Freed Maxick, a local top 100 CPA firm, has graciously featured us on their blog. Check it out!
Monday, November 12, 2012
Monday, November 5, 2012
Niagara Hub has written an article about one of our programs: the Greenprint Niagara project, and their grant application. Read on for more info!
Project will convert downtown vacant lot into living classroom
The City of Niagara Falls and Greenprint Niagara, Inc. have partnered to submit a $25,000 grant application to the United States Conference of Mayors 2013 Gardens and Green Spaces Program. No matching City funds will be required if the grant is awarded. The application was submitted on October 26, 2012.
The project will convert a city owned vacant lot at 561 Third Street into a community greenspace with native plantings, a wireless internet hot-spot, and educational features to connect visitors to the region’s history and impressive natural resources. The site was selected because of its close proximity to the Niagara Gorge, the Third Street District, and the Niagara Aquarium. Pioneer Park will help draw visitors further into the City, give local educators another option for field trips, and provide a unique urban greenspace for all residents. It will also help stabilize the surrounding residential area. As a youth-focused space, Pioneer Park will help prevent sex offenders from being warehoused in the Park Place neighborhood. It will carry the same designation as a playground.
“My administration is committed to neighborhood stabilization, showcasing our natural resources, and community partnerships. The Pioneer Park Project brings all of those elements together, at zero taxpayer expense,” said Mayor Paul Dyster. “Tactical urban investments make a difference. We will continue to build momentum, and secure grant funding, to improve the downtown residential and commercial district. People around the country are talking about our approach. Pioneer Park, and continuing to work with Greenprint Niagara, Inc., and our partners, are more steps in the right direction.”
The United States Conference of Mayors grant application was supported by a wide-range of stakeholders including: Mayor Paul Dyster, Greenprint Niagara, Inc., Senator Charles Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, the New York State Office of Parks and Historic Preservation, Niagara County Legislator Jason Zona, Niagara Falls City Councilwoman Kristen Grandinetti, the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County, the Niagara Falls City School District, the Niagara Beautification Commission, the Niagara Falls Block Club Council, Niagara University: ReNU Niagara, the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center, Niagara Falls Community Development, the Downtown Niagara Falls Business Association, the Isaiah 61 Project, and the Niagara Aquarium.
Niagara Beautification Commission to Team Up with Greenprint Niagara for City-Wide Tree Planting Project
The Niagara Beautification Commission (NBC), an organization that promotes the beautification of the Niagara Falls area by mobilizing volunteer resources, is teaming up with a newly created organization, Greenprint Niagara, to plant trees from NBC's Tree Nursery in different spaces throughout the city.
The project will focus on planting trees in several areas of the city. Anyone interested in volunteering on November 10th should contact 205-0287 for details.
Both the Niagara beautification Commission and Greenprint Niagara have missions geared towards eliminating blight and beautifying the City of Niagara Falls.
What: Veterans Day Tree Planting project
Who: Niagara beautification Commission in partnership with Greenprint Niagara
When: Veterans Day Weekend; Saturday November 10th starting at 8:30am
Where: City-wide; starting at the NBC Tree Nursery, located just off Robbins Dr. next to the City of Niagara Falls garage at 8:30am
Contact: Tom Lowe (716) 205-0287 / GreenprintNF@gmail.com
Monday, October 29, 2012
Today we feature Angela Santiago, theme specialist, at Kalfas Magnet School, as part of our "Meet the Partners" series.
As summer comes to an end and fall begins, what would you say was the highlight of the summer for you?
The highlight of the summer is watching local youth groups come to the garden to tend to it. When I see youth becoming actively involved in the community, I become hopeful for your community’s future.
What is your favorite thing about the City of Niagara Falls, NY?
My favorite thing about Niagara Falls is its commitment to revitalization. It is projects like the garden that will work towards building and sustaining our city.
Tell us a little about where you work. What does your organization do?
I am a Teacher on Special Assignment for the Niagara Falls City School District. I am currently assigned to Henry J Kalfas Magnet School as its Theme Specialist. As a Theme Specialist I am responsible for implementing our school-wide theme through student programming and school events. I also oversee
community projects such as the Highland Avenue Community Garden and assist teachers with curriculum.
Do you have any current or upcoming projects you’d like to share?
Currently, we are implementing our live, daily news broadcast: WKMN-Kalfas Magnet News. Each morning, students participate by writing scripts and working the camera while creating standards-based segments. We also have a student-led newspaper that publishes 3 times a year. It is written, edited and published solely by students.
On Wednesday, October 31, we will have our annual Harvest Festival. Instead of traditional Halloween festivities, our school participates in fall/harvest, standards-based activities. This year, we are pleased to be working with Re-Nu Niagara, Allied Waste and Cornell Cooperative Extension to design and facilitate this activity.
Friday, October 5, 2012
It’s been another great AmeriCorps season at the ReNU office!
This summer, ReNU was fortunate enough to be awarded four service members from three different programs through The Service Collaborative of Western New York (formerly WNY AmeriCorps). If you are not familiar with The Service Collaborative, we encourage you to check out their website to see some of the great work they do. ReNU has been a host site for AmeriCorps/Service Collaborative members since 2006, hosting VISTA service members for four years, and then branching out to explore the other programs that the organization had to offer.
Each of our 2012 members brought their own skill sets, their own personalities, and their own passions to the table to create a great team of program staff.
Emily started with ReNU Niagara on May 21, 2012 as an ABLE (AmeriCorps Builds Lives through Education) member serving 10 weeks in our office. She came to us from Seneca, South Carolina where she recently graduated from Clemson University. Her charge at ReNU was to assist in the planning and facilitation of the GreenRoots Leadership Development Program for both youth and adult tracks of the program. She brought a great energy and passion for education to the office, as well as a little bit of southern charm. During her time here she worked with the youth to design a festival that would encourage other youth to get off the couch and go outside, getting them to be more active. She also worked to plan and pull off a film viewing event as a way to recruit residents for the adult track of the program. Always willing to do more than was required, Emily was a huge asset to the office this summer and we wish her the best of luck with her graduate studies at the University of Kentucky!
John Newcomb – Summer VISTA Member
John was a little more local than Emily, as he was attending Buffalo State College and was looking for a productive way to spend his summer off. John’s tasks at the ReNU office included the management of two garden spaces: the Highland Community Vegetable Garden and the Niagara University Campus Garden. He was responsible for daily management of the garden spaces, which included: identifying and coordinating youth groups to assist with garden maintenance (watering, weeding, harvesting, etc.), working with community partners to plan garden/nutrition workshops for the Highland community, and many other tasks related to community gardening. In addition, John was always willing to provide an extra set of hands to his fellow AmeriCorps colleagues. John brought a great amount of professionalism and personality to the office this summer, and we wish him nothing but the best.
Dennis was one of two ServiceCorps members who filled the role one of our Vacant Lot Coordinator positions. His main focus for his six-months with ReNU was on outreach and how to engage residents and organizations in participating in the newly formed Greenprint Niagara vacant lot coalition/initiative. In addition, Dennis provided support to his fellow ServiceCorps and AmeriCorps members, assisting with the Highland Community Vegetable Garden as well as the Walnut Avenue Kitchen Gardens that were developed by a ReNU partner. An avid volunteer with the Boy Scouts, the Magdalene Project and several other worthy causes, Dennis brought great value to the ReNU staff this summer as a long-time resident of the area. Dennis has already been told that we look forward to his future involvement in ReNU and Greenprint projects, and we hope he does as well.
Natalie also spent her service as one of ReNU’s Vacant Lot Coordinators. Her specific area of focus was more on policy and planning, where she utilized her background as a Graduate of the Masters in Urban Planning program at the University of Buffalo. Natalie has been instrumental in the beginning stages of the strategic planning process for Greenprint Niagara, has provided great support to the Highland Community Vegetable Garden, and assisted with the maintenance of the community garden located at the Presti Apartments/Neighborhood Housing Services. Most visibly, though, Natalie has helped to develop and expand ReNU’s social media presence; setting up our the blog you are reading this post on, as well as the ReNU Facebook page that just recently broke 100 ‘likes’. She has never shied away from taking on additional tasks, has always managed to keep herself busy and productive, and has truly been influential in setting the stage for Greenprint Niagara to succeed.
In all, ReNU benefited immensely from the work this extremely effective program team was able to accomplish this summer. We see nothing but great things coming from whatever future endeavors they pursue. We wish all of them nothing but the best. But, most importantly, we would like to extend our deepest gratitude for the commitment to service and to the Niagara Falls community that they have shown during their time with ReNU.