Riverworks Newsletter - November 2021
Greeting Friends and Neighbors:
The leaves have fallen, the days are shortening, and we all know that we are transitioning into the winter months. We have a few tips and suggestions as we wind down 2021. As we come upon the holiday season, we hope that you consider shopping from local businesses for your holiday gifts and needs! If you are feeling any financial strains in this season of giving, please reach out to our Financial Clinic team for support! And finally, we hope you get a chance to gather with your community of family, friends, and neighbors, but please stay safe and stay healthy!
Small Business & Entrepreneurial Resources
Join us for the 53212Marketplace PLUS exciting news about WINNING a Data Dream Project!
Save the Date: The 53212Marketplace 2021 Holiday Edition will take place on Sunday, December 12th from 11:00-3:00pm at the West River Collective (located at 3700 N Fratney). Last winter we held several virtual 53212Marketplace events, and they were very successful, but now we are excited to be back in-person for this 2021 Holiday Edition! Shoppers can expect to find local and unique gifts from art and jewelry, body products, artisan foods and more. Join us and help support some amazing local vendors, and remember that when you buy local, around 50% is put back into the local economy!
Riverworks Development Corporation's Business Development HUB was honored to be a finalist for a 2021 Data Dream project. We are excited to share that we were announced a winner at the 2021 Milwaukee Data Day! Riverworks' Data Dream is to better understand the impact of small business development on individuals and on the overall well-being of the Harambee neighborhood. Given the pandemic's impact on brick-and-mortar businesses, Riverworks aims to look beyond the commercial districts and better understand who is operating small businesses, what types of businesses are present in Harambee, at what scale they are operating, and how these small businesses affect the movement of wealth within the community. A huge shout out to Data You Can Use for this opportunity to further our impact on the business community!
Extraordinary Care from the Financial Clinic
The Financial Navigator Program Starts Year Two!
The Financial Navigator program is designed to help residents deal with the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and is a crucial part of the City of Milwaukee's response efforts. Riverworks' Financial Clinic was chosen to be the host of these services, and we just successfully completed the first year of this program at the end of October. Over the past 12 months, we have helped nearly 1,200 participants with their financial needs such as prioritizing payments, maximizing income, managing debt, avoiding predatory scams, budgeting for the future, and accessing other social services. We are excited to announce that this program has been extended for another year! Please visit our website for more information.
Center Street Calm Banners are Coming Soon!
Riverworks Development Corporation and the Riverwest Business Association collaborated on the Center Street Calm project, which was funded by the City of Milwaukee's Department of Public Works (DPW). In February, DPW announced a grant opportunity aimed at reducing reckless driving. The collaboration was already brainstorming methods to slow traffic down on Center Street, with an elementary school, local businesses, and residents all worried about the excessive speeds they have witnessed over the years. The first step of the project was to create a fence cup mural on the fence outside of Riverwest Elementary that aligns Center Street. Around 10 students were chosen to create designs for a local muralist, Aisha Valentin, to incorporate into a master design. Many volunteers assisted in the installation, including hundreds of riders in the Riverwest24. As the mural was coming together the group also asked for community input regarding slogans for pole banners to be placed along Center Street. Suggestions were collected at the Riverwest Farmer's Market, and some great suggestions came in! Local designer, Emily Bury, who lives right on Center Street, designed the banners and they will be installed this month!
Creative Placemaking on the Beerline Trail
A New Brand for the B-Line Park, and How You Can Get Involved!
The section of the Beerline Trail from Richards to Capitol has a new name: The B-Line Park. The Guiding Lens resident-led committee coordinated several community input sessions to come up with the new name, and worked with local graphic designer Maureen Kane. After the name was chosen, Maureen got to work; she produced 5 draft logos for the committee. After much deliberation the committee put forward two final designs for the greater community to vote on. Through a Facebook poll on our page, over 200 votes came in and now the B-Line Park has its new logo. If you are interested in getting involved with all things Beerline Trail, please contact the Guiding Lens committee!
Building and Beautifying the Community
Construction Started on the Beerline Plaza!
The Beerline Plaza Green Infrastructure Project is underway! Special thank you to the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), Fund for Lake Michigan, Riverworks BID #25 and the City of Milwaukee.
BID #25: Milwaukee's Creative District
Every Litter Bit Hurts!
The Riverworks BID #25 has launched an anti-litter campaign that works with local businesses to help eliminate litter in the area. The Business Improvement District (BID) purchased new garbage cans and machinery to help keep the streets clean. Additionally, 40 businesses will receive litter-pickers and buckets (with decals of the litter campaign logo and graphics) to assist in keeping their properties tidy. 2021 is the pilot project, with a long term goal of involving as many businesses as possible! If you are in the BID and are interested in receiving a litter-picker and bucket, or just want more information, please reach out to John Cervantes.
Harambee NID #7
2020 Annual Report Available Now!
The Harambee NID #7 has released it's 2020 Annual Report, which highlights all of the great work done last year, including over $150,000 granted to Harambee residents for roof replacements! Since 2018, the Harambee Neighborhood Improvement District (NID) has completed a total of 35 roof replacement projects. The Harambee NID is up for renewal in 2022. This will give residents the opportunity to vote in support of continuing the program or vote to have the NID dissolved. The Annual NID Board meeting date is set for March 12, 2022 at 10:00am (location to be announced). For more information, see this 3-Year Summary of 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Shout Out to Our Supporters!
A huge shout out to everyone who supported us for all of our summer programming this year - especially the wonderful volunteers who helped out for the Beerline Shuffle, and for all of the gracious donors who made that event possible! Truly, thanks for everything!
If you are interested in volunteering for future events, please be sure to click the button below and sign up for our general volunteer database.