Rural Neighborhoods was awarded $250,000 by NeighborWorks America to help create a resident-driven neighborhood revitalization plan in the Eden Park-Esperanza Place neighborhood in Immokalee, Florida.
Reversing Immokalee neighborhood decline has been a goal for decades. But despite improvements like the new Zocolo at First Street and the lighting and pedestrian changes on Main Street, revitalization projects have lacked a cohesive focus.
This plan seeks to change that, however. Rural Neighborhoods’ target area focuses on the traditional Eden Park residential neighborhood north of Lake Trafford Road and the Esperanza Place neighborhood from there south to Immokalee Drive – an area it has renamed EP2 (EP Squared) based on the two neighborhoods’ acronym.
For the past two months, staff of Rural Neighborhoods has been meeting with residents and local organizations to get their input on needed improvements in the EP2 area. To date, just over 40 residents have participated in meetings held at Sanders Pines, Timber Ridge, The Reserves at Eden Gardens and Crestview. More meetings are scheduled in the areas of Arrowhead, Jubilation, and Immokalee Drive.
The suggestions voiced by residents range in size and scope from healthy eating and cooking classes to more sidewalks and parks in the EP2 area. The suggestions will be prioritized by residents and developed into a plan that Rural Neighborhoods and its partners can use to guide future improvements in the area. Some projects will be started immediately, while others will require funding from grants or the county. But by including them in the plan, residents are expressing their support for these projects and their importance to the area.
If you live in the Eden Park-Esperanza Place area and would like to attend a meeting and share your thoughts, please contact Priscilla Roman at 239-658-3318 ext 6714.