Looking Ahead: Creating a Strategic Plan for Bolton Hill

Bolton Hill Community Association recently put together a group of residents to update the neighborhood’s Strategic Plan.  We began this effort in the 1980s and periodically over the years have updated the plan.  Issues that were once important (e.g buses on Park Avenue, the building of the MICA Commons on McMechen Street) have been resolved and new issues have arisen. 

We are in the process of defining the issues to be explored with the entire community.  Traffic, safety, State Center and relationships with adjoining neighborhoods are just part of the mix.  One new idea has surfaced:  whether or not we are doing enough as a neighborhood to foster a sense of community.  Newcomers to Bolton Hill note from the outset the strong sense of community among the people they meet, but could we do more?  With many neighborhoods competing for the limited supply of people who wish to live in the City, are we doing enough to attract new neighbors or retain the ones who already live here?

The Strategic Planning Committee consists of Neal Friedlander (Chair), Kendra Parlock, Bill Hamilton, Charlie Duff, Jim Proust, Amy Sheridan, Patrice Kingsley, Lauren Snyder, Gavin Schmidt and Joanne Bennett.  The membership runs the gamut between neighbors of long standing, new homeowners, a renter and a resident in one of our senior buildings.

Next steps include conversations with our stakeholders (both institutions and individuals) to further define the issues, a survey of residents through Survey Monkey ( the latter recently used by the nursery Sshool in their strategic planning process with excellent results) and eventually for the neighborhood to hold a retreat to explore all of these issues in depth. 

by Neal Friedlander