Coronavirus: Springfield’s Engage Neighborhood Plan to take virtual approach

Members of the City of Springfield Community Development Department partnered Engaged Neighborhood Residents to paint street murals at the intersection of South Center Street and West Clark Street. The street murals took inspiration from traditional Signal Quilt Blocks that were used to communicate information along the Underground Railroad. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

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Members of the City of Springfield Community Development Department partnered Engaged Neighborhood Residents to paint street murals at the intersection of South Center Street and West Clark Street. The street murals took inspiration from traditional Signal Quilt Blocks that were used to communicate information along the Underground Railroad. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

The City of Springfield will cancel an event associated with its Engage Neighborhood Plan because of coronavirus concerns as cases continue to rise in the area.

The event was originally scheduled to take place on Saturday and would center around residents living in the neighborhoods peppered throughout the area of Limestone to Yellow Springs and Pleasant to Perrin streets.

Shannon Meadows, the community development director for the city of Springfield, said the decision to cancel the event was in part to help limit the risk of community spread of the coronavirus.

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There have been 2,668 coronavirus cases reported in Clark County as of Tuesday, including 77 deaths and four probable deaths related to the virus, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

“It’s important to take a step back. It’s important to say we have to stay home and stay safe in order for our health system to respond and react to those that are sick,” Meadows said.

She said that the event has been cancelled indefinitely at this point, but added that the city is looking at ways to engage residents in those neighborhoods virtually. The city is currently working to launch an online engagement platform by the end of this week.

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The idea behind the Engage Neighborhood Plan is to survey members of particular neighborhoods to see what can be done to better foster community development in those areas. That can include focusing on local historical assets or beautification projects as well as ideas of what residents would like to see added.

Each phase of the Engage Neighborhood Plan looks at a particular geographical area in the city. The first phase of the plan started last year and ended in March.

The second phase of the project is slated to start in the near future and is expected to continue into next year.

Meadows said the city wants to continue to engage residents and will take a more online approach. She said they also want to engage small groups of residents as well, but noted that work is dependent on coronavirus trends.

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