The playground began as a seed, an idea that grew at each monthly neighborhood association meeting. The Blaine/Southeast Neighborhood Association formed only a few short years ago in 2011 under the direction of Clifford Clemmons. Supported by a small group of dedicated residents, the association worked with Ball State University urban planning students under the direction of faculty member Lisa Dunaway to develop a neighborhood action plan. The Blaine/Southeast Neighborhood Action plan, finalized in December 2014 provided key information that reinforced the neighbors’ belief that Blaine/Southeast lacked adequate play space for its youth. Located on the far east side of the city, the neighborhood sits removed from Muncie’s established parks and playgrounds.
Planning for the neighborhood playground began in earnest in winter 2014 after the association was successful in attaining a $15,000 KaBoom playground grant. A committee of residents worked diligently to find funding to match the KaBoom grant, to plan for the Community Build Day and to clear the overgrown field where the playground would eventually be built. With the efforts spearheaded by Clemmons and Isabelle Sowers, Muncie Action Plan Volunteer Coordinator, Spring and Summer 2015 were busy with fundraisers and cleanups leading up to the September 12th Build Day.
Build Day was attended by dozens of volunteers who successfully erected a portion of the playground, with the final construction occurring throughout the following few weeks. The October 16th ribbon cutting was well attended by residents, volunteers and city officials. Since October, the playground committee has continued to fundraise for the purchase of mulch and landscaping as well as other necessities like lighting and signage through their GoFundMe site. The Neighborhood Association understands that the playground is a community asset, but one that will require constant oversight and maintenance. Association members are committed to creating a play space that is well-loved and well-used by neighborhood children for years to come.
According to an article posted in the Sunday, May 3rd edition of the Star Press, World Changers will be returning to Muncie this summer to do exterior repairs on a total of approximately 20 properties within the Blaine, McKinley, Gilbert, East Central and Whitely neighborhoods. World Changers’ work may include foundation or porch repair, vinyl siding, door or garage repair, house painting, wheelchair ramp/accessibility items and other miscellaneous repairs. In order to qualify for the program, homes must be home-owner occupied, be located in the target neighborhoods, be current on sewage and tax bills, and have property insurance. Owners must submit an application and provide proof of income. A PDF version of the application is available below. It is also available at the City of Muncie’s Community Development Department office,online, or at the Kennedy and Maring-Hunt libraries. Applications are due by 4 p.m. May 22 at the Community Development Office.
For more information call Community Development at (765)747-4825.
World Changers 2015 – application
Members of the East Central, Forest Park, Blaine, Southeast, South Central, Industry, and Pettigrew Acres Neighborhood Associations partnered with the Muncie Sanitary District to help clean-up their communities. The first date of the spring clean-ups was May 2nd. Volunteers helped pick up trash and debris alongside their neighbors. Thank you to all those who helped beautify the city as part of the spring neighborhood cleanups.
On April 14th, the Ball State Daily News wrote an article highlighting the BSU immersive learning class that worked with the Blaine/Southeast neighborhood association to develop their Action Plan. Please follow this link to view the full article. To view the Blaine/Southeast Neighborhood Action Plan, please click here.
Lisa Dunaway, Instructor of Urban Planning, is leading a class of BSU undergraduate planning students in developing a neighborhood action plan for the Blaine/Southeast neighborhood. During the development process, the students conduct an analysis of current neighborhood conditions and receive input from the neighborhood association. The students research best practices and assess the needs of the neighborhood to determine the action steps necessary to reach attainable goals. The final neighborhood action plan will include initiatives created by the residents but written by the students. Each initiative will include relevant case studies, step-by-step procedures, potential funding sources, priority levels, and target dates. The plan will conclude with steps for the residents to begin enacting the plan.
To view the Blaine/Southeast Neighborhood Action Plan online please follow this link.