As part of the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, the Louisville Metro Housing Authority (LMHA) received $1,000,000 from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to implement “Action Activities” in Russell – physical projects that will spur additional community improvement and economic development in the neighborhood. Louisville Metro Government is contributing an additional $375,000 towards these Action Activities. HUD has provided clear guidelines for how Action Activity funding can be spent.
Per HUD’s guidelines, projects must:
- Support Russell’s Transformation Plan and be completed during 2017
- Be physical improvements (funds cannot be used for services or programs).
- Support existing investment in the neighborhood and encourage future development.
- Receive final approval from HUD before being funded.
The Center for Neighborhoods partnered with alumni of the Russell Neighborhood Institute and Beecher Terrace residents in fall, 2016 to conduct a neighborhood-wide polling process with Russell residents. The polling helped to identify the highest priorities among residents for neighborhood improvements. Nearly 160 residents from across the neighborhood participated in the poll via open houses, online surveys, and street level canvassing. Participants included all age groups and residents from across Russell – 32nd Street to 9th Street, West Broadway to Market Street. Residents were clear in their desire to see vacant lots improved through Action Grant funds. Neighborhood park upgrades, and high-quality bus stop shelters and amenities were also top priorities among poll participants. This input from Russell residents, along with HUD eligibility guidelines, and the goals and strategies outlined in the Vision Russell Transformation Plan, helped shape the “Call for Action 2017,” which closed 11/22/16.
Action Activities to take place in 2017
Why do we need to repurpose vacant lots?
Vacant lots provide an opportunity for residents to see eyesores transformed into community assets. Often, the difference between an empty lot and a thriving lot is a little bit of funding and a great idea! Whether it’s a pocket park, a community garden, a farmer’s market, or something with an innovative twist…many ideas can be turned into reality. Vacant lots are sometimes owned by the government, but are more frequently owned by individuals, churches, companies, or community groups.
How can I be involved?
We will need volunteers to help turn vision into reality. If you’re interested in helping, please check back here or contact us via email at Action2017@lmha1.org or by phone at 502-569-3443 to be placed on the mailing list for future communication.
We received many great ideas and proposals for the repurposing of vacant lots in and around the Action Activities focus area. Final vacant lot projects were selected in April, 2017. Please see final projects ideas that were selected on the above map.
Why Park Improvements?
Because of its proximity to Roosevelt-Perry Elementary School, the planned miniature golf course next to the Urban League at 1535 W. Broadway, and the new YMCA planned at 18th and Broadway, Sheppard Park is uniquely positioned to become a destination draw to Russell. The aging park is currently used for gatherings, exercise and play by community groups, schools, as well as individuals and families who have voiced that the park needs updating to continue to meet the needs of all its visitors. Early estimates have shown that it will take approximately $600,000 to make the park a truly unique and valuable neighborhood asset.
How can I be involved?
Sheppard Park Improvements will need volunteers to help with clean-up and other activities associated with the improvements. If you’re interested in helping, please check back here or contact us via email at Action2017@lmha1.org or by phone at 502-569-3443 to be placed on the mailing list for future communication.
When will I be able to visit the improved Sheppard Park?
Sheppard Park’s new sprayground and restroom facility will be under construction from fall, 2017 until Spring, 2018. We will have a community celebration in late spring when the sprayground will be open and running for the public to enjoy.
Why SmART Stop Bus Shelters?
Vision Russell community input showed strong support for shelter, lighting, and safety at bus stops. Bus shelters serve many purposes – bus route information, shade and shelter from the weather, and a place to sit. There will be 6 artistic bus shelters, “SmART Stops”, constructed in the Russell neighborhood by spring, 2018. See the above map for locations where you will see a SmART Stop shelters be constructed in the coming months.
Four railway overpasses between 13th and 15th Street will be transformed with murals to enhance the Russell neighborhood’s eastern entry points.
Why do gateways matter?
Gateways, such as railroad underpasses and corridors, signal to residents and visitors alike that they have entered the Russell neighborhood. These gateways also provide an opportunity to showcase the neighborhood’s character and culture through art and beautification.
How can I be involved?
Selected gateway mural artists will be engaging the community as they create their designs. Keep an eye out for announcements describing how you can be involved in the community engagement process with the artists!