Eastside Neighborhood

Upcoming opportunities for Kalamazoo Eastside residents to be in the know

The Kalamazoo Eastside Neighborhood Association is hosting two meetings in March and April to assist Eastside residents and help them stay informed about neighborhood happenings, neighborhood health, and water line replacement. 

The first meeting, an Eastside Network (ENet) Resident Meeting, will take place 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thurs., March 21 in the lower level of KENA, 1301 E. Main. Representatives from Bronson Methodist Hospital will be conducting a neighborhood health assessment, followed by an ENet overview of 2018 Eastside happenings, such as the renovation of Rockwell Park, and an overview of upcoming neighborhood events, including the Eastside Voices project.

Eastside resident turnout at meetings is vital to the neighborhood, says Taylor. “It’s important for people to come so they can get involved and so they can share whatever concerns or aspirations they have for the neighborhood.” Just as importantly, Taylor adds, “This gives residents a chance to participate.”

The Health Assessment, part of a federally-funded project conducted every three years at neighborhood associations, social service agencies, and homeless shelters, is a survey that seeks to understand health needs in the city. The more residents who participate, the more likely specific health needs will be addressed. “That’s the goal,” says Taylor.

“This is the opportunity to get a true picture to get an idea of the health needs of our community,” says Taylor. “I’m really happy and excited that these organizations are working together to make this happen.”

The Kalamazoo Eastside Neighborhood AssociationOn Tuesday, April 9, KENA’s scheduled board and Neighborhood Watch meeting will be moved ahead from 6 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and will take place in Father Bart Hall at St. Mary Catholic Church, 939 Charlotte Ave. It will be followed by a Town Hall Meeting, conducted by James Baker, Kalamazoo’s Deputy Public Services Director, to address upcoming plans for the replacement of water lines.

“Shortly after the Flint water crisis, the city started assessing the pipes, only to find out that some are quite old and in need of replacement,” says Taylor. “The Town Hall is to explain which water lines will be replaced and address any questions or concerns.”

KENA and ENet are both looking for residents to participate in upcoming neighborhood improvement projects. KENA is also welcoming those who may be interested in becoming new board members. 

And it’s not all business for Eastside residents. As a neighborhood fundraiser, KENA is partnering with the Kalamazoo Growlers on Sunday, June 9 to sell tickets to benefit the Eastside. Tickets for the fundraiser are available for a variety of prices, starting at $10, which includes a hat. They can be purchased here. (Use the promo code Eastside) 

A portion of every fundraising ticket sold for the game will go to KENA, as will money collected during a Miracle Minute collection and a 50/50 raffle. 

Taylor and KENA board members are hoping for a good turnout for the meetings, as well as the ballgame.

“Both meetings are important and impact the neighborhood directly, as well as the community overall,” says Taylor. “Residents can get involved and can share whatever concerns or aspirations they have for their neighborhood.”

For more information, please call Pat Taylor at 269-381-0700 or see the KENA website.

Read more articles by Theresa Coty O'Neil.

Theresa Coty O’Neil is a freelance writer, editor, and writing teacher with over two decades of covering people, places, and events in the Kalamazoo community. She is the Project Editor of On the Ground Kalamazoo.