A temporary crosswalk has “popped up” at the corner of 5th Avenue and Knapp Street in Oshkosh. A pop-up is a resident-led approach to neighborhood building using short-term, low-cost and scale-able interventions to catalyze long-term change. Residents of Sacred Heart Neighborhood Association have identified this intersection as sometimes difficult and unsafe to cross. This intersection is close to Franklin Elementary School, Stoegbauer Park and St. Jude Catholic Church, places where children and families frequently go.
The goals of this temporary demonstration project are:
- Hear from residents about the real-world use of streets and public spaces
- Engage community members in activities that impact issues they’ve identified
- Test aspects of a project before making large financial investments
- Encourage people to work together in new ways, strengthening relationships between residents, non-profits, local businesses, and government agencies
Did you experience the pop-up crosswalk? Share your thoughts about it here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/popupcrosswalk
The pop-up crosswalk will only be up through May 8, 2019 so make sure to check it out next time you’re out and about. Search #reTHINKcrosswalks on Facebook for additional project info!
This project could not have happened with out so many community partners combined efforts. Thank you to Sacred Heart Neighborhood Association, St. Jude the Apostle, East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Safe Routes to School program, Art City Wraps, Uptown, Oshkosh Storm Companies, Growing Oshkosh, UW Oshkosh Sociology and Geography Departments, and the City of Oshkosh.
Jackie and Michele are rockstar leaders in the Sacred Heart Neighborhood area of Oshkosh! We first got to know Jackie when she began working with the re:TH!NK Social Connectedness Team to strengthen and build neighborly relationships in their area. As they worked with their neighborhood they learned more about what residents cared about and a specific challenge emerged. They heard concerns about children being able to safely cross Knapp Street on their way to school each day. Residents felt that cars were moving too fast, parking on both sides of the street made drivers seeing children and children seeing cars difficult, and the cross walk was not well defined. Michele, Sacred Heart Neighborhood Association core team member and St. Jude Parish (on Knapp St) staff, connected to the work of the neighborhood and joined Jackie in working to get safer crossing for children going to school and to church functions.
And idea to try out a better, safer, more visible type of crosswalk was imagined in late 2018 and Jackie and Michele have been important members of the project’s planning team since the beginning. They connected with residents and parish members to let them know about the project, called upon local businesses to be a part of the project, engaged youth and students in different tasks, and helped install what became a “pop-up crosswalk” on the corner of 5th Ave and Knapp St. in late April 2019.
We would like to offer a huge shout-out and thank you to leaders like Jackie and Michele for making our community a better place to live, work, and play!
In 2018, re:TH!NK updated the mission statement and logo, worked on Safe Routes to Parks audits, educated youth about healthy food choices, partnered with the Sacred Heart Neighborhood Association, conducted Festival Scans, and finally reached its goal of tobacco-free parks in Oshkosh!
re:TH!NK has exciting news to share! The Leadership Council took time this past summer to discuss the current and future state of re:TH!NK and has updated the mission statement to reflect our current and potential priorities.
The mission statement is now more reflective of the kind of organization and the kind of work we are involved with re:TH!NK effectively engages the community in creating a healthier environment and opportunities to improve quality of life in Winnebago County.
Along with our updated mission statement, each team now has their very own team logo! Team members gave input on final selections from a cohesive color palate. As re:TH!NK grows and evolves, so can our teams and their logos.
Habitat for Humanity of Oshkosh exists to provide a world where everyone has a decent place to live. An independent affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, Habitat Oshkosh is a champion of affordable housing through the simple concept of bringing people together to create meaningful change.
“Habitat’s mission is to bring people together to build homes, hope and community,” said Jeff Potts, executive director. “What we’ve found is if we focus on bringing people together it’s so much more efficient to build (or fix) homes and that allows us to create a sense of community. Once you feel that sense of community, it gives everyone hope for a better future. That’s what we are here to do.”
While most people are familiar with Habitat’s home-ownership program (based on building and selling homes with a zero percent interest rate to qualified families) the organization also works to revitalize neighborhoods through strategic partnerships. Working with partners such as re:TH!NK Winnebago County, Habitat is launching a program called Rock the Block (also with Greater Oshkosh Healthy Neighborhoods Inc. and the City of Oshkosh) to provide affordable repairs and improvements to properties in the Sacred Heart Neighborhood Association. The program seeks to connect neighbors to make literally connect and build a stronger sense of community.
Oshkosh’s first Rock the Block will take place in Spring of 2019. Habitat for Humanity and Social and Place Connectedness Team are discussing together to increase in-person social connectedness in Oshkosh.
For more information contact Habitat at (920) 235-3535 or RockTheBlock@HabitatOshkosh.org.
The Social and Place Connectedness Team and the newly formed Sacred Heart Neighborhood Association are excited to work together to foster stronger relationships and greater connectedness across the neighborhood. Residents see the neighborhood as a great place to raise children and grow old. A local park with playground equipment and a ball diamond is a central feature and gathering space for residents. Building relationships with neighbors, residents that live on nearby streets, and businesses will be the focus of this new partnership. Leadership of the association as well as the connectedness team are looking forward to the work we will engage in together.