Your Voice, Your Choice! Tree Streets Neighborhood Project
We asked those who live, work, attend school, own property or a business, or practice their faith in the Tree Streets Neighborhood to help decide how $40,000 should be invested in their neighborhood.
The City collected over 125 project ideas and the most frequently suggested and eligible ideas were turned into proposals that were voted on by the community.
Over 140 ballots were completed and the winning project is....
Here are the complete voting results:
|Proposed Project||Project Cost||# Online Votes||# Paper Votes||# Total Votes||Rank|
|Los Amigos Park Improvements||$40,000||26||66||92||1|
|Ash Street Skate Park Improvements||$40,000||15||34||49||2|
|Heritage Rail Trail Improvements||$30,000||20||15||35||3|
|Public Drinking Water Fountain & Bottle Filling Station||$10,000||10||25||35||4|
|Community Gardening Abundance Project||$25,000||14||19||33||5|
|Pedestrian Crossing with Rapid Flashing Beacon||$20,000||7||23||30||6|
|West Hollis Street Bus Shelter||$25,000||12||11||23||7|
|Neighborhood Placemaking & Beautification||$30,000||14||8||22||8|
|Bike Repair Station||$3,500||8||10||18||9|
There were A LOT of GREAT ideas gathered through this effort, but we just couldn't implement them all.
- Some project ideas exceeded the $40,000 budget.
- Some were already being addressed through other programs.
- Some just weren't eligible (i.e., were not capital projects).
Here are the project ideas that were submitted that Your Voice, Your Choice can't fund: Idea Summary (pdf, 280K).
Here are all the YVYC 2021 projects that were voted on:
|LOS AMIGOS PARK IMPROVEMENTS|
Location: Los Amigos Park (Ash Street)
Description: Updates to Los Amigos Park will provide new areas for active play for neighborhood children. Plans include a water misting cooling tower, new play structures and a picnic table.
|ASH STREET SKATE PARK IMPROVEMENTS|
Location: Skate Park at 57 Ash St
Description: The skate park on Ash Street was designed and built in the late 2000s and is in need of maintenance and upgrades. This project will replace old equipment and freshen up the park for the neighborhood's many skateboarders to enjoy.
|HERITAGE RAIL TRAIL IMPROVEMENTS|
Location: Rail Trail
Description: The Nashua Heritage Rail Trail will be improved by adding amenities such as trash receptacles, seating, and signage. Landscaping will improve safety on the trail by cleaning up overgrown areas and improving visibility and will beautify the trail by removing stumps, fixing broken fencing and adding planters.
|COMMUNITY GARDENING ABUNDANCE PROJECT|
Location: Rail Trail Gardens by Pine Street and Vine Street
Description: Grow Nashua and Gate City Community Gardens will add raised beds, container gardens, pollinator meadows, and make foundational upgrades to secure and increase yields for the families that garden in the Tree Streets! Upgrades include management of trees and invasives, gardening materials that can be shared, a shed to store the materials, fencing/gates, and sections that will be designated as meadow space for pollinators and other beneficial insects. The project will also to include grow containers for families to use right at their homes. Garden sites and walkways will have cohesive signage that will be educational and directional.
|PUBLIC DRINKING WATER FOUNTAIN AND BOTTLE FILLING STATION|
Location: TBD based on public input and availability of water; potential locations include Los Amigos Park (Ash Street) and Park Social (Pine/Ledge Street)
Cost: $10,000 (for two fountains)
Description: Public drinking water fountains are an important resource, especially during the summer when heat and dehydration can be dangerous. They provide a service to those who need a drink of clean water and provide an alternative to sodas and other high-sugar drinks.
|NEIGHBORHOOD PLACEMAKING & BEAUTIFICATION|
Location: Throughout the neighborhood
Description: This beautification project will add brightness and highlight the dynamic and rich cultures and history of the Tree Streets through three efforts. Positive Street Art will renovate murals including the Garden Giant and the murals located in the Ash Street Skate Park and Los Amigos Park ($10,000). All the materials needed to create 250 potted vegetable, flower or herb plants will be available at no cost to residents in the spring to add a pop of color and spruce up a doorway, porch, or balcony ($5,000). Finally, locally designed welcome signs will serve as a visual reminder that you are in a special neighborhood with strong community spirit and a sense of place ($15,000).
