Brunson-Lee Neighborhood Partnership Community Garden Project and Classes

Over the course of 8 weeks, parents, community members, and their children volunteered to install 6 raised beds and participated in a hands-on garden and food demonstration. Participants learned about preparation, care, and harvesting of community gardens as well as how to prepare healthy foods. This project was possible with support from Brunson-Lee Elementary School, Lindon Park Neighborhood, Singh Farms, Mountain Park Health Center, Maricopa County Department of Public Health, and City of Phoenix Neighborhood Services Department.

Urban Phoenix Project Tree Planting Project

On Saturday, May 20th, over 20 hard-working volunteers came out to help the Urban Phoenix Project plant five trees on the east side of 4th Avenue between W Fillmore St and W McKinley St. The Urban Phoenix Project received $1,000 funding from the Love Your Block Phoenix mini-grant program to plant these trees in downtown Phoenix to raise awareness around the value of trees planted, increase the walkability and livability of downtown Phoenix, and become a small step towards realizing Phoenix’s Tree & Shade Master Plan that aims to increase the shade canopy coverage for Phoenix. This project was made possible with support from the non-profit Trees Matter and the City of Phoenix Streets Department, Neighborhood Services Department, and Parks and Recreation Department.

Washington Park Neighborhood Association Roving Mural Project

On Saturday, May 20th, more than 15 community members celebrated the unveiling of 8 roving murals at the Washington Activity Center. The Washington Park Neighborhood Association received $1,000 funding from the Love Your Block Phoenix mini-grant program to create roving murals designed by local AP art students from Washington High School. The murals will remain at the center for a few months before traveling to four other community locations over the course of the year to promote community pride and help unify the neighborhood. This project is made possible with support from Washington High School, the City of Phoenix Neighborhood Services Department, and Parks and Recreation Department.

People United Fight Back Shrub Beautification Planting

On Saturday, April 29th, 35 dedicated volunteers teamed up to help plant 114 shrubs along 24th street medians between Roeser and Wier Ave. The People United Fight Back Neighborhood Association received $1,000 funding from the Love Your Block Phoenix mini-grant program to plant these drought-tolerant and beautiful shrubs along the entrance to their neighborhood. Around 6 police officers from the South Mountain Police Precinct showed their support by stopping traffic for volunteers to cross the road and park their vehicles next to the medians to ensure volunteers felt safe. This project encouraged residents to build relationships and take pride in their community. This project was made possible with support from Whitfill Nursery, the City of Phoenix Neighborhood Services Department, Streets Department, Parks and Recreation Department, and Phoenix South Mountain Police Precinct.

THE TRIANGLE NEIGHBORHOOD’S COMMUNITY MURAL BY DEVIN RANKIN

The Triangle Neighborhood is a vibrant community in downtown Phoenix. Our unique triangular boundaries for which the neighborhood is named are formed by Grand Avenue, Roosevelt, and 7th Avenue in downtown Phoenix. The Triangle Neighborhood Association was honored to receive a $1,000 Love Your Block grant to create a community mural by muralist Andy Brown (http://www.soldierleisure.com/) at our neighborhood park.

Hu-O-Te Park is a small community park at the North West corner of McKinley and 11th Ave. It had a large, drab grey block wall with patches of painted-over graffiti that served as the backdrop to the playground. It now hosts a beautiful neighborhood driven mural. The families of this neighborhood deserved a bright and clean place to gather and for their children to play. Murals encourage creativity, discourage graffiti and help to create a sense of neighborhood pride. In addition to the mural installation we cleaned the park and the alley entrance and replaced 20+ dead plants with brightly-colored, drought-tolerant lantana. This project brought our neighborhood together around a common goal and created new bonds that would not have been possible without this grant.

