What's Happening?

What's Happening?

City Residents Respond to Thriving Neighborhoods Challenge

48 Project Ideas Submitted by Residents and Community Groups

Field of Prospective Projects is Narrowed to Final 23

The people of Schenectady have proven themselves up to the Challenge.  When asked what they would do to improve their community as part of Schenectady's Thriving Neighborhoods Challenge, the Schenectady Foundation received 48 proposed projects that totaled more than $1.9 million in requests.

The Schenectady Foundation's initial technical review of all proposals narrowed the field to 23 that are still in contention to vie for grants. The finalists represent requests of about $1.04 million.

“The response has far exceeded our hopes,” said Robert Carreau, executive director of the Foundation. “We have a lot of work to do to reach a decision as to the projects to be selected in the first round of the Challenge. But clearly, this seems to have touched upon an approach that is really needed in Schenectady. It demonstrates that people really care about their neighborhoods, and want to do everything they can to bring about change.”

The Foundation is recruiting a Challenge Council that will make grant recommendations to its Board of Directors. The Council will consist of a diverse group of citizens and stakeholders with knowledge of the City and its neighborhoods. After meeting with applicants, the Council will make its recommendations based on the potential impact of the project, the level of citizen involvement, feasibility of implementation, cost and sustainability.

The Foundation expects to announce the selected projects for the first round of the Challenge by mid-January.

“Given the response, it’s clear that we will continue the Neighborhood Challenge and announce a second round in 2019,” said Carreau.

Projects still contending for Challenge grants are:

Project Title Location Request Project Description
Improvements to Hillhurst Park Bellevue $75,000 Improve Hillhurst Park by clearing brush and downed trees to make hiking/mountain biking trail usable; install 2 basketball courts over the existing tennis court.
Bradley Street Entrace to Central Park Central State Street $50,000 Define the Bradley Street entrance to Central Park with a structural element; and add directional signage for various amenities to make the park more user-friendly.
Reawakening East Front Street East Front Street  $7,950 "Reawaken" a seemingly-forgotten neighborhood by adding welcome banners, trash cans, historical signage, and murals throughout its six streets.
East, Center, and West Alley Trash Containment East, Center, and West Alleys $4,500 Provide trash receptacles for residents in the East, Center, and West Alleys (between Glenwood and Parkwood Boulevards) to help clean up  and make the streets safer.
Beautify Our Islands Again Eastern Ave Unknown Clean up the islands on Eastern Avenue Parkway for beautification and safety.
Schenectady and Me Entire City $48,000 Create and display sculptural benches using tiles created by community members, to beautify the area and increase resident pride in their work and City.
Our Community Library Entire City $6,000 Build and install "Little Free Library"-type receptacles around the City; filling them with donated books for neighborhood youth to read and own.
Schenectady Student "Exterior Gallery" Murals Entire City $5,000 Paint "fool the eye" murals on buildings and walls throughout the City, and allow students to contribute as a way of showcasing their own artiwork and abilities.
Rainbow Pride Art Gateway Park $43,000 Install rainbow pride art sculpture made of colorful steel frames; including educational panels about LGBT equal rights movement.
Plotting the Roots of STEM GE Realty Plot $50,000 Showcase the wealth of STEM-related history throughout the GE Plot by designing a walking tour of the homes of significant players in the STEM field.
Make Roads Safer by Piloting Neighborhood Traffic Patterns Glenwood and Parkwood Boulevards $30,000 Install mini traffic circles to increase safety and beautify large intersections in the roadways.
Phoenix Walks Hamilton Hill $80,000 Create an art walk through the Hamilton Hill community, to include street murals, scultpure and flower gardens, and historical neighborhood information.
Show the Love Where You Live - Don't Litter Hamilton Hill & Vale $85,000 Decorate trash receptacles to encourage usage instead of litterings; and implement an educational component to change the mindset of those who litter.
Canvas Murals for Vacant Homes Hamilton Hill; Mont Pleasant; Bellevue $800 Recruiting students to create artwork on canvases to be hung over the windows of vacant homes, to contribute to the beautification of the neighborhood.
Howe Elementary School Natural Outdoor Play Space Howe Elementary School $15,000 Create a natural outdoor playspace to support nature-inspired learning and recreation.
Zoller Children's Garden & Farm Jessie T. Zoller Elementary School $100,000 Create a community garden on the school grounds, as the first step of a larger community-focused project. 
Cleaner & Greener Future for Mont Pleasant Mont Pleasant $64,000 Organize clean-up efforts in Mont Pleasant, and teach youth the proper ways to recycle and to care about their neighborhood environment.
Splash Pad for the Children of Mont Pleasant at Wallingford Park Mont Pleasant $50,000 Install a water feature to give residents a fun, safe way to cool off and enjoy the summer months.
Mont Pleasant Merchants' Neighborhood Coordinator Mont Pleasant $80,000 Hire a Neighborhood Coordinator to identify community needs; access resources; build relationships; and advocate for the neighborhood.
Northside Pride - Beautification and Community Building Northside/Goose Hill Neighborhood $25,000 Provide trash receptacles for residents in the Northside neighborhood, and offer an educational component
BANA Community Square Parkwood Boulevard $30,000 Beautify a vacant lot in the Boulevards neighborhood; create a community green space where events, gatherings, and activities can take place.
Stockade Gateway Restoration Project Stockade Historic District $100,000 Improve the gateway to the Stockade neighborhood, replace missing trees and shrubs; implement the new Streetscape Plan.
Spray Pad Cooling Area Woodlawn Park $100,000 Install a water feature to give residents a fun, safe way to cool off and enjoy the summer months.



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