On Monday, July 15th, the children of the West Bayfront were smiling and laughing as they jumped in to get wet at the brand new Bayview Park “splash pad,” the park’s newest amenity. The installation of the splash pad was the first of several improvements to the park slated for this season, including the installation of new seating, construction of pathways, and creation of a multipurpose court on the site of the current tennis court.
The City of Erie and Our West Bayfront have worked together closely since 2017 to plan a variety of improvements for Bayview Park. The process began with a survey in which park users and residents identified a new water feature as a high priority and was further developed with a design concept produced by Dahlkemper Landscape Architects and Contractors.
This project is possible thanks to generous support by The City of Erie, PA Commonwealth Financing Authority, Erie Community Foundation, Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority, and PA Department of Community and Economic Development. We also thank Gannon University, UPMC Health Plan, Marquette Savings Bank, and Representative Bob Merski for their support of this project and the work of Our West Bayfront.
We are pleased to congratulate Fat Lenny’s, the first recipient of an OWB Awesome Foundation $1,000 grant! Earlier this year the OWB Awesome Foundation was established to advance awesome projects in the West Bayfront. A group of local residents are teaming up to award a $1,000 grant to an awesome project in the West Bayfront four times per year.
With the grant, Fat Lenny’s will host the “Awesome Sound Ice Cream Social” this fall. Details will be shared as they become available on the OWB Facebook page. Do you have an idea to support the West Bayfront community that could become reality with $1,000? Don’t miss the next application deadline of September 30th. Visit ourwestbayfront.org/awesomefoundation for the details.
Have you noticed some changes along West 8th Street? Recently several new businesses and organizations have made this corridor home, such as Fat Lenny’s ice cream shop, Emma’s Footprints, and the Sophrosyne Center, a yoga studio. These new additions, alongside longtime neighborhood businesses such as U-Frame-It and Harry Mueller’s Key Shop, are helping to create a vibrant West 8th Street that meets the retail needs of the West Bayfront neighborhoods it serves.
OWB is excited to build on this momentum through a new initiative called Re-STORE West 8th Street, which has been funded by a $250,000 grant from Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority. The first phase of this project will include several activities including matching grants to property owners, the installation of security cameras, and vacant lot improvements. We will also work closely with the City of Erie to explore possible ways to make the corridor friendlier to walkers and bicyclists.
We welcome your thoughts about this important part of our community! Please contact Anna Frants at 814-871-7050 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or ideas.
With a $25 contribution made on Erie Gives Day, you can help make a difference in your West Bayfront neighborhood! Individual donations on Erie Gives Day (made online on Tuesday, August 13th at eriegives.org or by personal check by August 12th) will receive a portion of the prorated match from the Erie Community Foundation.
This year, all donations received on Erie Gives Day will support community art projects in our neighborhoods, including “Art Force”, a collaboration among Strong Vincent Middle School, Erie Arts and Culture, Gannon University, and OWB. Under the guidance of local artists Tom Ferraro and Ed Grout, students and residents will work together to bring creative and artistic solutions to issues impacting our neighborhood.
Also on August 13th Fat Lenny’s will donate a portion of their sales to Our West Bayfront. Stop by to enjoy their treats and support OWB!
We are nearing the completion of the West Bayfront’s first Renaissance Block project at Gridley Park. This project has provided matching grants up to $5,000 grant from Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority, it is anticipated that a total of 25 property owners will have participated, leveraging approximately $150,000 in private investments.
Property owners have made a variety of improvements using the funds, including roof repairs, sidewalk repairs, porch repairs, landscaping, siding, and painting. The project also included the replacement of benches and litter receptacles in Gridley Park. We hope to expand the Renaissance Block project to other neighborhoods in 2020!