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Moving into a home is just the first step to starting your new life. When you move, you become part of a community. Participating in activities and getting involved in local groups and organizations are great ways to have fun and become productive residents of your new neighborhood.

The good news is there are a lot of ways to look for places that want new members and volunteers so that you can find the right one for you.

Local Government
Looking into your local municipality is a great start. Visit your new town’s website and you’ll likely find out about local parks, recreation leagues and activities for people of all ages. Look for information about groups where you can volunteer, like a local fire department or a senior club. And visit town hall so you can meet people who know about your new community.

If you have children, you’ve likely already looked into the area’s schools, but schools are more than places where kids learn, they’re often the hub of a community. You can join the local PTA, find out about fundraising activities and inquire about volunteer opportunities. It’s a great way to meet other parents and make your kids’ schools even better.

On the Web
The internet is another great way to find out about your new neighborhood. Look for Facebook groups about your town, and find one that’s helpful and productive, not a place where people complain about everything. It’s a great way to find out about local events, the latest news going on in town, and tips about the area’s best businesses and restaurants.

Visit the Library
Next, visit your town’s library, not just to check out books and DVDs, but to find out about events. Many libraries host reading groups, computer classes, lectures and movie screenings. It’s also a great destination for kids’ events, like story time or arts and crafts.

Join a Group
Some areas have terrific organizations like arts council and historical organizations that host fun events, especially in the summer. Even if your town doesn’t have one, look into surrounding communities to find out about things like outdoor concerts and plays, food festivals, and carnivals.

In the News
Don’t forget the local news sources. If your town has a local newspaper, it’s likely to offer important news and a calendar of events. More popular these days are “hyper-local” websites or apps, which may provide similar information and also allow for interaction with your neighbors.

With just a little research, you can become an active member of your new community.