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Esperanza's 10-year Hunting Park Neighborhood Strategic Plan Receives Approval From The City Of Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On the 16th of October 2012, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission officially endorsed the Hunting Park Neighborhood Strategic Plan 2022, a 10-year community revitalization plan led by Esperanza.  The plan focuses on revitalizing targeted neighborhoods through strengthening social networks, improving educational institutions, cleaning, greening, and improving the commercial corridors, and rehabilitating shared public spaces.  The Planning Commission's endorsement signifies that Esperanza's strategic plan reflects the goals of the Philadelphia 2035 Plan. 

The plan's core themes include Community Pride and Spirit, Communications, Education Ecology, Affordable Housing and Model Block Development, Business Development, Public Realm, and Open Space and the Environment

Esperanza will address the first three themes through activities such as tree-planting, neighborhood cleaning activities, community events, and block-level and streetscape improvements.  Additional initiatives addressing the remaining themes will continue to strengthen Hunting Park into a place of vibrancy and vitality.  The plan will weave education into each of its phases during the next 10 years.  

City Planning Commission Chairman Alan Greenberger stated regarding the plan that the 5th Street commercial corridor "is a pretty exciting corridor. It's worth your while to see if you can find an easy, early win on something physical. If people see that, it gives them some encouragement that there are more things to come." 

Reverend Luis Cortes, founder and President of Esperanza, stated, "We are happy that after months of hard work to create the plan, our community has defined our goals and objectives, and the city has recognized our community.  I extend my appreciation to our staff – Pita Lacenski, Executive Director of Nueva Esperanza Housing and Economic Development, and Phil Dawson, our Economic Development Manager – for their leadership, as well as the contributions and hard work of many others who helped bring this plan to fruition."  

Esperanza engaged the entire community in the planning process, including residents, business owners, local elected officials, community nonprofit organizations, and others.  Significant guidance and support was provided by Hunting Park United, Aspira Equal Partners In Change (EPIC) Stakeholders, Spirit and Truth church, Esperanza Health Center, and Ayuda Community Center.   City planner David Ortiz, from the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, also made valuable contributions to the creation of the plan, which was shaped with the input of nearly 800 individuals through 3 community-wide meetings and 14 focus groups. 

For 27 years since Esperanza's founding, the leadership of Esperanza has worked to guide the transformation of the Hunting Park community.  This 10-year action plan, made possible by funding from the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation and support from Citizens and Aetna, represents the vision of community stakeholders for the next stage of Hunting Park's development.  Esperanza looks forward to continuing to collaborate with all stakeholders in order to strengthen the Hunting Park community in the years to come. 

Esperanza is a Hispanic, faith-based community development corporation and the premier Hispanic Evangelical network in the country.  With robust local programs and services and a national network of over 13,000 Hispanic clergy, congregations, and community based organizations, Esperanza is a leading voice for Hispanics in America. Read more at www.esperanza.us.

SOURCE Esperanza

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