Let us tell you about our Block Leaders

Block Leaders are an integral part of the Healthy Block Initiative. They are the neighbors who step up and organize the block to submit the pre-applications and final applications.

They open their homes to neighbors and gather everyone together to talk about final projects, the mid-season parties in parks or cookouts in back yards, and coordinate opportunities for neighbors to offer each other help with projects or tools to make the job easier. They are the backbone of the organization and they do it because they care about their neighborhoods and the well-being of our city. For that, Block Leaders, we thank you.

Let us introduce you to two more of our Block Leaders, Mike MacDougall (L) and Stephen Bollenbacher with Donna Russell (R). Check out the improvements to their properties!

Watch us grow!

Have you seen these signs popping up in Fulton yards?

We did it a little different this year. We asked homeowners who were awarded grants to plant the signs in their yards so we could all watch the project progress.

You may see a new porch, an upgraded driveway, windows, mailboxes, landscaping, new front doors painted brightly or even something simple yet lovely, like bright and colorful flowers planted in the yard to admire year-after-year.

No matter what, you are definitely seeing homeowners and landlords take pride in their homes and their neighborhoods.

Here are a couple of great examples in Zone 6. 
Roberta added a new front stoop, which means a safer entryway when friends stop by. Barbara added a beautiful new porch to their home, which means additional sitting space to admire the view. Congrats to you both!

So, keep your eyes on the curb appeal that is happening this summer. Good people making great changes.

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Fulton Block Builders Issues First Check of 2018

Fulton, NY - The first Fulton Block Builder check is presented to the Stoutenger’s.

The couple has completed over $10,000.00 worth of exterior enhancements to their property, and Angela has taken on the responsibilities of the Block Leader.

“I think this is a great program and it really helps build strong bonds in the neighborhood. I wanted to help in every way I can.” said Angela “Fulton has a long history of strong and friendly residents, I think FBB reminds us that we each have a part in where our city goes from here.”

The Stoutenger’s improvements included replacing their roof, adding a Coventry wall and cleaning up all the landscaping.

They’ve also added 3 new wall sconces trimmed up the tree in their front yard to open the view of their home and removed the satellite dish.

“These last two items are just as important as the additions to their home,” said Linda Eagan, FBB director.

“Not all improvements require much time or money. Separate from the projects each applicant outlines, they are also asked to indicate: A) one small thing you will add to your property to strengthen your neighborhood, and B) one small negative condition you can remove from your property. Examples of small things to add: hanging flowers, edging the lawn, putting out a new welcome mat, adding a porch flag, etc. Examples of negative conditions that can be removed: junk/ clutter on front porch or lawn, garbage cans that are routinely visible from the street, routinely tall (unmowed grass), unused satellite dishes on roof, etc. The Stoutenger’s are not only the first to finish they are an inspiration in the city,” Eagan concluded.

Tonya Crisafulli and John Monk are the volunteer FBB Ambassadors for Stoutenger’s area of the city.

Tonya said, “The seeds for reclaiming Fulton have been planted and now they are beginning to bloom. The community involvement that is brought about through Fulton Block Builders positively weaves the economic, cultural, civic, and societal fabric of our community.”

Fulton Block Builders couldn’t have asked for a stronger start.

Eight rental properties are receiving a curbside facelift thanks to the Fulton Block Builder challenge

This is the first summer for the Fulton Block Builders (FBB) and it has been a very successful one. Linda Eagan, the FBB director, has been extremely pleased with the exterior improvements being made by homeowners, however there is one group she is particularly happy to be working with.  FBB has had the opportunity to engage five different landlords who are revitalizing eight different properties throughout the city.  

One of the guiding principles for Eagan has come from Charles Buki, a founder of the Healthy Neighborhood Initiative; which FBB is based on. “When we say “healthy neighborhoods” we do not mince words. We believe that lack of income should not disqualify people from growing up and living in nurturing communities. So when we say “healthy neighborhoods” we mean a place where it makes sense for people to invest their time and energy and money.”

For Eagan, this Buki quote means that she is constantly striving for all residents of Fulton to live in safe reliable housing in a city that nurtures and values all its citizens. It is important to create a place that is attractive and affordable to a variety of income groups. Whether you own your home or rent, you have the right to be proud. The five landlords participating in FBB in 2017 agree with this philosophy.

Landlord, Cheryl Baldwin has recently finished her project.  Thanks to FBB, Cheryl and her husband were inspired to repair and paint the front porch, wash the house and remove an unsightly old pipe.  “While doing the work, I was able to connect with other neighbors and have wonderful conversations about FBB, so that’s fantastic. I have been watching the news and keeping up on all of the great developments going on. It is so wonderful to see Fulton transforming in a positive direction.  My hat’s off to FBB for putting this all together and I look forward to our next season.” cheered Baldwin.

