After 24 years, the Neighborhood Enhancement Program is drawing to a conclusion.
Launched in 1988, NEP provided residents the opportunity to select small capital projects for city-funded improvements in their neighborhoods. NEP sparked community efforts to come together with the City of Bellevue and build something positive in their own neighborhoods. The success of NEP has been attributed to the philosophy that residents themselves are in the best position to decide how to improve their own neighborhoods. The most critical neighborhood projects (well over 430) have been completed! These projects met a wide array of neighborhood needs; improving playgrounds, parks, trail connections, sidewalk links, landscaping and public art.
The Neighborhood Enhancement Projects ran on a three-year cycle – with residents voting in their neighborhood areas for their top priorities for small capital projects. Beginning in 2011, with the fiscal reality prompting cost-saving measures, the city prioritized completing its commitments for its approved NEP projects. As these projects near completion, the Neighborhood Enhancement Program will come to an end. All previously approved projects will be completed, but no further applications for NEP projects will be considered.
The city remains committed to listening to neighborhoods and looking for new ways to invest in the health and vitality of our neighborhoods. The guiding philosophy of NEP, that residents are in the best position to decide how to improve their neighborhoods, still holds true today. Neighborhood Outreach will be revitalizing the Neighborhood Match program to leverage community collaboration and provide small matching grants for neighborhood projects. Neighborhood Forums will provide platforms to deepen our neighborhood conversations about the issues that matter to us most, including topics like public safety, environmental stewardship and economic development.
We have much to celebrate with NEP's accomplishments. If you would like to comment, share a success story of how NEP impacted your neighborhood or participate in new neighborhood initiatives to build up our communities, please contact Mike McCormick Huentelman, Neighborhood and Community Outreach Manager, at email@example.com or 425-4502-4089.