In early September, Canopy South met with student interns from the Siembra Nebraska program through the Latino Center of the Midlands. After a brief introduction to Canopy South, students hit the pavement for a Block Talk. We discussed a park building, a vacant lot, and a garden lot where they had been working throughout the summer. Students were also asked to take notes on what they liked about each space, what was needed, and what they would like to see in the future.

During the Block Talk, some students took the initiative to gather feedback from parkgoers to include with their own ideas. The students and residents desired a community gathering space near the park. Some posed the potential for a community center, while others suggested extending the park and adding more gardens and art. When asked what she would like to see most, one student commented, “I’m not sure, but I just want the place to have a chill vibe.” The same sentiment was echoed throughout the group, with a clear priority for having an inviting atmosphere where all are welcome to enjoy the space.

After gathering their thoughts and experiencing each place in person, students returned to the Kroc Center classroom to vision and vote. After a close race of favorites, the students came to a consensus on what they would like to see most in the neighborhood – a pool, an open market, and flower gardens. With our goal to create inclusive neighborhoods for every age and life stage, learning from the Siembra students was invaluable.

The Siembra Nebraska Report can be found here.