Neighborhood residents and KCPD officers joined UMKC students and professors at the Historic Manheim Park Association neighborhood meeting on Aug. 10 at Immanuel Lutheran Church to discuss RUN plans.

Neighborhood residents and KCPD officers joined UMKC students and professors at the Historic Manheim Park Association neighborhood meeting on Aug. 10 at Immanuel Lutheran Church to discuss RUN plans.

Historic Manheim Park Association (HMPA) — one of five neighborhood associations active in the Green Impact Zone — are working with students and professors from the UMKC Department of Architecture Urban Planning and Design on a new initiative called Regeneration of an Urban Neighborhood (RUN). The goal of RUN, which began Aug. 19, is to change the perception of the neighborhood and bring new investors to the area along Troost Avenue and new residents to Manheim Park.

Students from four different UMKC classes, including planning, urban environment, architecture, and neighborhood and community development, will be part of the RUN effort. The architecture class will develop a hypothetical location and site design for a community center as part of the project. HMPA has organized street/block teams that will catalog the neighborhood’s human, social, natural, physical and financial assets in order to create their own vision for a neighborhood plan. HMP President Saundra Hayes was recently interviewed on KCUR Radio with UMKC associate professor Dr. Jacob Wagner to discuss the RUN program. The interview can be heard here.

After hearing about the project at a neighborhood meeting, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department also got involved. A police task force will work directly with the block team leaders to create programs tailored for HMPA and continue to bring down crime in the community.

The RUN effort, which will wrap up in December, was made possible by a $20,000 Community Capital Fund grant. HMPA applied for the grant with the help of the Green Impact Zone staff, and worked with neighborhood residents to raise required matching funds through a successful online crowd-funding campaign. For more information on the RUN program, call the HMPA office at 816-936-8808.

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Have you ever wanted to get a behind-the-scenes look at police work? Apply now for a special Citizens Police Academy offered by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department (KCPD) in the Green Impact Zone.

The seven-week course will meet for seven consecutive Saturdays, Sept. 7–Oct. 19, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the zone offices at 4600 Paseo. The academy will include topics such as hostage negotiations, narcotics investigations, firearms training, the bomb squad, homicide investigations, tactical and response teams, and vice investigations.

KCPD believes that informed citizens who understand how the police department functions will have better relationships with police officers and be better prepared to support public safety in their communities.

Applicants must be 18 years of age or older, live or work in Kansas City, Mo., and be in good standing with the community. Each applicant must pass a thorough background check. For more information or to submit an application, visit the KCPD website.

The Town Fork Creek (TFC) Neighborhood Association kicked off its “Restoration through Outreach Learning and Leadership” (ROLL) crowd-funding campaign on Aug. 1. TFC was recently awarded a Community Capital Fund grant, with grant writing assistance from the Green Impact Zone staff. The $20,000 grant requires TFC to raise 10 percent, or $2,000, through an online donation site to receive the full amount. TFC has 11 days left to meet its fundraising goal. To learn more, watch the video at Indiegogo.com.

With the Community Capital Fund grant, TFC will:

• Hire a part-time community organizer.
• Recruit block captains for at least 20 percent of the 83 blocks within the neighborhood to improve communication with residents.
• Work to increase TFC association membership by 50 percent.
• Poll at least 75 percent of residents to raise awareness of the new Mary L. Kelly Community Center as an asset.
• Identify at least two residents to enroll in the Community Leadership Program, a free program offered to zone residents by MARC’s Government Training Institute.

The ROLL campaign runs through August 31. To donate, visit Indiegogo.com

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After many years of waiting, the Ivanhoe neighborhood is finally getting a grocery store at 39th and Prospect.  Elected officials and residents gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday, July 31. The new Aldi store will be located on the edge of the Green Impact Zone, meaning residents will have better access to fresh produce and healthy food choices. The Aldi store is expected to open later this year and will employ 15 people.

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Traveling throughout the Green Impact Zone is much smoother and safer thanks to funding from the region’s TIGER (Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Curb and sidewalk improvements have been completed making for a more walkable community and street resurfacing is now underway. See a few recent photos here or for more information about the TIGER grant, visit http://www.marc.org/TIGER.

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Blue Hills Community Services is preparing for its grand opening and ribbon cutting at 5008 Prospect on Sept. 5 from 4–7 p.m. The organization has already begun working out of the offices since construction has been completed. The Green Impact Zone staff was instrumental in helping Blue Hills get the funding it needed to complete the project. The formerly vacant
14,000-square-foot structure will house a small business incubator and training facility.

Other unique features of the LEED- gold certified building include solar panels on the roof for energy efficiency and two electrical vehicle charging stations provided by KCP&L. A large plot of land outside the building will provide space for a partnership with Kansas City Community Gardens and the Giving Grove. They will install, manage and work with the community to lease planting beds at a very low cost. Some of the produce will be donated to local food banks. Construction and installation of the planting beds is expected to begin this fall.

See photos of the newly renovated office/community space here.

Ever thought about buying a home instead of renting? If you answered “yes” to that question, the “Discover Your Community” Homebuyer Tour should be your first stop. The fourth annual event, presented by the Green Impact Zone, will be held on Saturday, Aug. 17, from 8:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. The tour bus departs promptly at 9:30.

Participants will get a firsthand look at new and rehabbed affordable homes for sale, and learn more about the cultural, retail and educational assets available in the zone. Breakfast, lunch, homebuying information and drawings for prizes are offered as part of the tour.

The tour begins at the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center at 4750 Troost. Participants will also see the East Plaza/Cleaver Boulevard Shops, the Meyer Boulevard educational corridor, new housing under construction at the renovated Bancroft School and in the Ivanhoe neighborhood, and Blue Hills Community Services’ new small business incubator and community center at 5008 Prospect.

Buying a home is a big step and the tour and workshop will offer resource and lender presentations that explain how to get started on the path to home ownership. To register, visit the Green Impact Zone website or call 816-936-8803.