Schenectady Foundation announces winners of Thriving Neighborhood Challenge

February 05, 2019 07:07 PM

The Schenectady Foundation has announced the winners of their first Thriving Neighborhood Challenge. Executive Director Robert Caurreau says the Foundation received 50 entries and selected 12 winners. 

"If you have an idea that's feasible, that will have an impact and build the strengths, kind of the human resources of your neighborhood, we will invest in that. We're going to see some outcomes because people are engaged and people have the passion and drive to get things done," said Carreau.


The idea behind the Challenge was to encourage people to get involved and take pride in their communities. Carreau says a clear theme developed in the entries and that is that people want to see changes in the way their neighborhoods look and feel.

"The real backbone, I think, of any community is in the people who live there and I think that we're seeing that Schenectady has a pretty strong backbone," said Carreau.

Margaret Novak is a member of the Goose Hill Neighborhood Association. They came up with a proposal to purchase new trash containers and cover them in student-created artwork in an effort to get people to stop littering.

"There's a bunch of other cities that have done this, that have decorated trash cans as a way to make them sort-of stand-out and make it fun," said Novak.

Novak says their project will cost $24,200 and will include an educational component in which mentors will go to local schools to talk about the importance of taking care of your community.

The Schenectady Foundation says the winning projects will be funded by the Foundation, the City of Schenectady and various private donors. The projects are expected to be completed by the end of the year.

2019 Neighborhood Challenge Awards

Canvas Murals for Vacant Homes     Hamilton Hill   $800 
Beautify neighborhood by recruiting students to create artwork on canvases to be hung over the windows of vacant homes.

Howe Outdoor Natural Play Space     Howe Elementary School   $11,500 
Create a natural outdoor play space to support nature-inspired learning and recreation.

Our Community Library     Various locations in City   $1,400 
Build and install free book library boxes around the City, filling them with donated books for neighborhood youth to read and own.

Spray Pad Cooling Area     Woodlawn   $55,000 
Install a water feature to give residents a fun, safe way to cool off and enjoy the summer months.

Show the Love Where You Live     Hamilton Hill & Vale   $44,000 
Decorate trash receptacles to encourage usage instead of littering; educate neighborhood to change the mindset of those who litter.

Rainbow Pride Art    Gateway Park   $22,000

Install a rainbow pride art sculpture made of colorful wooden frames; including educational panels about LGBTQ equal rights movement.

Cleaner and Greener Mont Pleasant     Mont Pleasant   $14,000 
Organize clean-up efforts in Mont Pleasant, and teach youth the proper ways to recycle and to care about their neighborhood environment.

Northside Pride     Northside/Goose Hill Neighborhood   $24,200 
Provide trash receptacles for residents in the Northside neighborhood, include educational component to change the mindset of the community.

Schenectady and Me     Various locations in City   $26,400 
Create and display sculptural benches using tiles created by community members, to beautify the area and to increase resident contributors' pride in their work and City.

Phoenix Walks     Hamilton Hill   $38,500 
Create an art walk through the Hamilton Hill community, to include street murals, sculpture and flower gardens, and historical neighborhood information.

Reawakening East Front Street     East Front Street    $8,900 
"Reawaken" a seemingly-forgotten neighborhood by adding welcome banners, trash cans, historical signage, and murals throughout its six streets.

East, Center, and West Alley Trash Containment     Boulevards Neighborhood   $3,300 
Provide trash receptacles for residents in the East, Center, and West Alleys to help clean up and make the streets safer.

Total All Grants $250,000


Jacquie Slater

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