On a beautiful, overcast Sunday in October, over 350 guests joined the CNP Steering Committee and Engagement Team for a kick-off celebration at Upland Park. Residents had the opportunity to learn more about the Choice Neighborhood Planning + Action grant and begin sharing their ideas for neighborhood transformation.

Food trucks lined the north side of the park with a wide variety of free options. Live music and guest speakers filled the air, while children enjoyed playing games and jumping in inflatable bounce houses.

“It was moving to see the community come together and celebrate the future, you could feel the hope and excitement for all the possibilities ahead. – César García, Executive Director for Canopy South

Residents were asked to share their thoughts about the neighborhood through surveys and question boards placed throughout the event. When asked to rate their neighborhood, the majority of guests responded “good” or “great,” while indicating they would also like to see an increase in safety and reduction of crime in the area. We also learned more youth programming, park amenities, and affordable housing were top priorities.

Canopy South and its partners were energized by a community coming together, sharing their vision for the future. Our mission has been further motivated by the comments we heard, such as, “I have hope,” and “the best is yet to come.” We are just getting started but are looking forward to what comes next.

The Southside Celebration Report can be found here.