For the first time since its founding in 2000, Neighborhood Pride is making a stop in northwest Columbus.

The city has three activities planned while code-enforcement officers canvass the neighborhood looking for critical violations, said Bruce Black, program manager for Columbus' Neighborhood Pride and Mobile City Hall.

Jean Wentzel, a Northwest Civic Association member, said she was surprised to learn Neighborhood Pride had visited 102 communities but not northwest Columbus.

Wentzel called it a "step in the right direction."

"We are absolutely thrilled," she said. "Sometimes we do feel neglected by the city, and we realize that they have so many reasons to maybe focus on other parts of the city."

The first community event, which is free, is the Safety Academy, to be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 18, in Antrim Park, 5800 Olentangy River Road.

Representatives from the Columbus police and fire divisions and other city officials will talk about basic ways residents can make their homes and neighborhood safer. Refreshments will be provided by Donatos and White Castle.

Black said this is the first year since Neighborhood Pride was restructured in several ways, one of which was eliminating breakfast and lunch programs, because more people attended evening festivities.

Other events, all of which will be from 6 to 8 p.m. and are free and open to the public, are Health and Wellness, July 25, at Ecole Kenwood French Immersion Elementary School, 3779 Shattuck Ave.; and Transportation and the Mayor's Cookout, Aug. 1, at Meadow Park Church of God, 2425 Bethel Road.

The transportation event and the Mayor's Cookout are being combined to promote the Northwest Civic Association joining the National Night Out observance -- another first for the neighborhood. It will be from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 6 at Atonement Lutheran Church and PreSchool, 1621 Francisco Road. National Night Out promotes camaraderie between police and residents and promotes awareness of crime issues.

Black said code-enforcement started its inspections June 11 after a tour through the neighborhood with local leaders.

The area targeted for inspections is bounded by Olentangy River Road, Bethel Road, Riverside Drive, Henderson Road, Kenny Road and Highland street.

Critical violations include dilapidated houses and other structures, parking a boat or car in the front yard on an unapproved surface and health hazards, Black said.

The city first writes a notice of the violation, he said.

"(Property owners) have plenty of time to correct it," he said.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary