In honor of our 125th Anniversary, we will be using our newsletter to highlight 125 projects or initiatives that use civic capital to solve problems and build equitable, thriving communities. These cities have been recognized for engaging community members in collaborative efforts to improve education, health care, economic prosperity and the general quality of life. Today, examples 111-120:
- Gothenburg, NE- A series of community focus groups identified an overwhelming need for expanded wellness and recreation opportunities in Gothenburg. The entire community came together to raise money and establish the necessary partnerships for the construction of a new YMCA.
- Rock Hill, SC- Rock Hill has worked with special needs populations to offer specialized programming – however they have never had a dedicated facility specifically designed to meet their needs. Through a collaborative effort with community partners, the city is building Miracle Park, this all-inclusive park will give residents with all different abilities an opportunity to play and work locally.
- Wichita, KS- A handful of community leaders convened to discuss returning a run-down park to its glory days. The plan focused on reintroducing inner-city youth to baseball. Community leaders organized as a non-profit, established a board of directors, recruited volunteers, and formed League 42, named after baseball legend Jackie Robinson, who wore the number 42.
- Dubuque, IA- To combat a rising obesity rate, and to develop a collective impact model to increase healthy food access, the Dubuque Eats Well (DEW) coalition was formed and has since implemented several healthy food initiatives.
- Lancaster, TX- To address health disparities revealed in a Best Southwest Partnership study, the City of Lancaster is participating in the It’s Time Texas Community Challenge.
- Rancho Cordova, CA- Housing to support the unique needs of homeless and disabled veterans was virtually non-existent in Rancho Cordova At least that was the case before the opening of Rancho Cordova’s Mather Veterans Village (MVV), where new, permanent supportive and transitional housing for more than 150 homeless and disabled veterans became a place for vets to call home.
- Pasco, WA- New Horizons is an Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)/Trauma informed school. Many of the New Horizons 270+ students have encountered life events that make the traditional high school model challenging. Staff is intentional about how it can remove barriers for students, including childcare, food, and health education.
- San Antonio, TX- San Antonio has introduced a new initiative to engage immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. The Immigration Community Liaison is committed to strengthening coordination and connection to services for the immigrant community.
- Clinton, NC- Crime in the neighborhoods surrounding the James L. Newkirk Park was escalating, and the park became the hub of criminal activity. Citizens didn’t feel safe leaving their homes or using the neighborhood park. Local resident Nettie Pernell and neighbors formed the Newkirk Park Advisory Committee (NPAC) and went to work taking back their neighborhood.
- Doral, FL- “Step Up Your Health, Doral!” was created as part of the Mayor’s Wellness Initiative to encourage the community to get healthier together.