My advice to other neighborhood associations is to apply for the Love Your Block grant! It is not a tough application or reporting process and it was a really rewarding experience for our community that has led to additional unique opportunities. Make sure to involve business owners, churches, universities, etc in the area; you never know where those relationships might lead. One of the bigger challenges we faced was selecting our muralist, Andy Brown, and coordinating his busy schedule so that the neighborhood kids could paint with him. In order to select our muralist we created an arts committee and they ultimately made the decision after interviewing several local muralists with ties to downtown.

This was the first official project that helped us launch our neighborhood association. We were so grateful for the Love Your Block funds that allowed us to rally this neighborhood around a common cause. Thanks to the effort that we put in to developing our neighborhood association and this project we have been able to leverage this initial funding into additional opportunities. Through this project we developed a relationship with several local businesses including Tuft & Needle, the national mattress retailer with headquarters in our neighborhood. This relationship has produced additional funding for solar alley lighting and funding for a mid-block crosswalk on 7th Avenue between Van Buren and Roosevelt. After we received the Love Your Block grant, we also applied for a Block Watch grant and were able to secure another $950 for neighborhood Block Watch grant signage. Every dollar raised allows us to leverage more resources for projects in our neighborhood.

The Love Your Block Application is now available online at phoenix.gov/volunteer (click on “Love Your Block”) and the deadline is November 28th, 2016. Contact loveyourblock@hpnphx.org or (602) 262-4790 for more information.

PASADENA NEIGHBORHOOD’S LITTLE FREE LIBRARIES BY AJ MARSDEN

I’m AJ Marsden, president of the Pasadena Neighborhood bordered by Camelback/Missouri and 7th/15th Avenues. Pasadena toyed with the idea of Little Libraries in the past. We questioned if they would be used and left unharmed. Our Neighborhood Specialist from the City’s Neighborhood Services Department arranged for AmeriCorps VISTAs to present at our November 2015 meeting. I held up the application and said any resident with a community idea can write the $1,000 grant. Two families chimed in about Little Libraries.

We applied for two Little Free Libraries and were awarded the funding. The grant managing team had some ideas about how the project should flow – order two pre-made painted libraries from LittleFreeLibrary.org and buy registration rights and installation supplies. A new steward campaign was started to find hosts strategically placed around the neighborhood. With locations set, our handyman neighbor worked with the hosts to install the Little Free Libraries. It was happening!

The May ribbon cutting for the first location was exciting. Families with kids and other residents arrived. The VISTAs came. We actually cut a ribbon tied around the Little Free Library. This unit is kid themed. The second one is for grownups. Both hosts enjoy seeing others visit their yards. Neither host stockpiles books; the flow of taking and leaving books works. When the Little Free Libraries get low, a blast is sent out to drop off a book when passing by. Once one of the units was emptied overnight. The host refilled it with books they no longer read. We waited to see if it would be needlessly emptied again. Nope. The neighborhood enjoyment and use has continued throughout the past five months. Our first read-in social event is planned for near Halloween.

The Love Your Block application process for year two is now available online, with a simpler format than last year’s application. Reading the Love Your Block Toolkit is crucial. Feel free to call on the VISTAs for help. They are gems. If they do not have an answer, they will get it for you. Love Your Block is a great opportunity for a $1,000 project. Get an idea you fancy, a lead team in place, and go for it. Your neighborhood can do “that” project you’ve been toying with.

The City of Phoenix is working on an initiative to expand Little Free Libraries beyond the Pasadena Neighborhood and is hoping that Little Free Libraries will become an integral part of city-wide literacy and community engagement efforts. If you are interested in being a part of this momentum and want to learn how you can build Little Free Libraries in your neighborhood with Love Your Block funding, please reach out to the AmeriCorps VISTAs!

The Love Your Block Application is now available online at phoenix.gov/volunteer (click on “Love Your Block”) and the deadline is November 18th, 2016. Contact loveyourblock@hpnphx.org or (602) 262-4790 for more information.

