York XL, located at 7 E Market Street in York City, has been engaging residents of the East Side of York City this year through Street Meets, fun neighborhood events that include children’s activities, music, and pre-planned neighborhood projects.
“Street meets may look like scaled down block parties, but they’re designed differently,” says Sal Galdamez, Founder of York XL.“They allow us to get to know people, where they live; they allow us to try to understand their lived experiences. The fun activities are just a way for us to build trust that will allow us to ask people about their skills, passions, interests, and priorities.”
From September through November, York XL will be working with more than a dozen organizations in an area named the Broad Street Greenway which runs roughly from the Goode School to Hannah Penn K-8. A greenway is a long, narrow corridor of urban green space used for recreation and pedestrian and bike travel that connects people to places such as schools, parks, local businesses, housing, and other neighborhood destinations, Greenways are often scenic routes that incorporate gardens, nature, and sometimes public art.
“Our approach to neighborhood engagement is continuous meaningful interactions over time that lead to mutual trust,” says Laura Sandmann, a York XL board member who often participates in street meets as a face painter. She has her own organization called ArtAffects.
Saturday’s Street Meet — Sept. 14, 12PM-4PM
Saturdays event will take place alongside a Better Block project in partnership with the City of York – Bureau of Health. The Better Block Foundation, a national nonprofit, works to empower neighborhood residents to create the change they need in their community.
“The project will include temporary beautification, recreation and traffic safety elements,” says Nicole Smith, Community Health Specialist at the City of York – Bureau of Health. “These short-term improvements are a demonstration of things that residents could advocate to become permanent changes,” she adds. This Better Block project is possible through the support of the Women’s Giving Circle of York County Community Foundation.
The full Street Meet schedule can be found at www.yorkxl.com
York XL brings people together to imagine and create empowered neighborhoods. Our vision is for everyone to be living in a healthy, resilient, and self-sustaining neighborhood of their own choosing where people know how to advocate for themselves, unite to improve their own neighborhoods, choose between many exceptional educational options, create and maintain healthy, beautiful spaces, possess gainful employment and financial savviness to build wealth, and enrich their life through affordable recreation.