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

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