Second Year Love Your Block VISTAs

Love Your Block Phoenix VISTAs

Greetings Love Your Block Community,

We want to take a moment to introduce ourselves. We are the new AmeriCorps VISTAs, Alyssa Hagerbrant and Aine Fitzgerald Coleman, serving in year two of the Cities of Service Love Your Block program in the Neighborhood Services Department in Phoenix City Hall. In the second year of the Love Your Block program, we will be building on the foundation set by the first year VISTAs, Hayley and Helen. This year, the Love Your Block program will award 5 community groups in low-income areas of Phoenix $1,000 mini-grants. The awarded community groups can use the funds to make the changes they wish to see in their neighborhoods through volunteer-driven, sustainable revitalization projects. Our grant application will be available in early October and we encourage all interested groups and/or individuals to reach out as early as possible.

We began our VISTA service term this past June. On our first day of work, we quickly discovered that we have a lot in common! We both graduated this past May from small liberal arts colleges in the Northeast with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Environmental Studies, studied abroad in Panama, and even grew up less than 30 miles away from each other.

Alyssa: I grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut and lived in Saratoga Springs, NY before I moved to Phoenix in June. In May 2016, I graduated from Skidmore College with a BA in Environmental Studies and a minor in Theater Design. I enjoy drawing, ecology, socially responsible design, and being a fur-mom (aka I’m in love with my kitten). I grew up dreaming of being an actress and seriously considered entering into a performance career. It wasn’t until college when I discovered my interest in social justice and my underlying fascination with understanding others not quite like myself. I ended up choosing AmeriCorps VISTA because I hope to make a positive social and environmental impact, and this program allows me to gain experience collaborating with the private, nonprofit, and government sectors to achieve that goal. This year I aim to use my design background and my liberal arts education to strengthen the Love Your Block program and to build capacity in Phoenix’s communities.

Aine (Anya): I grew up in Huntington Station, NY. I recently graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine with a BA in Environmental Studies and a minor in History. I love learning about the history of urban planning, architecture, and the construction of America’s built environment. I also enjoy dancing, singing, reading, and gardening. Although I loved my time at Bates, I, like many other liberal arts graduates, departed feeling uncertain about my academic and professional strengths. I knew what I was passionate about, but was unsure where I fit in as I entered the workforce. I signed up for AmeriCorps VISTA hoping that it would give me the opportunity to explore my strengths and, at the same time, gain invaluable experience in a professional setting. This year, as a Cities of Service Love Your Block VISTA in the City of Phoenix’s Neighborhood Services Department, I am excited to work with neighborhood groups and other local stakeholders to promote collaborative and bottom-up change in the city. I hope that Alyssa and I will contribute to the larger trend in city government that aims to build grass-roots neighborhood change by connecting government resources with community members’ knowledge of and passion for their local neighborhoods.

We both are thrilled to work together this year and are excited to take on the second round of the Love Your Block program. We are also looking forward to building relationships with neighbors and gaining project management and volunteer coordination experience. We hope that our unfamiliarity with the City of Phoenix will not hinder our abilities to make connections with residents and we hope that the communities we serve will share our enthusiasm for the Love Your Block grant.

For more information about Love Your Block and/or to see if your neighborhood is within our boundary, check out hpnphx.org/cities-of-service/. Be on the lookout for the application release in Early October.

Please contact us at aine.coleman@phoenix.gov and alyssa.hagerbrant@phoenix.gov.

 

Best,

Alyssa Hagerbrant and
Aine Fitzgerald Coleman
AmeriCorps VISTAs, City of Phoenix
Love Your Block, Cities of Service

LOVE YOUR BLOCK YR 1 ANNOUNCES GRANTEE RECIPIENTS

Love Your Block Phoenix is excited to announce the first five groups selected to receive a $1,000 mini-grant to support a neighborhood volunteer project. The funds will be used to purchase needed supplies and tools to implement a neighborhood improvement project that mobilizes community volunteers. From beautification to literacy, these first five projects will lay the foundation for what it means to love your block in Phoenix and will inspire other residents who are looking for creative ways to beautify their communities. We are excited to support the following neighborhood groups and their projects:

 

1.    Community Alliance of Seventh Avenue (CASA): volunteers will beautify the Melrose District by installing flower planters at businesses. Some local merchants have agreed to match their mini-grant so more flower planters can be installed.

