by Clarissa Hendershot-Thomas
Clarissa Hendershot-Thomas is Chair of the Neighborhood Cleanup committee for the Kennedy King Neighborhood Association Board of Directors. She is excited for neighbors, volunteers, and KIB to make Kennedy King the focus neighborhood of the the 2017 Great Indy Cleanup.
In years past, the clean-up efforts for the Kennedy King Neighborhood have relied on a steady group of residents who show up and put in hard work on two early Saturday mornings each year. As existing residents and new residents have begun to team up on the cleanup efforts, we have seen our steady impact on the neighborhood expand. Now we are continuing that upward movement with the help of Keep Indianapolis Beautiful. Moving through the Focus Neighborhood planning process has been an absolute joy!
Like most organizations, we all have big ideas that we want to see come to fruition. When we first started down the focus neighborhood path, we had no shortage of ideas to throw at KIB. As we have continued to sift through them and work as a team to determine what will have the most impact for our neighborhood, we have discovered a few crucial truths.
Number one – We love volunteers. Volunteers make things happen. If not for the hundreds of individuals and groups who are ready and willing to sacrifice their time and energy on the behalf of the neighborhoods of Indy, we would not be able to dream this big.
Number two – This leads us to our next truth. KIB does a phenomenal job of helping us to navigate the sometimes murky waters of street closures, public works requests, volunteers, tools, and training. Having their knowledge and connections has made the process of planning, and soon to be achieving, our neighborhood goals easier. After all, having volunteers is just half the battle. The other half is getting them to where they are needed.
As we move into the final stages of our planning, we are really seeing the vision take shape. Our project is going to focus on the Kennedy King Connection, which is located on 17th Street from the Monon to Martin Luther King Jr Park. We want to make the 17th Street area an inviting thoroughfare for residents and people passing through the neighborhood. So that they have access to Martin Luther King Jr Park, CannonBall Brewery, and the other new businesses joining the area soon. As a neighborhood, we can’t wait to see all of this in action. October 21st can’t come soon enough!
Want to get involved? Visit: kibi.org/projects