Residents of Delaware’s historic Northwest Neighborhood are kicking off efforts to spruce up the neighborhood and show their pride.
Last week, the Northwest Neighborhood Association launched a program to update street lighting, plant new trees and install new signs to demarcate the boundaries of the neighborhood.
On Monday, March 18, association members kicked off their efforts by hanging banners around the neighborhood that read, “Welcome to the Northwest Neighborhood.”
Association Vice President Charlton Amidon said members hung the banners in a variety of spots with good visibility.
“(The banners) help tell people that those of us who live in the neighborhood are proud of it,” he said.
City officials assisted in the banner-hanging effort, said Delaware spokesman Lee Yoakum.
Permanent signs that indicate the neighborhood’s boundaries are a possibility in the future, Amidon said.
Other future projects include an effort to update the neighborhood’s street lighting. The existing lights were installed in the 1970s, Amidon said.
“We were thinking we might like to do something that would be similar to what they have downtown on Sandusky Street,” he said.
Association members also want to plant new trees in the neighborhood.
The city currently offers a program with residents to evenly split the cost of installing a new tree on the treelawn near the road.
But Amidon said the Northwest Neighborhood Association wants to help lift the burden further for neighborhood residents. The association will try to pay for half of the resident’s portion of the cost of planting a tree, he said.
“That way we don’t end up with barren stretches on some streets,” he said.
The projects will be financed almost entirely by proceeds from the association’s annual fundraisers.
It rotates each year between two primary fundraising events: the Ghost Walk for Halloween, and the Historic Holiday Home Tour around Christmastime.
Amidon said he got ideas for upgrading the neighborhood during a recent visit to Louisville, Ky.
He noticed that neighborhoods in the area had up-to-date amenities such as new lighting fixtures and public benches.
Yoakum said the city is working closely with the group to provide assistance and to make sure the upgrades match the city’s vision.
He said the Northwest Neighborhood is noteworthy because of its rich history. Many of the city’s most famous residents lived there, and it’s the site of historic buildings such as Ohio Wesleyan University’s fraternity and sorority houses.
Buildings in the neighborhood also exhibit a remarkable range of architectural styles, Yoakum said.
“The neighborhood is a really unique feature of our city and it’s something that we want to support,” he said.