  Cheryl Baldwin is just one of several landlords participating in the 2017 Fulton Block Builder Challenge

Cheryl Baldwin is just one of several landlords participating in the 2017 Fulton Block Builder Challenge

We as a community must understand that by improving neighborhoods, we will better provide for all residents. FBB is targeting limited resources in a meaningful way that creates the greatest impact. “We must generate value, equity and social investment to give hope, confidence, and opportunity for all neighborhood residents today and for our future residents tomorrow.” said Eagan  

 

As The Weather Clears Out The Fulton Block Builders Ramp Up The Work To Their Homes In The City Of Fulton

August has been a very busy month for homeowners in the city of Fulton. Fulton Block Builders (FBB) Administrative Director- Linda Eagan, has reported that the success of these projects and the increased pride in neighborhoods is exactly what she was hoping for in the city. “Unlike the beginning of our summer, the weather during the month of August has been great for getting outside projects completed. Contractors that have been behind due to all the rain are catching up! Michele Trepasso has been hoping to have her house painted in the beautiful historic colors she chose by working with the FBB historical architect, Susan Arena since the beginning of summer and now the painters are starting!” said Eagan.

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The Moore’s were lucky to have completed their project and couldn’t be happier with the results. “We’ve had so many compliments from people stopping to talk every time we are outside” said Dianne Moore. “Susan was fabulous to work with. She spent lots of time with us and always welcomed our questions. I can feel the changes happening in Fulton and am so glad the Block Builder program is here”

Another project completed in August include the Rothrock’s new brick front steps and railings. “We didn’t realize just how bad the steps had gotten until we took the fresh eyes walk with FBB and saw our house objectively. They were not only dangerous, they were an eyesore. So many people have complimented us on the new steps, the landscaping and the freshly painted and power washed exterior. There are five houses in a row that are making transformative changes, it’s wonderful to see all of the work happening in the city and we are glad to be helping our neighbors” said the Rothrock’s.

“FBB has seen an impact of this new revitalization program through new doors, front steps, windows shutters, lots and lots of power washing and landscaping but most importantly the impact is realized by the new sense of pride and community engagement” hailed Eagan.

Fulton Block Builder Positively Impact the “Sealright Community”

“All of these houses were built by Sealright for their employees around 1945. They were known as the Sealright Homes.” said Jeanette Davis, one of the most recent homeowners to be presented with a Fulton Block Builder Matching Grant check. Jeanette and George Davis moved into their home 42 years ago, where they raised their three children, nurtured five grandchildren and delighted in 5 great-grandchildren. “This has always been a nice neighborhood and I’m honored to be chosen to be part of Fulton Block Builders. It’s amazing, we wanted to fix our driveway but we weren’t sure we could do it, this program has been a big help and everyone is great!” said Jeanette.

The Sealright community is known for helping one and other, in fact people living here say it’s the “best” area of the city to live in because people are so nice. For years, it never changed said Jeanette but lately it has. People are in more of a rush, we still help each other but this program is bringing us back together - like it used to be.  Thanks to the FBB matching grant the Davis’s were able to patch and resurface their black top driveway, bringing a fresh new look to the house. They are neighbors to the Kasperek’s who also have received a check from FBB, making a nice impact in this area of the Sealright homes! Once all 23 houses have completed their exterior renovations there will be a transformation that will be noticeable to all!

Fulton Block Builder Recipients Help One Another In Many Ways

At the heart of the Healthy Neighborhood initiative (HNI) which is what Fulton Block Builders (FBB) is founded on~ is a shared sense of community.  Community is about engagement, sharing excitement and being good neighbors. All around the city you can find neighbors helping each other just as these three have done on the West Side.

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Many neighborhoods in transition lack a sense of community among their residents. The HNI approach provides the foundation for building neighborly relationships. Through Fulton Block Builders cultivate an environment that is conducive to managing neighborhood change. FBB builds a sense of community by focusing on civic engagement and empowering residents to work together on their properties and neighborhoods. FBB breaks from the traditional advocacy approach to community organizing and focuses on resident engagement. FBB’s primary goal is not to organize residents to be vocal about their neighborhoods and the problems that need to be addressed, but to encourage residents to become engaged in their community and neighborhood and to take a proactive role in creating positive change. The three gentlemen seen here in this photo are living proof that this concept is taking hold around the city of Fulton.