Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fountain Park Partnership

Those interested in historic city neighborhoods have treasures awaiting them in Lewis Place, Fountain Park, and Academy/Sherman Park on the city's north side. The three neighborhoods are a short distance from the Central West End and Forest Park, straddling Kingshighway between Delmar and Dr. Martin Luther King and Union and Newstead. The neighborhoods retain much of their original building stock and have many unique structures.

Among them are the old street car rights of way including the Hodiamont Track and another to the north near Newberry Terrace and Kensington Avenue whose name I am still researching to learn. Some of the neighborhood's historic buildings were designed to hug the curving rights of way for the old street cars. Seeing the relationship between the buildings and the old rail lines conjures images of what St. Louis life was like during the street car days.

While these neighborhoods offer much to appreciate for their architecture, there are also opportunities for people across St. Louis to get involved to help strengthen these communities, and that is what this post is about.

First is National Night Out on August 4th, next Tuesday, beginning at 5:00 PM. From the neighborhood association's press release:

Neighbors of Fountain Park Association Will Celebrate National Night Out 2009 In Fountain Park

National Night Out (NNO) is a unique community event, celebrated in the United States and Canada, that focuses on prevention of crime and drug activity, and is held the first Tuesday of August every year. This year, NNO falls on August 4th.

NATIONAL NIGHT OUT is designed to:

Heighten community awareness of crime and drug prevention.
Generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs.
Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships.
Send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
Promote emergency preparedness awareness.

This year Neighbors of Fountain Park Association has partnered with other neighborhood associations and faith based groups to join in a peace walk through the community. The participants will assemble at the Fountain at 5:00 PM and return to the park for refreshment and an evening of fun and socializing.

For more information, contact Clint Potts, Neighbors of Fountain Park Association at (314)443-4081

The second opportunity is a back to school event. There are a lot of school-aged young people living in these neighborhoods.

Back to School Celebration

On Saturday, August 22nd, from 11:00 AM till 3:00 PM, neighbors will meet again in Fountain Park for a Back to School Celebration.

Centennial Christian Church with other community partners are sponsoring a fun day at Fountain Park open to all school-aged city kids to help them get off to a good start to the upcoming school year. There will be raffles for free bicycles, music, and backpacks filled with school supplies.

Last year the effort provided five free bicycles and over 200 backpacks. The tradition is continuing this year and donations of time, funds, and bikes or school supplies are welcomed. Contact person for this event is also Mr. Clint Potts, telephone number (314) 443-4081.

I have attended two of the organizing meetings for these events and can attest that this project is a community-driven effort. The first meeting had roughly ten attendees and last night's meeting had more than that. If you are interested in helping out, please phone Clint Potts at the number above or contact me directly on (314) 605-5811 and I will provide you with further details. Thanks.

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