|WEST HOLLIS STREET BUS SHELTER |
Location: West Hollis Street, in front of Palm Square
Description: City staff will place an ADA accessible shelter on West Hollis Street by Palm Square to provide a safe place to sit, protection from the weather, and a feeling of safety and security for users of Nashua Transit System’s Bus Service.
|BIKE REPAIR STATION|
Location: Location along bike routes TBD based on public input
Cost: $5,000 (for 2 stations)
Description: There are many bicyclists of all ages in the Tree Streets and public bike repair stands will provide them with the most commonly used tools for simple bike maintenance. Fixit stations are durable, with stainless steel cables, tamper-proof fasteners and a QR code that takes smart phone users to comprehensive bike repair web site.
|PEDESTRIAN CROSSING WITH RAPID FLASHING BEACON|
Location: Ash Street by Parks and Court
Description: One way streets with parking on the side can be difficult locations for pedestrians to cross the street safely. A pedestrian-activated high visibility rectangular rapid flashing beacon alerts drivers that there is someone using the crosswalk. City Staff will install a crosswalk and solar-powered beacon near PAL and the parks on Ash Street. It should be noted that this will result in a loss of parking spaces by the crosswalk.
1. What is Your Voice, Your Choice?
In 2019, Mayor Jim Donchess initiated a project to engage the residents of the Tree Streets in directing an investment of $25,000 to improve the neighborhood. In 2021, the budget has increased to $40,000.
This effort is based on a concept known as Participatory Budgeting (PB) in which community members directly influence how to spend part of a public budget. It empowers residents by giving them real power to make real decisions over real money in order to make their neighborhood a better place to live.
2. What are the goals of this project?
- Empower residents of the Tree Streets to make decisions on where/how to invest in their neighborhood
- Foster a sense of unity in the Tree Streets and inspire residents to engage in their community and build new relationships and networks that will help improve quality of life
- Develop civic leaders by building skills and knowledge through involvement in this process
- Promote the sharing of perspectives and knowledge to connect neighborhood needs and challenges with assets and aspirations
- Include all types of people: all races, ethnicities, abilities, incomes, backgrounds, ages, and genders
- Encourage engagement by people who are often excluded or are disillusioned with politics.
3. What can the money be used for?
Project ideas are eligible for funding if:
- They are capital infrastructure projects.
- They are within the boundaries of the Tree Streets Neighborhood, as shown below.
- They serve the general public and meet the needs of the neighborhood.
- They are implemented by the City of Nashua or by a non-profit Nashua organization.
- They cost between $1,000 and $40,000 per project.
- They are a one-time expense for the City.
- They must respect the City's laws, regulations, policies and action plans.
Tree Streets Boundary Map (jpg, 900 K)
4. What happens when?
- Planning and Design: June 10 - June 25
- Idea Collection: June 26 - August 8
- Proposal Development: August 9 - October 3
- Voting: October 8 - October 25
- Implementation: Until October 2022
(Click on the Timeline tab to learn what happens in each stage)
5. What are some examples of projects?
Example Project Ideas and Estimated Costs:
- Trash/recycling receptacles ($1,000 each)
- Community gardens ($15,000 - $25,000 to support 25 families)
- Sidewalk flower beds/gardens ($2,500 - $5,000, depending on size)
- Solar charging stations ($5,000 - $10,000 each)
- Street interventions:
- Public art installation (varies based on size & materials)
- Pedestrian-scale lighting (varies, depending on wired vs solar
- Pedestrian crossing signals ($25,000 per location)
- Bike racks ($500 - $1,000 each)
- Bike lanes ($9,000 per ¼ mile per side of the road)
- Bus Shelter ($18,000 - $20,000 each)
- Fencing (varies based on length, height & material)
- Emergency "blue light" call boxes ($2,500 - $5,000 each)
- Stamped "brick" high-visibility crosswalks ($5,000 per location)
- Speed feedback signs ($15,000 each)
- Upgraded street signs and poles ($175 each)
- Community Resources:
- Community tool library ($15,000 - $20,000)
- Community kiosk/bulletin board ($5,000 - $10,000)
- Facilities, Parks and Recreation:
- Park benches ($2,500 each)
- Playground equipment ($1,000 - $25,000, depending on size, materials & components)
6. What is the role of the Steering Committee and who is part of it?
- Roles and Responsibilities of the Steering Committee are as follows:
- Play a key role in designing and guiding the process.
