Hen Hopefuls: The Neal Family
Here is another family of "hen hopefuls": the Neal Family (Gregg Sr., Angel, Gregg Jr. and Payton). Biography information compiled by the Hens in Lakewood committee.
What street do you live on? Garfield Avenue.
How long have you lived in Lakewood? We started renting in Lakewood over 14 years ago. When it was time to start a family, we knew Lakewood was the city that we wanted our children to call home, so we purchased a house on Garfield Avenue, where we reside today with our two boys and our Chihuahuas.
Why do you choose to live in Lakewood? Even though Lakewood is a city, it has the feeling of a small, tight-knit town. People who live in Lakewood actually care about keeping their community beautiful, supporting local business, funding the school system, and focusing on the wonderful meaning of diversity! We want our children to understand that these are the traits that make a person a good citizen and allow them to actually become a part of their community.
Why do you want to raise hens in Lakewood? Raising hens makes sense in a city that promotes clean air, recycling, fresh and local food, and a healthy lifestyle that includes walking and biking. Hens have been kept by people as a source of nutrition throughout history, until recent times when factory farming became the norm. Our family likes to know where our food comes from and that it is free of chemicals, hormones, and animal cruelty. What is more precious than watching your child raise an animal that can give back nutritious eggs for food along with teaching them responsibility and a respect for life? Raising hens is a hands-on life lesson.
Why do you think Lakewood is a community that should allow responsible hen keeping? The dedication of Lakewood citizens makes it a perfect place to raise hens. We love our community and want to keep it beautiful. It is an easy addition to keeping Lakewood a green community. Hens eat harmful insects, reduce garbage by eating table scraps, produce waste that makes wonderful compost, and most of all, supply families with nutritious organic eggs! There are also quite a few locally-owned Lakewood stores that have expressed their desire to offer hen-keeping supplies that will allow their profit margins to benefit, too! Other cities have allowed hen-keeping for years without issues and many more surrounding cities such as Beachwood and Cleveland Heights have recently gotten on board and are allowing families to raise hens because of the positive impact it has on a community.
Do you want to mention anything else? Take the time to speak with the individuals and families who want to keep hens in Lakewood. This is a group of professional, educated, family-oriented, and dedicated individuals who want to improve their community by making it a better place to live. Ask questions or share your thoughts with us. We are all more than happy to answer your questions or discuss concerns. The best quote of why our family wants to keep hens came from our "business-minded" 12-year-old son, Payton. If you ask him why he wants to keep hens, he will tell you, "I want the job of feeding the hens every day and collecting eggs, because this way I can earn a BIGGER allowance every week!"