 

2.    Grant Park Community Garden: volunteers will enhance an established community garden by planting fruit trees, repairing the irrigation system, and building a monarch butterfly station.

 

3.    Pasadena Neighborhood Association: volunteers will build and install Little Free Libraries to increase community interaction through the power of sharing stories.

 

4.    Triangle Neighborhood Association: volunteers will beautify a local park by painting a colorful community mural to inspire a sense of connection amongst neighbors.

 

5.    Woodlea-Melrose Neighborhood Association: volunteers will paint weathered and tagged irrigation boxes to garner neighborhood pride and community involvement.

 

Love Your Block Triangle Neighborhood Before Picture

(Above) Triangle Neighborhood Association will paint a colorful mural on a blighted park wall with their Love Your Block mini-grant.

We are excited to see the positive impact each group will make in their neighborhoods and our city. These five neighborhood groups are the first cohort in Phoenix of a nationwide movement of residents who are revitalizing neighborhoods through volunteerism, one block at a time. For more information, visit phoenix.gov/volunteer. Stay up to date on these projects by following us on Twitter and Instagram @loveyrblockphx.

VISTA JOURNAL: SEVEN MONTHS IN

Photo: From Left to Right, Helen Stoddard, AmeriCorps VISTA; Jackie Johnson, Management Assistant II in Parks & Recreation Department at City of Phoenix; Hayley Steele, AmeriCorps VISTA

This blog entry is written by Helen Stoddard, a Cities of Service Love Your Block AmeriCorps VISTA Member serving in Phoenix, AZ.

Welcoming in the New Year, it’s gratifying to see how much has already been accomplished and what’s still to come as we move into the remaining five months of service.

During the height of summer heat, I packed one suitcase and a backpack, moving from Virginia to the hottest city in America: Phoenix, Arizona. What enticed me to brave the heat was the opportunity to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the City of Phoenix, with Cities of Service’s Love Your Block neighborhood revitalization initiative.

Allow me to take a step back and sort out any confusion as to the role an AmeriCorps VISTA plays. While I found my experiences as an intern in undergrad as valuable, being an AmeriCorps VISTA has offered a much higher level of leadership opportunities. The Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) national service program was created by President John F. Kennedy in 1963. His vision was to create a program that would fight poverty that we see every day in America. VISTA was implemented and founded during President Lyndon Johnson’s Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 as a domestic version of the Peace Corps, officially launching in 1965. In 1993, VISTA became part of the AmeriCorps program, a division of the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Fifty years later, and the legacy still rings true: VISTAs are making year-long, full-time commitments to serve on specific projects in nonprofits or public agencies, with the intent to empower the community they’re serving to serve themselves. Basically, over time, we’re working ourselves out of a job—but in a totally positive and uplifting way.

What makes my particular service unique is that I have a counterpart who helps brainstorm, plan and implement Love Your Block in our city. It has opened my eyes to the true meaning of teamwork and collaboration. As AmeriCorps VISTAs for the Love Your Block program, we are helping to realize the mission of Cities of Service, a nonprofit in New York City, by supporting mayors and city chief executives to engage local communities and residents to solve issues together through impact volunteering. It is about aiding residents in their efforts to change their neighborhoods—one block at a time.

As an AmeriCorps VISTA, one can expect challenges. On a small stipend, I have had to make ends meet on more than one occasion. Budgeting the stipend is a challenge, and surely a learned skillset tailored for necessities, like housing, food, and healthcare. However, these challenges are surpassed with the amount of knowledge, mentorship, and freedom we have been given.

