Stark County Neighborhood Partnership Program

Posted on July 01, 2024

In 2021, the Stark County Neighborhood Partnership Program was launched as a partnership between Stark Community Foundation and the Community Building Partnership of Stark County. The goal? To improve and expand neighborhood revitalization efforts within our community.

Adopting a data-driven approach, the program strategically leverages community assets while identifying local neighborhood challenges to tackle. The program is all about empowering resident leaders to work alongside their neighbors to strengthen their neighborhoods from within and make positive changes. 

Through the program, participants gain access to free specialized training, essential tools and resources, responsive grant opportunities and community events, all designed to help strengthen neighborhoods across Stark County.

Utilizing the healthy neighborhoods framework created by expert David Boehlke as a roadmap, program leaders decide which projects to prioritize and where to invest to make Stark County neighborhoods stronger and healthier. When neighborhood associations apply for neighborhood grants, they're encouraged to align their grant proposals with one of four key elements of the framework: Image & Identity, Physical Conditions, Involvement & Investment and Market.

Below, we’ll explore each element of the healthy neighborhoods framework and spotlight a project already making a positive impact in a Stark County community. 



These are the attributes of a neighborhood that impact how people see and feel about the neighborhood. For residents, this is what defines their neighborhood and makes it unique. For visitors, this is what they see looking in. When a neighborhood has a strong image and identity, residents feel proud to call it home, and visitors are drawn to explore. Sample projects that align with Image & Identity may include beautification projects, signage and marketing. 

The Harrisburg Royal Neighborhood Association (HRNA) built, painted and installed more than 15 house-shaped identity markers throughout their neighborhood in Canton. These markers foster a sense of community pride, add unique charm to the area and make the neighborhood association easily recognizable to both residents and visitors.



This element covers the nuts and bolts of a neighborhood, like housing quality, infrastructure and public spaces. For better or worse, the condition of one property can affect nearby ones. When the physical conditions of a neighborhood are in good shape, residents enjoy a higher quality of life. Sample projects that align with Physical Conditions may include housing assessments, neighborhood cleanups, sidewalk replacements and housing rehab projects.

The West Park Neighborhood Association improved the streetscape facing the 12th Street and Fulton Road intersection with a mural created by area artist Dave Sherrill of Arrowhead Vintage in Canton. The mural showcases local talent and creativity, improves a neglected area and adds aesthetic value to the neighborhood.



This element is centered around the people who live in the neighborhood and how invested they are in its success, whether it's through time, effort or money.
It's about community engagement, neighborly connections and residents taking pride in their surroundings. When people are involved and invested, they work together to address issues and make positive changes. Sample projects that align with Involvement & Investment may include community events, community gardens, residential improvement projects, general neighborhood beautification and neighborhood meetings.

The CHAMPION Neighborhood Association celebrated Earth Day with a neighborhood event, collecting litter and recyclables followed by an afternoon of snacks and activities. It was an opportunity for neighbors to beautify their area, socialize and create a sense of togetherness and belonging. 



The culmination of Image & Identity, Physical Conditions and Involvement & Investment leads to the overall market values, sales figures and desirability of living in the neighborhood. Essentially, this element focuses on the economic health of a neighborhood. It's not always just about money; changes in value give a better picture of how the neighborhood is doing overall. When the market is robust, it creates a sense of stability and opportunity for everyone in the neighborhood.

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