By Nancy Maring, Neighborhood Development Planner
On Saturday, June 2, 2018, the City of Sheboygan, Habitat for Humanity Lakeside, and the Sheboygan Police Department, worked in partnership on the spring “Rock the Block” initiative in the Kuehne Court neighborhood. This event is volunteer-driven and community based with the aim of improving a selected neighborhood’s appearance along with assisting neighborhood residents with upkeep and needed repairs. The selected area included Heermann Court, Trimberger Court, and Bluff Avenue between North 12th Street and North 13th Street. Approximately 60 volunteers were on hand to make the day successful.
This area was selected based on the city’s neighborhood revitalization strategy included in the five-year City of Sheboygan Strategic Plan. This Rock the Block event was able improve 62 homes in the Kuehne Court Neighborhood. Some of the projects completed included the installation of the 38 dusk-to-dawn lights installed by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, 42 garbage cans donated by Lowe’s Home Improvement, 44 individual projects ranging from painting of porches, planting of flowers donated by Lowe’s Home Improvement, rebuilding front steps, replacing lattice, trimming bushes, mowing lawns, landscaping, and edging sidewalks.
The host site of the event was St. John’s United Church of Christ at 1248 Lincoln Avenue. Texas Roadhouse, Culvers, and Festival Foods provided a community lunch at noon in St. John’s. Without the generous sponsorship of $3,000 from the Alliant Energy Foundation, this event would not have been possible.
As part of the city neighborhood planning efforts, the plan is to host two Rock the Block events each year: one on the north side and one on the south side. In the fall 2017, the first Rock the Block event was held on the south side of the Sheboygan in the neighborhood surrounding St. Peter Claver Church.
Neighborhood Revitalization is one of the six focus areas in the City of Sheboygan’s Five-Year Strategic Plan. Revitalization efforts, including Rock the Block, highlight the need to increase the appearance of housing stock and maintenance of properties, bolster pride in ownership, and increase owner-occupancy. In past revitalized areas, the city has noted decreased crime rates and increased qualify of life.
Sheboygan Neighborhood Pride, a non-profit organization working to create neighborhood associations in the city, awarded five homes in the Kuehne Court neighborhood with Neighborhood Pride Awards for their well- kept properties. The homes that received the awards include: 2016 N. 12th Street, 2035 N. 13th Street, 1226 Heermann Court, 1241 Trimberger Court, and 1234 Bluff Avenue. The City congratulates these property owners for their pride in ownership and keeping-up their properties to contribute to lower crime rates and to increase property values.