- Help ensure the process is inclusive and consistent with the goals and principles of the Tree Streets Neighborhood project.
- Attend events and meetings during each stage of the process and provide assistance at public meetings
- Identify and recruit individuals and groups to support the Tree Streets Neighborhood project.
- Provide specialized support as needed, e.g., research, organizing, media, online engagement, social media, policy development, budgeting, and/or design.
- Promote the process through the press, social media, and other networks, using protocol agreed upon by the Steering Committee.
- Assist in mobilizing broad, inclusive and proportional community participation that reflects the diversity of the Neighborhood.
- Help create and distribute educational and promotional materials.
- Steering Committee members are:
- Alderman Tom Lopez, Ward 4
- Vanessa Jimenez, Resident
- Erica Brooks, NeighborWorks
- Jessica Gorhan, NH Hunger Solutions/Greater Nashua Food Council
- Kendra Smith, Soel Sistas
- Shaun Nelson, PAL Executive Director
- Jenn Benoit, PAL Volunteer
- Junely Grullon, PAL Volunteer
- Officer Bennett Stusse, PAL Officer
- Dave Smith, Crossways Christian Church
- Kim Adie, YMCA
- Beatriz Vasconcellos, Harvard Fellow
- Angela Wesson, Nashua Transit System
- Sarah Marchant, City of Nashua Community Development Division
- Andy Patrician, City of Nashua Department of Public Works
- Julie Chizmas, City of Nashua Community Development Division
7. Who is eligible to submit ideas and vote?
- Anyone who lives, works, attends school, owns property/business, and/or practices their faith in the Tree Streets Neighborhood who is 10 years of age or older may vote.
- Each voter may cast up to 3 votes, but only one vote per project.
- Projects will be ranked by order of highest number of votes to lowest. The $40,000 will be distributed across the top ranking projects until it runs out. If there is a tie, then the Steering Committee will decide the winning project with input from the implementing agency (e.g., Public Works, Parks & Recreation, etc.).
- To facilitate broad participation, voting will take place over multiple days at multiple locations. Absentee ballots will be offered to handicapped, out of town or limited mobility voters. Ballots can be mailed to voters who request an absentee ballot. These ballots will be numbered and tracked to avoid duplicate voting. Ballots can be returned in person to City Hall or at a location in the neighborhood (to be determined).
First Participatory Budget Cycle in 2019
In 2019, we asked those who live, work, attend school, own property or a business, or practice their faith in the Tree Streets Neighborhood to help decide how $25,000 should be invested in their neighborhood. The City collected over 200 project ideas. The most recommended eligible ideas were turned into proposals that were voted on.
About the Projects
There were a lot of GREAT ideas gathered through this effort, but we just couldn't implement them all. Some project ideas exceeded the $25,000 budget, some weren't eligible, and some we will try to do through other programs. Here is a summary of the ideas (pdf)/ resumen de ideas (pdf) we received.
Over 300 votes were cast and the winning project was... The Futsal Court!
|Proposed Project||Project Cost||# Total Votes||Rank|
|Los Amigos Park Improvements||$25,000||89||3|
|Heritage Rail Trail Improvements||$25,000||76||4|
|Trash Receptacles & Dog Waste Stations||$10,000||62||5|
|Portable Gaga Pit||$2,500||44||6|
|Transit Shelter by Palm Square||$22,000||42||7|
|Portable Speed Feedback Signs||$12,000||22||9|
*Community Gardens had the second-highest number of votes and received the remaining $5,000 to expand their gardens in the Tree Streets Neighborhood. The new "Mother's Garden" has been built and is beautiful! Click here to read about the project (pdf).