Thursday, September 12, 2013

Main Street Initiatives - September Connections Article

On every Main Street. These are more than just words to us, they represent who we are and what we do,  as proven by our most recent round of Main Street Lehigh Valley (MSLV) grant projects:

Our four cities are the hub of the Lehigh Valley, and by funding projects in their neighborhoods we are making a difference one small project at a time - projects that encourage community bonding or tourism - many achieve both. Grants were awarded in the cities of Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton and Phillipsburg to civic groups for events with tourism appeal  and accompanying site furnishings at event locations; downtown cleanliness and sidewalk flower bed plantings; way-finding, identity, and historic house signage; alleyway string lighting; holiday d├ęcor; and a restaurant guide.

Alburtis is touting their history, their story, by applying for National Historic District designation, and the Foundation is helping them on this path by helping to fund a professional architectural property inventory. Thousands of people attend the Walnutport Canal Festival, an educational celebration of history and heritage; we are now a contributor towards this tradition. We are part of preserving this history.

Coopersburg and Bath previously received MSLV money to fund aesthetic enhancements in their towns. Coopersburg is replacing decade old street banners and Bath is  pursuing the purchase of 3 illuminated American flags in the downtown. Coplay is eagerly anticipating both welcome signs and pole banners this year. A series of eight signs will be installed along Fogelsville’s business corridor to create identity and consistency in a rapidly expanding area. We are part of these high quality visual enhancements, where a little change goes a long way.

We are thrilled to support billboard advertising for Nazareth area library’s “touch a truck” event, a family friendly and educational opportunity for kids that is also  a fundraiser for the library. Emmaus needs financial support in marketing their businesses, as does Forks Township and the Foundation is stepping in to help.

Hellertown benefitted from MSLV funds last year to help construct the band-shell at Dimmick Park. This year, they are investing in the restoration of an historic fountain at Authority Park.

Slatington is pursuing the finishing touches on their Memorial Park, established in 2010.

Northampton plans to purchase a gazebo to be their centerpiece for a new park uptown that will be built on a borough vacant lot. We are part of this enhancement and maintenance of recreational assets.

Bangor Heritage Mural number two is in the works – a follow up to the renowned first mural featuring real people and real places. Catasauqua is following in the success of Bangor – with the installation of their own community-driven mural. Pen Argyl is promoting last year’s MSLV project with a film on their Wisdom Walk: an inspiring, painted sidewalk trail through the business district. We are part of learning and being healthy through art.

Macungie created a $50,000 Streetscape Plan several years ago and they are now ready to take it to the next level; but first, they need a re-evaluation of the proposed improvements. Fountain Hill is making updates to a decade old plan for Stanley Avenue recreation area, which will bring the plan from to completion. The chamber is part of this project for which improves quality of life.

We ARE on every Main Street and these projects are our legacy – join us in making Main Street Lehigh Valley great. 

Anne Baum, Capital BlueCross
Chair, The Chamber Foundation

Buddy Lesavoy, Lesavoy Butz & Seitz, LLC, Co Chair

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