Vision Russell seeking ideas for community improvements in Russell

November 1, 2016

This summer, the Vision Russell team, a community-based partnership led by the Louisville Metro Housing Authority and Louisville Metro Government, was awarded a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development which, along with $375,000 in matching funds from Louisville Metro Government, will be used for “action activities” that will help begin to make visible changes in the Russell neighborhood. Now, the community’s help is needed to decide what to do with the grant funds.

Ideal projects are those that are community inspired, can be implemented within one year and will be sustainable over the long-term. Funds are eligible to be spent in the area bounded by 18th Street to the west, Broadway to the south, 13th Street to the east and Cedar Street to the north.

Based on community feedback during the Vision Russell neighborhood planning process as well as neighborhood polling conducted in late September, the “action activities” will be focused on repurposing vacant lots, improving Sheppard Park, transforming bus stops and enhancing neighborhood gateways. 

Whether it’s a pocket park, a community garden, a farmer’s market, or something with an innovative twist—many ideas can become a reality on a vacant lot. Vacant lots may be owned by the government or by individuals, churches, companies, or community groups. The publicly-owned lots for which ideas should be submitted are located at 510, 533, 634 and 636 S 18th Streets.

Sheppard Park is bounded by Magazine, 16th, and 17th Streets and Plymouth Court and within a few blocks of an elementary school and churches. The Vision Russell team is looking for community ideas on how the park can be improved and enjoyed by everyone in the neighborhood.

Vision Russell community input showed strong support for shelter, lighting, and safety improvements at the more than a dozen bus stops in the focus area. Bus stops serve many purposes – bus route information, shade and shelter from weather and a place to sit. Community members are invited to imagine creative or artistic ways to enhance the bus stops with interactive options, comfort, and expression.

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. Particular gateways are located along the railroad corridor between 13th and 15th Streets.

Vision Russell will prioritize project proposals that can be completed by December 2017. The strongest ideas will ensure that the project remain active and benefit the entire community for years to come.

Submissions are welcome from students, church groups, engineers, artists, business owners, neighborhood associations or any other person or group inside and outside the Russell neighborhood.

Proposals and ideas should be sent by November 15. Please e-mail ideas to [email protected] or mail them to 420 S. 8th Street 40203. Mailed items should have ATTN: Action 2017 listed. If you are interested in volunteering for future efforts to execute action activity plans, you may use the contact information listed above and may also call (502) 569-3443.

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