A Shared Neighborhood Vision
In 2011, with the support of the Zilber Family Foundation, Layton Boulevard West Neighbors (LBWN) embarked on a year-long planning process to develop a comprehensive Quality of Life Plan for the Milwaukee neighborhoods of Silver City, Burnham Park and Layton Park.
Hundreds of neighbors, business owners and community stakeholders participated in dozens of one-on-one meetings, focus groups and community gatherings to identify priorities for the neighborhood’s continued growth into the future.
Through this process, neighbors identified seven strategies and eleven catalytic projects around which they decided to focus our collective neighborhood revitalization efforts.
Since 2011, LBWN has continued to work with neighbors, business owners and other stakeholders to carry out the community vision outlined in the Quality of Life Plan. Take a look at this Neighborhood Update to see what has happened since 2011!
Quality of Life Plan Strategies
To improve the physical appearance of the neighborhood, we will promote the maintenance and improvement of private properties and public spaces, and engage the community in cleanup efforts. We will plant trees and flowers, create community gardens, and engage young people in creating public art for the neighborhood’s open spaces. We will advocate for street and sidewalk repairs, remove and prevent graffiti, and tend to the appearance of vacant lots and buildings. We will work with homeowner-counseling organizations and public officials to assist property owners facing foreclosure.
Community Safety Network
To support a peaceful, clean, and well-maintained neighborhood where all feel safe and welcome, we will encourage neighbors to work together in cleanup and beautification projects. We will create and connect block clubs to strengthen the community safety network. This network will improve communication among residents, landlords, business owners, and the police department; provide a forum for community problem-solving; and educate neighbors about crime trends, prevention, and reporting.
We will promote new opportunities for social interaction and foster inter-generational and cross-cultural interaction. We will work to overcome language barriers among our diverse population by connecting neighbors to educational resources in English, Spanish, and Hmong. We will multiply efforts to organize block clubs, open houses, and special events such as National Avenue’s Trick-or-Treat Street, Sounds of Summer concerts, and the Annual Neighborhood Gathering. We will identify and nurture local leaders who can move the neighborhood forward and create the relationships that will lead to a more connected community.
Youth Education and Leadership
To prepare our children and youth for purposeful and productive lives, we will partner with local schools to improve academic achievement, increase graduation rates, and prepare youth for post-secondary education; with nonprofits to promote healthy living, leadership development, entrepreneurship, and community service; and with parents to enable and mobilize parental involvement in education. We will advocate for additional afterschool and out-of-school opportunities for skill and character building, leadership cultivation, and workforce development; provide safe places for youth to gather and socialize; and attract additional child and youth development organizations to serve in the Layton Boulevard West neighborhoods.
Developing and marketing a distinctive community identity that celebrates Layton Boulevard West’s rich history, diversity, assets, and market potential will positively influence how people outside the area view the neighborhood. As we promote Layton Boulevard West’s identity and offerings, we will attract more homeowners, visitors, patrons, businesses, and investments to the neighborhood.
To promote and support physical, emotional, and social well-being we will work with community organizations and health providers to offer classes in nutrition, canning, and healthy cooking; establish additional community gardens and conduct workshops on growing fruits and vegetables; and sponsor a new farmers’ market. We will increase access to free or affordable fitness, sports, and recreational activities; promote walking, biking, and other outdoor exercise; and offer walking tours that feature “green solutions” already in place, such as our energy efficient homes, rainwater systems, and native Wisconsin landscaping.
We will foster economic vitality by increasing business opportunities, access to jobs, and financial wellness. We will identify the area’s potential for economic development, increase business opportunities, and advocate for collaboration between large and small local businesses. To help neighbors achieve their financial goals, we will promote job opportunities and connect them with workforce development and financial literacy programs.