One of the Greater Freeport Partnership’s 2019 strategic goals is beautification of Freeport’s corridors and historic downtown. As the Development Director, I am leading the Partnership’s Beautification Committee (comprised of downtown business owners, concerned citizens and city officials) in a multi-year, multi-phase Downtown Beautification Project that, at its conclusion, will remake the appearance of our historic downtown. In 2019, our goals are highly visible improvements that show residents and visitor new investment is being made in our downtown. An easy place to start is updating streetscape furniture to the pedestrian right-of-way.
To support this goal, in May of this year, the Greater Freeport Partnership applied and was awarded a $2,500 Neighborhood Grant from HomeStart and the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois (CFNIL) to purchase the first phase of new furniture – two new benches and six new litter receptacles. These funds were matched by our organization and intended to leverage an additional $2,500 from downtown businesses. Since writing the grant, changes occurred. Mr. Willis Johnson of Classic Cinemas was so excited to see these improvements he generously donated the remaining amount we had planned on raising from businesses. In the first week of September, the City of Freeport’s Public Works Department installed the new streetscape furniture and removed several broken litter receptacles.
As previously mentioned, the Downtown Beautification Program is a multi-phase, multi-year project. The Partnership is continuously looking for grant opportunities and community partners to meet our next funding goal to purchase more streetscape furniture. If you are interested in learning more or becoming a potential partner, feel free to contact me.
Another highly visible downtown improvement achieved this past summer was the beautiful floral arrangements installed in nine ground planters and twenty hanging baskets. This effort was a partnership between several downtown businesses, Deininger Floral, the City of Freeport and the Partnership. Colorful, thriving vegetation is a demonstration of how much people care about their community.
On behalf of the Greater Freeport Partnership staff and the Beautification Committee we want to thank HomeStart, CFNIL, Classic Cinemas Lindo Theatre, Deininger Floral, downtown businesses and the City of Freeport! Collaborative partnerships like these enable great work that moves this community forward.
About the Author
- Andrea Schultz Winter is the Development Director for the Greater Freeport Partnership. Andrea directs economic development efforts for the Partnership, including downtown Freeport beautification efforts, data analysis, business support regarding financial incentives and loan programs, and employer workforce development support.