, off social media, interacting with each other … Ultimately, that’s the goal, is to create community,” Barnardo said.
Barnardo said the architecture is what originally attracted her to the Northeast.
“The houses are absolutely amazing,” Barnardo said. “We came from a different city, so we were like ‘why aren’t people lining up around the corner for these homes?’”
She came for the beautiful houses, but she stayed for the community.
“As we lived here longer and got accustomed, it was just really the neighbors,” Barnardo said. “We found a lot of friends and community really quickly. Living here is just incredible. We have streets where there’s people’s kids that go in between other people’s homes and it feels very much of a different era, and it’s really just wonderful.”
Barnardo said her favorite part of being the Pendleton Heights president is getting to know people and hear their stories.
“I think there’s so much we all have in common, not just in Pendleton Heights, but in the Northeast,” Barnardo said. “I think a lot of people that have stayed here a long time are more optimistic than you realize, and that’s really nice to be around, because the Northeast has seen its fair share of ups and downs. It probably hasn’t been easy to live here, and it’s slowly getting better and better and better.”