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Neighborhood Revitalization
  

· West Side Park Three-Phase Redevelopment Plan
· West Side Park Community Technology Network
· One Block Over: A Multimedia Project of the West Side Park Community
· West Side Park Youth Council
· Newark Neighborhood Youth Leaders in Technology Project




West Side Park Three-Phase Redevelopment Plan
Partners: Center for Urban Policy Research (CUPR), Spring 2000 Department of Urban Planning and Policy Development Community Development Studio, West Side Park Conservancy/Friends of West Side Park, Newark Empowerment Council (NEC), Essex County Parks Department, GameTime Playground Design Firm

Project Overview

(Click Picture To Enlarge)

The Spring 2000 Community Development Studio of the Department of Urban Planning and Policy Development developed a three phase plan to revitalize the 31 acre Olmsted designed park in the heart of the West Side Park neighborhood. Community organizations seeking to revitalize the park secured $750,000 in grant money from the State of New Jersey and Essex County to revitalize the park. Community partners asked that the studio work with the community to develop a plan to spend those funds that included the construction of a playground and tot lot. To identify community issues, concerns, and priorities, the studio, in cooperation with the NEC and West Side Park Conservancy/Friends of West Side Park, organized five community-planning meetings to engage community organization leaders and community residents. More than 200 neighborhood residents participated in these discussions.

The studio presented a slide-show of the plan including tot lot and playground designs, recommendations for improving the park, 3-D maps of the projected park renovations, and recommendations for strengthening the West Side Park Conservancy, to community residents, community organization leaders, Essex County Parks Department officials, and the Essex County Sheriff's Department. Copies of the report and a CD-ROM, which includes more than 200 pictures showing the extensive use of the park by community groups, community residents, and high school sports teams as well as the decrepit condition of a variety of park structures including bathrooms, stairs, ball fields, and handrails, were provided to community actors, park officials, elected officials, and the county sheriff's office. The community is now waiting for the Essex County Parks Department to conduct and complete a study of the entire Essex County Parks System before any improvements are made to West Side Park.

West Side Park Three Phase Revitalization Plan (.PDF | Slide Show | 3D Models)

For more information about West Side Park please contact:

West Side Park Conservancy/Friends of West Side Park.
Sheila Pitts, President (973-242-2394)
Judy Favors, Vice President (973-374-5252)




West Side Park Community Technology Network
Partners: Center for Urban Policy Research (CUPR), Corinthian Housing Development Corporation, International Youth Organization (IYO), United Community Corporation (UCC), Salvation Army

RCOPC has assisted four West Side Park community organizations--Corinthian Housing Development Corporation, International Youth Organization, United Community Corporation, and the Salvation Army to create computer-training centers. The centers provide training for school-age children, young adults, and senior citizens. In addition to providing open time for community residents to access computers, the centers also offer a variety of classes on web site development, internet use, Microsoft Office 2000, multimedia Black history, and newsletter layout. The Salvation Army uses its computer lab as part of its after school program. RCOPC provided technical assistance to facilitate start-up of the individual centers and the development of a common curriculum, and is currently providing technical assistance to facilitate the development of a strategic plan and computer center collaborative. RCOPC supports a graduate student who provides ongoing technical assistance to the centers and has developed a pamphlet to advertise the labs at Corinthian Housing Development Corporation and the Salvation Army.

For more information, to get a brochure with class listings at the Salvation Army or Corinthian HDC, or to register for a specific course, contact: 973-624-0111 / 973-375-5933 or http://www.corinthianhouse.org.




One Block Over: A Multimedia Project of the West Side Park Community
http://www.ncfc.rutgers.edu/wsp.html
Partners: Newark Center for Families and Communities (NCFC), New Community Corporation (NCC), Neighborhood Empowerment Council (NEC)

Sponsored by the Newark Center for Families and Communities (NCFC), neighborhood youth worked with college mentors to publish One Block Over. One Block Over used multimedia technology as a means for interaction between elementary, high school, and college students as well as parents, teachers, and community leaders. The project had three main objectives: to promote a better understanding of technology, to promote literacy through writing; and to engage youth in identifying and analyzing issues that affect their community.

Student teams of elementary and high school students and college mentors explored their neighborhoods with digital cameras and video equipment. They conducted interviews with community leaders and recorded their own impressions and experiences. Students presented their findings using a multi-media approach: a website (www.ncfc.rutgers.edu/wsp.html) documented their progress throughout the project and a full-color publication outlined their findings. On June 13, 2000, students shared their experiences and ideas with more than 100 residents and community leaders at a publication party hosted by NCFC, the New Community Corporation, and the Neighborhood Empowerment Council.

One Block Over (.PDF) (coming soon!)




West Side Park Youth Council
Partners: Newark Center for Families and Communities (NCFC), International Youth Organization (IYO)

Rutgers NCFC hosted a Youth Leadership Development Training Conference on Friday November 12, 1999. The Youth Conference provided an opportunity for West Side Park youth to explore the Rutgers campus and talk with faculty members and students to discuss educational opportunities available at Rutgers and other universities. Youth toured Newark with Dr. Clement Price, a Rutgers Professor and Newark historian, and they met with Newark's elected officials including Mayor Sharpe James, City Council member Cory Booker, and New Jersey State Assemblywoman Nia Gill.

One of the intentions of the Training Conference was to facilitate the creation of a Youth Leadership Council to guide future redevelopment efforts in West Side Park. The Youth Council was created and three NCFC Community Scholars are working with the Youth Council on a number of activities centered in the park, including the creation of a tennis clinic, several park cleanups, and an ambitious plan to renovate the flagpole in the center of the park. The West Side Park Youth Leadership Council provided feedback to the West Side Park park planning project conducted by the Spring 2000 Community Development Studio.

Neighborhood Youth and Young Adult Council NYYAC Planning Manual (.PDF)




Newark Neighborhood Youth Leaders in Technology Project
Partners: Center for Urban Policy Research (CUPR), Newark Center for Families and Communities (NCFC), International Youth Organization (IYO)

CUPR, NCFC, and IYO collaborated to obtain a $125,000 grant from the Lucent Technologies Foundation to fund the Newark Neighborhood Youth Leaders in Technology Project. The grant funds an innovative work-based learning project to impart technological and leadership skills to 50 high school juniors and seniors who reside in the West Side Park community.

CUPR will recruit and support a program coordinator. NCFC will offer its successful multimedia project, One Block Over, to program participants, and will provide 25 Rutgers college students to mentor participants. Participants will receive computer-aided instruction focusing on upgrading math, science, and computer skills. Participants will also form part of the West Side Park Youth Leadership Council and will undertake community service projects. IYO staff will provide training in employability skills, drawing from its 30-year expertise in this area. Networks will be created with area employers such as Lucent Technologies, Prudential Insurance, and Continental Airlines to provide internship possibilities and exposure to the business world. Youth will also have an opportunity to serve as tutors and mentors to 8-12 year olds in the community.



  



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