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Section 10. Establishing Neighborhood Beautification Programs

What do we mean by a neighborhood beautification program?

__ Neighborhood beautification means making a neighborhood look and feel better.

__ A neighborhood beautification program is a strategy to maintain, enhance, and/or change the character of your neighborhood over the long term.

__ Neighborhood beautification can lead to more interaction among neighbors from diverse backgrounds, more neighborhood life, and a neighborhood that supports both economic development and a sense of community.


Why establish a neighborhood beautification program?

__ A neighborhood beautification program can build neighborhood pride and ownership.

__ It can improve the quality of life in the neighborhood.

__ It can help to attract new residents.

__ It can help to attract new business.

__ It can attract entertainment and culture.

__ It can serve as the base for neighborhood revitalization.

__ It can improve neighborhood and community health.

__ It’s a way to involve youth and other people who are often left out.

__ It can build stronger neighborhood relationships.

__ It can send a message to the rest of the community about the unity and values of your neighborhood.


When should you consider a neighborhood beautification program?

__ When a neighborhood group acts as a spearhead.

__ When the neighborhood has gone, or is in danger of going, downhill.

__ When there’s a specific problem that needs to be tackled.

__ When funding or other support is available.

__ In conjunction with a brownfields cleanup or similar effort.

__ In conjunction with other types of neighborhood improvement efforts.


Who should be involved in neighborhood beautification programs?

__ Homeowners.

__ Renters.

__ Landlords and other property owners.

__ Business owners and managers.

__ Local officials. These would include neighborhood City Council representatives, state legislators that represent the neighborhood, Board of Health members, etc.

__ Youth.

__ Specific populations defined by race, ethnicity, or other common elements.

__ Neighborhood organizations. Some possibilities would include neighborhood associations or councils, a neighborhood watch, block associations, and neighborhood youth groups.

__ Organizations and agencies that serve the neighborhood – a local hospital, the public library, health and human service organizations, cultural institutions.

__ Community services (planning, police and fire, garbage pickup, recycling, etc.)

__ Neighborhood faith communities.

__ Service clubs (Lions, Rotary, etc.)

__ Schools and other educational institutions.


How do you establish a neighborhood beautification program?

Phase One: Recruiting neighborhood residents as leaders and participants

__ Recruit people to take the lead.

__ Conduct outreach to neighborhood residents to inform them about and involve them in the effort.


Phase Two: Developing a plan for neighborhood beautification

__ Assemble a participatory planning group.

__ Conduct a neighborhood assessment.

__ Develop a vision for the neighborhood.

__ Develop goals.

__ Develop an overall strategy to realize your goals and, ultimately, your vision.

__ Develop an action plan for each goal.

__ Develop a plan for maintaining gains.

__ Devise a way to monitor and evaluate your effort.


Phase Three: Presenting the plan to the neighborhood, gaining approval, and implementing the first step

__ Present the plan to the neighborhood.

__ Collect feedback.

__ Incorporate feedback to the extent possible.

__ Present the final plan and ask for neighborhood support.

__ Implement the first stage of the plan.

__ Start working on the next stage of the plan.

__ Keep the program going for the life of the neighborhood.