The Greater Kirkwood Community (GKC) & The Friends of Kirkwood (FOK)
The Origins and Mission of the GKC
Late in 2007, neighbors learned that developers had asked the Greensboro City Council to rezone the block at the very busy Lawndale, Cornwallis Dr. intersection from single-family residential to commercial mixed use (allowable under the Connections 2025 Comprehensive Plan) in order to construct a freestanding 14,850 sq. ft. Walgreen’s with a drive-through and parking lot for 70 cars. In addition, developers would construct a group of three-story townhomes facing Fairfield Avenue and Rosecrest Drive. The increased traffic alone would have disrupted the neighborhood for blocks around.
Alarmed neighbors formed a steering committee, got the word out in the neighborhood, and made known their opposition to this commercial encroachment into one of Greensboro’s oldest residential neighborhoods. In response, the Zoning Commission voted to deny the developer’s request. Early in 2008, neighbors managed to persuade the City Council to change in the Connections 2025 Comprehensive Plan the designation of 23.73 acres along Lawndale Drive from mixed use commercial to moderate intensity residential.
The neighbors’ next step was to form an association, the Greater Kirkwood Community, Inc. with membership open to all who reside in or own property in the area bounded by Cornwallis Drive, Colonial Avenue, and the residences along both sides of Lawndale Drive from Cornwallis to Colonial Avenue, an area that includes some 650 homes.
The GKC mission is to:
- Preserve and enhance the neighborhood’s residential character
- Promote community cohesiveness
- Enhance the neighborhood’s aesthetic appeal
- Foster the safety of all residents
- Conserve historic buildings, parks and open spaces
- Assure that development respects the neighborhood context
Mission of the Friends of Kirkwood (FOK)
In addition to the GKC, there is another longtime membership organization in the community, the Friends of Kirkwood (FOK). The Friends of Kirkwood is a nonprofit organization led by neighborhood residents, dedicated to helping invigorate the sense of community through regular events like band and lawn parties, a flag raising, parades, luminaries, a 5K Run/Walk/Push, and an Easter egg hunt, just to mention a few. FOK also coordinates an online neighborhood directory, a neighborhood email listserv via Facebook and periodic newsletters. It also helps homeowners protect one another through the Neighborhood Watch program it shares with the GKC. The FOK and GKC work together for the good of the community.