West Ward Services
CACLV’s approach to neighborhood revitalization in Easton’s West Ward is informed, shaped, and guided by the community, where the people who will reap the benefits of a well-executed plan live. Easton’s West Ward Neighborhood Partnership (WWNP) was created in 2005 after a Ten Year Neighborhood Revitalization Plan was developed from interviews, surveys, and community meetings involving West Ward residents of all ages. Easton Hospital and Lafayette Ambassador Bank made 10-year funding commitments at $1,000,000 each, supported by tax credits from Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). WWNP also became the City of Easton’s Elm St. Program, with funding through DCED. A Steering Committee, consisting of community leaders, educators, and neighborhood residents and business people was formed.
The West Ward, bounded by the Lehigh River to the south, the Bushkill Creek to the north, 16th Street to the west and 6th Street to the east, has a variety of needs which were identified in the Plan.
- The Façade Grant Program offers grants of up to $5,000 to help West Ward residents improve the appearance and safety of the facades of their homes.
- The Walkable Neighborhood/Safe Sidewalk Program offers up to $2,000 to West Ward homeowners who need new sidewalks in front of their homes. Old stumps may also be removed and trees planted.
- The Business Signage Program offers $1,000 in matching grants to West Ward business owners to assist them in upgrading or purchasing new signs for their businesses.
- The Youth Mosaics and Murals Program involve low-income youth in the creation of large outdoor neighborhood artworks, under the supervision of professional community artists.
The West Ward-Northampton Street Gateway and Streetscape Improvements Project, funded by a Hometown Streets Grant from PennDOT, will provide streetscape enhancements to the 600 block of Northampton Street, the main gateway to downtown Easton from the West Ward, to calm traffic, beautify the area, install traffic lights, improve pedestrian safety, and encourage investment. (See Express-Times video)
- The Youth Activities Coordinator position is funded in partnership with the United Way and administered by the Boys and Girls Club of Easton. The new West Ward Youth Activities program, “The Club” is based at 1100 Northampton St. and welcomes West Ward youth ages 12-18 in a program that coordinates existing neighborhood resources in the arts, recreation, and sports, and adds new activities where they do not exist. The program also works closely with the Easton Area School District.
For further information on the program, contact Boys and Girls Club Executive Director Dean Young at 610-253-5846, (f) 610-253-6041. You can also email the Center at email@example.com
- The Rising Tide Community Loan Fund, a CACLV subsidiary, makes micro-loans available to low-and moderate-income entrepreneurs and offers ongoing technical support that will help them to launch and expand their small businesses.
Call Chris Hudock, Project Director of The Rising Tide, for an appointment, at 484-893-1039. For more information, visit: www.therisingtide.org.
- Through a collaboration between the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley (CACLV) and Lafayette College, the West Ward Neighborhood Partnership (WWNP), a program of CACLV, working with the residents of the West Ward, seeks to embark upon an exciting new Urban Ecology Project. This project will be completely in keeping with the principles and objectives of the existing Ten Year Strategic Neighborhood Revitalization Plan, which is already in place for the West Ward.
The WWNP’s Urban Ecology Project seeks to assure a balance of the community’s urban ecology—the function and interaction of natural resources and systems that sustain an urban community—by advancing such things as affordable housing, citizen participation, cultural diversity, economic vitality, educational achievement, employment opportunity, energy efficiency, environmental health, generational interdependence, historic preservation and public policy, with practical, innovative, and sustainable methods.
The goal is to forge a creative, healthful, and connected community through programs that support children and families, affordable housing and counseling, neighborhood building, and economic development for low- and moderate-income residents. In doing so, the West Ward neighborhood will establish the Two Rivers Area of the Delaware River Watershed—located at the confluence of the Delaware River and the Lehigh River and encompassing Easton, Pennsylvania, and surrounding communities—as a leader in urban ecology for cities with populations under 250,000, especially Pennsylvania Elm Street communities, and to open regional, national, and international dialogues and exchanges.
This project received major funding for the next four years from the Wachovia Regional Foundation. The first grant year started in July 2008. We welcome your participation in the revitalization of the West Ward. To speak with a WWNP staff person about any of our programs, or to share concerns, issues or ideas, please contact us.