Personally, I have learned so much from experts in the nonprofit world and local government. I have been given freedom to help design and brand our chapter of Love Your Block in Phoenix. And I have received mentorship from the many hardworking staff in Neighborhood Services, especially Neighborhood Specialists. It’s fulfilling to have staff that are looking to me for creative insight or for Spanish translation—something I didn’t know was possible at my age. I work in a symbiotic environment here.

I have been challenged since the day I set foot in the City of Phoenix. The second week of work, I was asked to do a live interview on a local Spanish radio station to promote community interest in our Love Your Block program. Reading and writing in Spanish is one thing, but publicly speaking to potentially thousands of listeners felt intimidating. I had never spoken on the radio in my life, but with my heart beating fast, I agreed. Agreeing was one of the many examples of putting fears aside and stepping up to the plate; this is what it means to be an AmeriCorps VISTA. You might not get it perfect the first time, but demonstrating your leadership shows your commitment to the cause.

I have worked in education and youth engagement before my service as an AmeriCorps VISTA, but planning and completing two Love Your Block demonstration projects brought previous experience to life. These projects were major feats in defining how high-impact volunteering can better the community. The Medlock Alley Activation promoted connectivity and walkability for residents and merchants through creative design: wayfinding signs, chain-link ribbon murals, and landscaping of a shared alley. Before this project, the residents and merchants didn’t know each other—several months later, and it’s a different story.

With our Grand Canal Community Clean-Up, we engaged with a diverse community of mostly Spanish-speakers and Somali refugees. I particularly loved having the elementary youth draw what they wanted to see in their neighborhood and how they could recreationally use their canal more. These drawings were then inspiration for the community mural completed on the day of the clean-up. Both of these projects showed me the importance of communication amongst a diverse platform of people, regardless of language, ethnicity, or social status.

 

In October 2015, our Cities of Service cohort convened in Houston, to debrief and share best practices with fellow cities across the United States. It was exciting to realize the significant changes in the first year of this three-year pilot, and witness true, measurable results in other cohort cities. To name a few: City of Richmond, California has constructed an interactive art installation outside one of their Bay Area Rapid Transit stations to ask residents if they had $1,000, how they would love their block. In the South Park neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, residents organized the revitalization of two staircases, including a community-led mural running down one of them. Now residents can utilize these colorful stairwells between neighborhoods, where once blight stood in the way of their safety. Love Your Block sparks community members to make change—creatively.

I am looking forward to what these next five months of service hold and what I can personally bring to the table to support Phoenix neighborhoods. Love Your Block Phoenix is pleased to announce the first round of Love Your Block mini-grant recipients this week. The selected projects will mark the beginning of a more impactful way of addressing neighborhood needs, empowering residents to make the changes they want to see.

I am thankful to everyone who has helped shape me in my position in Love Your Block Phoenix thus far. Here’s to a successful new year.

 

Best,

Helen Stoddard

LOVE YOUR BLOCK BEAUTIFIES GRAND CANAL

The canal speaks in waves: community, transportation, life.

Not only does the Grand Canal system in Phoenix serve as a water source for residents, but also as a valley-wide recreational space for the runners, walkers, and cyclists. The Grand Canal touches the Gateway North neighborhood in East Phoenix where bus stops and green space can be scarce. Nestled into the neighborhood is David Crockett Elementary School and a non-profit healthcare provider, Mountain Park Health Center, whose mission is to serve and provide accessible amenities to the surrounding residents. Like its neighbors, Crockett Elementary and Mountain Park view the canal in their backyard as an opportunity to promote fitness and recreation. It is in this section of the Grand Canal that the second Love Your Block demonstration project took place on November 14, 2015 for Keep Phoenix Beautiful Day.

The Cities of Service Love Your Block AmeriCorps VISTA members, Mountain Park Health Center, Balsz School District, Neighborhood Services Department, and the Office of Councilwoman Kate Gallego came together with Keep Phoenix Beautiful to bring to life the Grand Canal Community Clean-Up.

