Funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is providing $150,000 over three years to the University Avenue Corridor Coalition (UACC) to help fund a warming shelter during ice skating at Atwood Stadium, allow resources for cleanups of abandoned lots and fund the purchase and installation of new lighting along the Flint River Trail, among other initiatives.
The Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) grant is a partnership among Kettering University, University of Michigan School of Public Health (UM SPH), and the UACC. Kettering will serve as a fiduciary for the community improvement projects and a research team from the UM SPH will collect outcome data that includes local health and safety data, parcel assessment data and a ‘Speak to Your Health!’ community survey.
Funds from the grant can be used for education workshops for schools and the community, community cleanups, community events and recreation supplies.
The grant will also allow the UACC and the UM School of Public Health to study the effects of the neighborhood improvement activities on crime, injury, property conditions and neighborhood perceptions. Findings will be communicated nationally and locally through public meetings, in journals and online.
The CPTED grant is in addition to the recently announced Byrne grant from National Institutes of Justice.
This winter, Kettering University plans to once again construct an ice skating rink and Atwood Stadium for the community. The CDC grant will provide more amenities for patrons, including the warming shelter and benches/seating areas.
The improved lighting along the Flint River Trail will also serve as an enhanced feature to get more community members using the already popular trail system.
“We are proud of the work the many organizations and individuals involved in the University Avenue Corridor Coalition have done in a short period of time to clean up properties in the area and make tangible improvements that improve the safety of everyone who passes through that area on a daily basis,” said Jack Stock, director of external relations for Kettering University and a member of the UACC. “This grant will allow us to enhance those efforts by supporting community attractions at Atwood Stadium, along the Flint River Trail and increasing awareness of safety and healthy living for citizens throughout the community.”
The UACC and the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health have been working on CPTED concepts throughout the corridor. These include eliminating blight and cleaning up crime hotspots, stabilizing land use, establishing leisure and recreation areas, improving communication links, maintaining sidewalks, adding more lighting and providing recreational opportunities.
“Over the course of the last year, the partner organizations in the UACC have begun efforts in the corridor that will be truly transformative for the city of Flint,” said Susan Morrel-Samuels, Managing Director of the Prevention Research Center of Michigan and the Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center at the UM School of Public Health. “The CDC grant will not only reinforce those efforts by adding infrastructure improvements like new lighting, it will also prove to have positive long-term benefits through community education and research that create lasting, sustainable solutions that promote healthy communities.”
The University Avenue Corridor Coalition is a group of community partners committed to transforming the University Avenue Corridor into an attractive and crime-free community that is conducive to sustainable development. Its members include the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, Career Alliance, Carriage Town Ministries, Carriage Town Truck and Auto Repair, the city of Flint Police Department, the city of Flint mayor’s office, the Crim Fitness Foundation, Durant Tuuri Mott Elementary, Easter Seal Society, Flint Children’s Museum, Flint Public Art Project, Flint Odyssey House, Forge Flint, Genesee County Land Bank, Glendale Hills Neighborhood Association, Hurley Medical Center, Intrafraternal Council at Kettering University, Keep Genesee County Beautiful, Kettering University, McLaren Hospital, Michigan State University School of Criminal Justice, Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center, Mott Park Neighborhood Association, New Paths Inc., Panhellenic Society at Kettering University, Powers Catholic High School, Shelton Automotive, Spectacle Productions, University of Michigan-Flint and Whaley Children’s Center.