UVM receives grow grant for beautifying neighborhoods

Local News

Thanks to a grant from the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund, the University of Vermont’s Office of Student and Community Relations and the Isham Street Gardening and Other Optimistic Doings group, are once again partnering up to expand on the work they completed on Isham Street.

This time, the target is Hickok Place.

“We will hope to continue to create social change with new landlord approval, for new in-ground gardens and garden boxes,” says office manager Ash Hoyt.

The first grant, which the organization received in 2017, allowed them to revitalize Isham Street.

“Isham Street residents had reached out to us, and they were really a seriously impacted street at the time. Then through Phil Hammerslow and Brian Chena, both residents on Isham Street. They started the Isham Street Gardening and Other Optimistic Doings organization,” says UVM Director of Student and Community Relations, Gail Shampnois.

That project was very successful, with lots of positive change in the community resulting from that.

Over the past couple of years since the revitalization, burglaries have subsided 50 percent, noise has gone down by almost 70 percent, and vandalism has largely gone down, almost 90 percent.

“I think that through community building and creating relationships being stronger, and people communicating with each other in a different way, it created those great outcomes,” says hoyt.

They plan on tackling the Hickok Place project sometime in April, once the weather is better.

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