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Ep. 137 The Neighborly Thing To Do with David Burton

Most of us probably think we’re good neighbors. But…most of us probably actually aren’t. The Lost Art of Neighboring is something that David Burton is bringing back to help small towns and the people who live in them thrive. 

About David:

David Burton has been a community development specialist with the University of Missouri Extension since 2001. He is headquartered in Springfield and creates educational programs focused on leadership and becoming an engaged neighbor.

In 2021, David created Missouri Good Neighbor Week. The Governor signed a bill making Missouri Good Neighbor Week official in 2022. Then, in 2023, Missouri Good Neighbor Week was named America’s Neighboring Program of the Year by Neighborhoods USA. His Engaged Neighbor program was also named the program of the year by the University of Missouri Extension.

MU Extension programs and events like "Neighboring 101," “Show Me Neighborhood Art Week” “Missouri Good Neighbor Week” and “Neighbor Kindness Day,” help to raise awareness about the importance of being an engaged neighbor and the positive impact each of us can have on our neighbors, our neighborhood and our community.

Born and raised in Ash Grove, Mo., David is proud to call the Ozarks home. He is a two-time graduate of Drury University (1988 and 2001) with degrees in political science, journalism, and integrated marketing and communication.

David is a prolific writer and still writes “Live and Learn” each week for the Greene County Commonwealth, and a monthly column on neighboring in the Springfield Daily Citizen.

David and his wife, Stacey, live in Republic. Their family includes their dog Otis and their two grown children: Lauren and Matthew (and his wife Megan). They are active at Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Springfield, where David has served as Chairman of Deacons, twice chaired the pastor search team, and is preparing to lead their Neighborhood Mission Trips. 

In this episode, we cover:

  • How David even got started in this whole neighboring thing

  • Why we don’t need more good neighbors, we need more engaged neighbors

  • Why grassroots neighborliness actually works 

  • How to navigate change and push against the norm

  • What we can each do about being neighborly in our own communities

Links + Resources Mentioned:

David’s website:

University website where you can enroll in Neighboring 101 for $25 or find other Engaged Neighbor programs:

Missouri Good Neighbor Week:

National Good Neighbor Day:

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