Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Deer Park Health Festival Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saludable Omaha is a group of Latino youth activists from South O working to create a sustainable health movement in the Latino and wider Omaha community.  

It is the Saludable Omaha mission to inform, inspire and mobilize a wide range of community members to live healthier, more active lives. Their group aims to create an environment and partnership network right here, right now - that supports and sustains healthful community living.

I am excited to announce, the Saludable team now includes; South Omaha High School’s Packasso Project, Habitat for Humanity of Omaha’s NRI project, Rybin Plumbing and Heating (Head of our Vinton Merchants Committee),  and guess who ....
                                                  The Deer Park Neighborhood Association!!!

Together, we invite YOU to be part of this network!

Please Join us this Saturday for a fun, educational, and entertaining festival.

Saludable Omaha Health & Wellness Festival (official name TBA)
Bag & Save parking lot
1826 Vinton Street, Omaha, NE 68108
Saturday, July 23, 2011
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
What will you find/see at the event?
Children’s’ activities, food demonstrations, physical fitness booths, a healthy cooking demonstration, a 5 piece mariachi band, a Krock Center membership raffle, and most excitingly the dedication of a new community mural on Rybin Plumbing & Heating (18th and Vinton).  
Two youths from the Packasso Project started the mural today, July 20, 2011 and the message within the art is very positive. The dedication ceremony will be around 11:30 am.
Please tell as may people about this event as possible, it is so exciting to see an event held by the joined efforts of  local youth, a neighborhood association, local merchants, and organizations like UNMC, Habitat for Humanity and South Omaha High School.
Together, we can create a community that makes it easier to make healthy choices a habit.
A special thank you is in order to (1) Bag and Save for allowing us to use their parking lot for the festival and for providing water for this summer event, and (2) Rybin Plumbing and Heating for offering the West wall of their building to house a beautiful two story mural. We are so fortunate to have such strong and active business neighbors in our neighborhood. 
Thank You!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Deer Park Awarded 2011 Beautification Grant

I had this wonderful news early last month, but I held off on announcing it online until we were ready to implement the next stage of our awarded project. Because of the tremendous generosity of the Sedgwick fund through the Omaha Community Foundation, The Deer Park Neighborhood Association was awarded a grant for $6,510 for our Vinton Business District Beautification Project.

If you did not know, over the last five years, our Neighborhood Association  has assisted in raising and investing an abundance of monetary and capital improvements on the Vinton Business District located at the core of our neighborhood. Since its existence, it has served as a gathering point for neighbors as well as an imperative source of goods, services, and neighborhood pride. The portion of Vinton Street between 16th Street and South 20th Street angles southwest and is one of the few streets within South Omaha oriented diagonally to the surrounding street grid. It is within this subsection of the Vinton Business District where our project will occur.

Photo by Larry Ferguson Studio
As part of our ongoing strategy to progress the appearance, ambiance, and use of this part of our neighborhood, DPNA maintains 31 flower planters, 44 tree wells, and 8 trash receptacles.

In this year's project, DPNA will...

  • till all soil beds,
  • have the tree wells mulched,
  • have planters cleaned and replanted where necessary,
  • fund yearly trash removal services of the trash receptacles we installed last year
  • replant our 20th Street Identity Garden
  • and paint a series of  community focused murals on the Vinton street planters.

Photo by Oscar Duran
For the planter murals process, DPNA will collaborate with students of South Omaha High School Packasso Project to design a series of murals for the Vinton street planters. This piece of the project will begin with a series of meetings, storytelling, and one-on-one conversations with a special Deer Park Arts Committee to learn the history of the neighborhood and  proceed to paint murals that will depict the rich past of our neighborhood.

Together, the above mentioned efforts will drastically add to the beautification of the Vinton Business District. The serviced trash receptacles will decrease the amount of litter on Vinton. The tree wells, identity garden, and planters will improve the quality of the green space, and the planter murals will aide in the establishment of a unified identity for the Vinton Business District while educating patrons of our neighborhood's history. With these improvements Vinton visitors and patrons will be encouraged to return to the Deer Park neighborhood and to help spur our neighborhood pride. In addition to the aesthetical gains, this project will strengthen the relationships and cooperation between DPNA, Deer Park residents, and local high school students.

This project is supported by the Sedgwick fund through the Omaha Community Foundation.

We will be collecting submissions from the Packasso group late August and will have completed the planter murals by late September. Come back to this blog or come to our monthly meetings for updates.

Thanks for reading, and don't forget, our monthly meeting is this Wednesday night at the Sheet Metal Workers Union #3 at 24th and Deer Park Blvd  68108.

Oscar Duran : Deer Park President

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Graffiti Consultant Neighborhood/Business Leaders’ Workshop

The Graffiti Consultant Neighborhood/Business Leaders’ Workshop will be held...

Thursday – July 21, 2011
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Kroc Center
2825 “Y “Street

Come and learn how your neighborhood association or business group can assist in abatement/prevention efforts of illegal graffiti  in Omaha, Nebraska.

Please RSVP and/or call with any question at 402-444-5522

This workshop is a collaborative effort of the City of Omaha, Deer Park Neighborhood Association, Catholic
Charities, The Neighborhood Center and Graffiti Consultants of San Jose, CA

Light Refreshments Available.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Cultivating Community Leaders 2011 is Going Great!!!

Hey Everyone,
I wanted to take a moment to give an update on our Cultivating Community Leaders (CCL) project. First, let me tell you a little bit about the program. The main goal of CCL is to connect a new generation of neighborhood leaders to the resources, contacts, and hands on education they will need to continue to transform our South Omaha community. Having worked with South Omaha neighborhood leaders for the last 4 years, I can not express how much I have learned from my community teachers. Last year I decided to set out on making sure that many others had the same opportunity to learn these skills that I had. You can read the previous CCL blog post to learn more.

We did have to adjust the program a bit to include a different group of kids. CCL is now working with Metro's (MCC) Bridges to Success program, but guess what, about half of the CCL volunteers are not even in the Bridges to Success program, they are friends of the Bridges kids and all wanted to spend their summer making a difference in our community.

I have worked with these youths for over  five weeks on several community projects. By my rough estimates, together these young adults have logged in more than 300 volunteer hours in the Deer Park neighborhood. For the first CCL project, we are working with Habitat for Humanity Omaha and the Neighborhood center on a housing study.  The objective of this study is to learn of the exterior housing conditions in our neighborhood. When applicable, we are referring neighborhood property owners to agencies and programs that could aide them in repairing their homes.

This is just one project, so please come to our Deer park meetings or email me at to learn more.