2018 Restoring Central Dover Milestones
Restoring Central Dover (RCD) is a comprehensive community development effort led by NCALL and a Steering Committee comprised of over 20 different organizations, including non-profits, churches, government agencies, businesses, and residents. During FY 2017, RCD completed its second year of implementation focusing on the downtown portion of Delaware's state capital. This endeavor is funded primarily by the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation. Read the Strategic Plan or the Executive Summary of the plan for the revitalization effort.
This year, RCD had many accomplishments in improving life in downtown Dover:
- Purchased 9 vacant and boarded up properties and demolished them for later development
- Built 2 new homes
- Engaged 975 resident volunteers for community events and meetings
- Hosted a community health fair, a community safety meeting and a community youth leadership workshop
- Supported four community dinners
- Awarded $25,000 in action grants for work group projects
- Held a Community Youth Leadership Workshop
- Awarded $35,000 in grants for work group projects
- Kicked off the Unlock the Block Initiative to reduce commercial vacancy and support entrepreneurs
- Held six Open Streets events
“Lights On, Dover Strong” Campaign
The steering committee and work groups meet monthly on implementing projects and seeking resources for Central Dover. Some of the highlights are listed in the Activity box on the next page. One of the great successes for RCD this year was the hosting of six Open Streets events in downtown Dover. These events brought together resources and activities to give downtown residents a reason to celebrate and spend time together outside enjoying healthy activities. Open Streets are evidence-based programs that temporarily open streets to people by closing them to cars. By doing this, the streets become places where people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds can come out and improve their health by promoting recreation and leisure-time activities. There were a few different focus areas and hosting partners, depending on the month of the event. For example, the August event was held in collaboration with Communities in Schools and the Dover Police Department incorporating their 4th Annual Back to School Giveaway. There were over 300 book bags and supplies distributed to the youth. The November event was held in conjunction with the Annual Capital Holiday Celebration in Dover.
According to Shawanda Rachal-Speaks, a Recreation Specialist with the City of Dover’s Parks and Recreation Department and volunteer with Open Streets, “I thought the events were a complete success! They brought an awareness for the community to see the resources that are available. At least once per month, families got to get outside, participate in healthy activities together and address their needs. The activities were so fun it made people want to participate!”
Everyone enjoyed wonderful events filled with food and many activities including volleyball, soccer, and an obstacle course and moon bounce. Some of the vendors in attendance were the National Guard, DelDOT, Capital School District, Delaware Food Bank, Bay Health, DHSS Tobacco Prevention Program, and many others. Six bicycles were raffled off during one event and the evening ended with a dance-off with gift cards given to the winners. There were over 1500 people that attended these events.
Shawanda thought that NCALL was the right partner to connect all of these services and activities. “NCALL did an awesome job! They were instrumental in bringing all of this together and helping to bridge the gap in the community between the available services and the residents.”
To watch a video of September’s Open Streets highlights, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X31NOJSry74&feature=youtu.be.
Adopted in 2014, Restoring Central Dover is a Comprehensive Neighborhood Revitalization Plan in motion. The Plan and its implementation is led by NCALL and a Steering Committee. The Plan represents our community’s vision for restoring the vitality of Central Dover and lists recommendations for implementation over the next 10 years.