Springfield’s engage neighborhood plan seeks to connect with residents

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

caption arrowCaption
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 is looking to start the next step in its Engage Neighborhood Plan as it aims to bring residents into the conversation regarding neighborhood reinvestment.

A socially-distanced engagement event will be held this week for residents who wish to share their thoughts on what can be done in their neighborhoods.

The event is specifically for those living in the neighborhoods peppered throughout the area of Limestone to Yellow Springs and Pleasant to Perrin Streets.

ExploreNew boutique opening in Springfield

The event will be held on Oct. 31 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the corner of Yellow Springs Street and Grand Avenue. That meeting will start another phase of the city’s Engage Neighborhood Project.

The city’s goal is to survey members of particular neighborhoods to see what can be done to foster community development in those areas. That can include focusing on local historical assists, 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 will start at the end of this month and is expected to last into next year.

The area that the city is focusing on as part of both phases of its Engage Neighborhood Plan includes much of the South Fountain Historic District.

The latter was mostly covered in the first phase of the plan. The second phase will focus on data collection covering neighborhoods and the general area between South Center Street to South Yellow Springs Street.

ExploreClark County in deadliest month of coronavirus cases, health commissioner says

The plan so far is to focus on collecting data and reaching out to residents. That can lead to further projects in the near future including those focused on community improvement.

Shannon Meadows, the community development director for the city of Springfield, said that the goal is to create space and create place for the community.

“The goal is to build up alongside the neighbors and having them be the main speakers at the table,” she said.

Meadows said that both phases combined are estimated to cost a total of $160,000 and that money is coming from a combination of private and public funds.

Meadows said that the first phase of the plan brought around 215 voices into the conversation. She added that the area that was covered in the first phase is very diverse and is home to old mansions as well as the Gammon House.

The Gammon House is now a museum, but was once used as a safe house on the Underground Railroad and one of the few such sights still standing in Ohio.

The city teamed up with local youth this year to paint street murals near the Gammon House. It followed recommendations made during the first phase of the engaged neighborhood planning process.

The street murals took inspiration from traditional Signal Quilt Blocks that were used to communicate information along the Underground Railroad.

That effort was completed prior to a historic marker dedication at the Gammon House earlier this month.


Engaged Neighborhood Project meeting

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday

Corner of Yellow Springs Street and Grand Avenue.

About the Author