Two weeks prior to the #LYB project, the City of Phoenix won a $10.3 million TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to support the revitalization efforts of Grand Canalscape. What better way to celebrate the Grand Canalscape than with 300 volunteers coming out on Keep Phoenix Beautiful Day to clean-up the canal? Volunteers came out to paint a community mural, pick-up trash, remove graffiti, and landscape along the canal. Additionally, volunteers created chain-link fence art, planted 8 trees and resurfaced a baseball field at Crockett Elementary School.

Special thank you to our volunteers from Mountain Park Health Center, David Crockett Elementary School, Balsz School District, Somali American United Council, Girl Scouts, Sea Life Arizona, Justserve, United Food and Commercial Workers, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 15, and the surrounding community.

We would not have been able to pull this event off without our amazing partners and sponsors. Thank you to Keep Phoenix Beautiful Day’s sponsors, Chipotle and UPS. Thank you UPS for donating trees. Thank you Sherwin Williams for donating 40 gallons of paint and Behr for donating 15 gallons of primer for the community mural. Thank you to the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 15 who volunteered to prime the wall. Thank you Stabilizer Solutions for donating the baseball field clay for Crockett Elementary School. Thank you Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Airport North for providing volunteers with breakfast and lunch. Thank you Home Depot and Stand for Children Arizona. Special thank you to Mesa Airlines for sponsoring our continued efforts to Keep the Canal Beautiful.

LOVE YOUR BLOCK WITH AN ‘ALLEY ACTIVATION’

There’s nothing quite like seeing a bunch of enthusiastic residents, grinning and ready to volunteer, all before they have had their first cup of coffee. With the first signs of Fall in the air, the Love Your Block ‘Alley Activation’ demonstration project debuted on October 24, 2015 for Make A Difference Day, a national service day celebrating neighbors helping neighbors. Make A Difference Day was the official launch of Cities of Service’s Love Your Block program in Phoenix to showcase and highlight how a $1,000 mini-grant can empower residents to revitalize their neighborhoods. This project was coordinated in partnership with HandsOn Greater Phoenix.

This project is a collaboration between the local merchants and residents of the Medlock Place Neighborhood. This project idea had been floating around for a while between the local merchants and residents, and the $1,000 mini-grant was the catalyst to making the project come to life.

The Alley Activation grew out of the idea to improve the alley shared both by residents and merchants. The project’s goal is to create a welcoming and safe alley that promotes connectivity between residents, businesses, and visitors while deterring crime and speeding. The first phase of the Alley Activation began in early October when DLC Resources donated their services to smooth out the surface of the alley by removing the excess dirt that had been building-up for years. The following day the residents and merchants came out to pick-up trash and landscape while Bug and Weed Mart sprayed the alley’s weeds. All of these activities led up the big event on Make A Difference Day where 70+ volunteers came out to beautify the alley! Many helping hands painted wayfinding signs, created a series of ribbon murals along 3 vacant lots, and painted a blighted alley wall.

This project would not have happened without our wonderful partners! Special thanks to All About Books and Comics, AZ Hi-Fi, Bug & Weed Mart, Changing Hands Bookstore, DLC Resources, Frances, Medlock Place Historical Neighborhood Association, Southern Rail, and Stinkweeds.

love your block wayfinder sign

Thank you to all the volunteers who came out to participate in the first Love Your Block Phoenix project. Keep an eye out because this project is the first of many to come!

Georganne of Frances, Kimber of Stinkweeds, & Cindy of Changing Hands.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Interested in volunteering with Love Your Block? Sign-up to be a part of the next project on November 14, 2015 for Keep Phoenix Beautiful Day.

If your neighborhood is interested in implementing a similar project, apply for a $1,000 Love Your Block mini-grant today! Applications must be received by November 20, 2015. Contact us today to find out how you can create positive change in your neighborhood.

