Elena Peeples, East Trenton Collaborative
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The East Trenton Collaborative is gearing up for a jam-packed spring and summer with a day of fun for the whole family on Saturday, April 28. The event begins with a cleanup of the Assunpink Creek in Hetzel Park from 10 am to 2 pm, and continues with a festival on Taylor Street and in Hetzel Park from noon to 4 pm.
The festival will close all three blocks of Taylor Street and continue into Hetzel Park. “There are so many fun activities planned that we will give residents a ‘Passport Book’ to encourage them to see them all,”explains Elena Peeples, community organizer with the East Trenton Collaborative. Featured activities include yoga, golf, and soccer for all ages; workshops by the Trenton Circus Squad; and collaborative art projects, including an exhibit of photographs taken by East Trenton teens and a portrait photo project by artist Bentrice Jusu. The Horizon Health Mobile Unit will be onsite to provide free screenings.
The springtime celebration will showcase the improvements on the street over the past year. “This has been a long time coming,” says Evelyn Hawthorne, a resident of Taylor Street since 1958. The City of Trenton recently demolished the collapsed factory at 104 Taylor Street and remediated the site. A long-abandoned home has been rehabilitated by New Jersey Community Capital, the lead agency of the Collaborative, and welcomed its new residents last month. The Assunpink Creek cleanup is part of a larger effort to reclaim the creek and turn its flood zone into public open space, as highlighted in the Trenton250 Master Plan. And an art class from the College of New Jersey recently worked with residents to design and install a mural for the community garden at the corner of Taylor and Poplar Streets. “I’m caught for words about the corner,” says Ms. Hawthorne. “It gives our neighborhood such a sense of beauty and purpose.”
“Residents of Taylor Street are really invested in their community, and we are proud to support them,” notes Peeples. “In the past year, residents have organized to improve their community garden, address issues in the park, and bring attention to the dumping problem at an abandoned property. There is a lot still to do, but we have a lot to celebrate.”
The festival is made possible through the generous support of Aetna and the Credit Union of New Jersey, as well as Wells Fargo through the New Jersey Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program.
About the East Trenton Collaborative
The East Trenton Collaborative is a group of residents and organizations who work together to improve the quality of life in the neighborhood by addressing problem properties, strengthening community assets, improving infrastructure, and promoting economic opportunity.
About New Jersey Community Capital
New Jersey Community Capital is a nonprofit community development financial institution (CDFI) that provides innovative financing and technical assistance to support the preservation and development of affordable housing and sustainable community development ventures that increase jobs, improve education, and strengthen neighborhoods. Founded in 1987, NJCC has invested over $630 million in New Jersey communities, resulting in over 8,800 housing units, 7,300 early care slots, 16,500 education seats, and 9,600 jobs. For more information, visit: www.newjerseycommunitycapital.org.