What improvements would community members like to see at Parkridge Park and the surrounding neighborhood in Ypsilanti's South Side? That's the topic of a community input session at Parkridge Community Center, 591 Armstrong Dr. in Ypsilanti, from 6-8 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 16.
The session is a chance for city and county officials to report back on previous community input sessions and discuss plans moving forward.
Over the summer, Washtenaw County's Office of Community and Economic Development in partnership with the City of Ypsilanti Economic and Community Development Department conducted three community input sessions to gather residents' suggestions for park and infrastructure improvements. The third session specifically targeted feedback from area youth.
The improvements will be funded in part by a federal community development block grant, with funds also chipped in by the city. Mirada Jenkins, housing and infrastructure manager with Washtenaw County, says seeking community feedback is a requirement for receiving block grant funds that target Racially or Ethnically Concentrated Areas of Poverty (RECAPs), a designation that the Parkridge neighborhood qualifies for.
"Part two is about allowing community members to let us know what their priorities are, rather than us setting priorities for them," she says.
The session will also let residents know which of their suggestions are eligible to be funded by a block grant and which ones aren't, Jenkins says.
"We cannot pay for administrative staff or fund a position," Jenkins says. " We can do park improvements or sidewalk improvements."
Past improvements in the Parkridge neighborhood have included "clean and green" projects like removing dead or dangerous trees from homeowners' properties or helping homeowners install new fencing, Jenkins says. She says the block grant is a way to "leverage funding for city infrastructure."
More information is available at the Facebook event page.
Sarah Rigg is a freelance writer and editor in Ypsilanti Township and the project manager of On the Ground Ypsilanti. She joined Concentrate as a news writer in early 2017 and is an occasional contributor to other Issue Media Group publications. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.