Many Small Investments in Our Neighborhoods Having Big Impact Townwide
Week of September 25, 2017
David A. Seeley
Town of Irondequoit
1280 Titus Avenue
Rochester, New York 14617
Recently, we received over a dozen applications for this year’s Neighborhood Enhancement Program. Now in its third year, this innovative initiative allows residents to steer where town resources are invested in our neighborhoods.
I have very much appreciated the projects that have emerged from this program. These are relatively lower budget items that have, collectively, profound impact. Most importantly, they serve as a glue that brings a neighborhood together.
You may have seen recently the banners along St. Paul Blvd, identifying our Town, but also each neighborhood the borders along the long corridor. Imagine the impact on a potential homebuyer, and the intrigue that might follow. One might ask: What does NOLA stand for (North of Long Acre)? Or, what is the history that gives the Nowadoga its name?
On the other side of town, I was thrilled to see NEP-funded street banners erected in the Laurelton Neighborhood. Moreover, I loved the fact the Laurelton neighborhood chose to include a bit of history into their design – the inclusion of a trolley car in honor of the line that used to connect the City of Rochester to Irondequoit’s waterfront destinations.
Another growing trend in Irondequoit is perhaps my favorite symbol of strengthening neighborhoods. It is hard to not notice the dozens of “Little Free Libraries” that have sprouted up in front of resident’s homes. I can’t imagine a better way than to build a stronger community than through the promotion of literacy. What is amazing about little libraries is the organic way in which they operate. I have rarely walked by one that isn’t full of books!
Last week I did a tour with the Irondequoit Rotary to view the ten new libraries that were constructed with support from our Rotarians. Placed in homes throughout Irondequoit, each library has its own creative touch brought on by the homeowner: the reconstruction of Snoopy’s dog house, fit with model Snoopy; the three-story town house; or, the trolly-car shaped library in the Laurelton neighborhood.
Are miniature libraries the solution to every problem we face in Irondequoit? Of course not! However, what they do show is that we are willing to break away from our smartphones and busy lives to connect with one another. To me, that’s as good, if not better than any program we can offer at Town Hall because it involves the neighbor taking it upon his or her self to bring people together. That’s good policy in the eyes of any Town Supervisor.
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