When our group of Canadians from Norfolk County explored the Finger Lakes on a business study tour last spring, little did we know we would happen upon a town that was bursting with ideas and enthusiasm to revitalize itself.
Geneva (population 3,300) is located on the northern end of Seneca Lake. Local government operates the Geneva Neighbourhood Resource Centre, a one-stop-shop for information to help residents become more active, involved and connected to their town and neighborhood.
We met Sage Gerling, Director of Neighbourhood Initiatives. She provided a guided tour of the downtown area and spoke about some of the unique projects that Geneva’s citizen-led neighbourhood associations have undertaken.
Some ideas are not new, such as street closures for events. But other ideas captivated us.
For example, the Race for Space Contest was set up to encourage entrepreneurs to start up a business and locate it in downtown core.
Musical porches provided residents the opportunity to showcase local amateur musicians on the front stoops of homes, encouraging neighbours to interact.
The creative use of neighbourhood associations has spurred the development of butterfly garden, garden walks, music concert in cemetery, neighbourhood cleanup events and porch light-up events to promote community safety.
Read the full story starting on page 25 of the Finger Lakes Study Tour 2016 Report.