June 16, 2019
Neighbor Spotlight – Meet Melanie and Ryan from Dupont
In our Meet the Neighbors video series, we ask a big question: What happens when you meet your neighbors? We believe that the neighbors are the heart of our community, and that behind every door, an important story is waiting to be told.
Reports have been circling this spring that Tacoma is the “hottest housing marketing” in the entire nation, and in recent years, thousands of people have been moving to Pierce County. It can be easy to get lost in the numbers, but our real estate agents have a different view of the people who are moving to our communities. As our agents guide new Pierce County residents through the transition of finding a new home, they also have the chance to really get to know each and every person who moves here and becomes someone’s new neighbor.
When we embarked on the journey of sharing the stories of our Pierce County neighbors, we opened it up to our real estate agents and asked: Who do you know who is making a difference in their community?
In Melanie and Ryan’s video, Melanie shares a bit about P.A.R.C.S. (Partnerships Aligning Recreation, Parks, & Community Services), the nonprofit she created with the goal of rejuvenating the parks and recreation facilities in the City of DuPont. “When she talked about doing that it just caught my ear and it was just amazing someone would take on that big of a task being brand new to a town,” says Jim.
“[Melanie] had a desire to work on the parks situation in DuPont because they have a toddler, and she took it upon herself to form a nonprofit with a friend of hers. [They’re working] to help create and get funding for more parks in the city of DuPont, and that’s been her passion for the last year, year and a half,” shared Jim.
“There were all these plans that never happened in DuPont—because of whatever reason, the real estate market maybe fell at the time the real estate was being built, so it really changed the dynamic of the city. There’s lots of land that was set up for development and never was,” he added. Melanie saw a need in the community and tried to fill it, and it’s been impressive to see the kind of traction that P.A.R.C.S. has been getting from the city.
In nominating Melanie, Jim shared that his goal was to help bring more attention to what she was doing: “...She was just starting [P.A.R.C.S.] up, and I figured the more tools that someone has to share on a project like this the better, and then our video series came up."
As we also learn in the video, Ryan is a busy dad, husband, and Seattle Police Officer. He’s an Iraq War veteran and still serves in the reserves, and Jim (a U.S. Navy veteran) is looking forward to joining Ryan, Melanie, and their son for a barbecue with Ryan’s reserve unit on 4th of July weekend.
When we asked Jim why he thought Ryan and Melanie wanted to live in DuPont, it all came down one simple thing—community. “I think they discovered it and liked the walkability and the trails, and the neighbors and the close-knit feeling of it… It’s hard to believe that someone who is a Seattle Police Officer would live that far from Seattle, but that was their choice to do that and they love it.”
It was our honor to share more about this sweet couple committed to making their community better from Dupont. Enjoy their full-feature video here!