LOVE YOUR BLOCK MEETS CANALSCAPE

Love Your Block_Canalscape_LyssaHall

Crayons were distributed and marks were made. Optimistic words were spoken and ideas were exchanged. Our Canalscape meeting last Wednesday at David Crockett Elementary School proved to be a successful night for students and parents.

Canalscape is a City of Phoenix Grand Canal revitalization project that will be completed in Fall 2016. The City will make safety and walkability improvements for Phoenix residents to promote recreation and connections along the canal.  Love Your Block Phoenix is partnering with Mountain Park Health Center to host a community clean-up and mural painting project along the Grand Canal on Keep Phoenix Beautiful Day, November 14, 2015. The clean-up will take place along the Grand Canal between 40th Street and 36th Street. This section of the canal is north of Van Buren St. and neighbors with David Crockett Elementary School. Between 150 and 200 volunteers are expected to participate on this day of canal beautification!

The Canalscape meeting invited residents, students and parents to give feedback for the types of amenities they would like to see along the Grand Canal. Ideas of bridges, soccer fields, mile markers were shared–the sky was the limit! Students drew the types of imagery they would like incorporated into the extension of an existing community mural, which was completed in 2014 by the community and Crockett students. The recurring themes highlighted during Wednesday’s envisioning session were of “happy families” and “keeping the canal beautiful.”

Love Your Block is working to leverage the City of Phoenix and SRP’s $5 million Canalscape project by engaging the surrounding community to have a voice in the project designs. The clean-up event on November 14, 2015 will be the first step of many to beautify and improve the canal. Our hope is to make the clean-up a sustainable community event where volunteers come out every year. Stay tuned!

We would like to specially thank Mountain Park Health Center, Lori Robinson and Channel Powe of the Balsz School District, and Crockett Elementary School’s students, parents, and Principal Sean Hannafin for a memorable night.

The Love Your Block Canal Demonstration project team will host another Canalscape meeting at the Roosevelt Plaza Apartments from 5-7pm on Tuesday, October 13th.

All photographs taken by Lysistrata Hall, City of Phoenix.

Love Your Block Comes To Phoenix!

If your neighborhood had $1,000, what would you create? Love Your Block Phoenix wants to know your answer!

 

Beginning Fall of 2015, Love Your Block Phoenix will be inviting community groups to apply for a $1,000 mini-grant to transform their neighborhoods. Love Your Block Phoenix is a mini-grant program funded by Cities of Service to support resident-driven improvement projects in lower-income neighborhoods. Projects may include community gardens, neighborhood cleanups, tree planting, community murals, and graffiti removal.

 

Cities of Service is a national nonprofit organization that works with cities to launch and build city-led, resident-driven programs that target the needs of communities. In order to boost these efforts, Cities of Service has brought on two dedicated full-time AmeriCorps VISTA members for the first three years of the Love Your Block Phoenix program. AmeriCorps VISTA members are national service members who serve in U.S. communities to fight poverty, similar to the Peace Corps. This first year AmeriCorps VISTA members are Helen Stoddard and Hayley Steele.

 

Helen Stoddard has come all the way from Arlington, Virginia to be a part of the Love Your Block Phoenix team. She is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a B.F.A. in photography. Apart from being a VISTA, Helen enjoys traveling, biking, and drawing. In the next year, Helen looks forward to becoming a part of the Phoenix community.

 

Hayley Steele is a Phoenix local and graduate of Northern Arizona University where she received a B.S. in criminology and criminal justice, and political science. Hayley is ready to be a part of the meaningful change that Love Your Block will bring to Phoenix.

 

Love Your Block is funded by Cities of Service, Corporation for National and Community Service, and the City of Phoenix.

 

Please visit phoenix.gov/volunteer for more information about Love Your Block Phoenix and to see if your neighborhood falls within the initiative boundary area. You can tell us how you ‘love your block’ by taking our quick survey at the link above. Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and learn more about Love Your Block projects across the country! @loveyrblockphx @citiesofservice