Category Archives: Uncategorized

Street Trees for Midtown

Well-maintained trees in residential neighborhoods can significantly increase the value of homes and properties by creating as sense of privacy and adding beauty to the landscape.

Friends of Midtown’s Street Tree Project will help address areas in need of urban canopy cover identified in a 2013 inventory of Harrisburg City street tree health.  Increasing age diversity to create a stable urban canopy, would improve aesthetics and resilience to storm damages and pest outbreaks.  All tree species will be in accordance with the City of Harrisburg’s Approved Street Tree List.

To plant these trees, Friends of Midtown has been awarded a TreeVitalize grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. All we need to do now is raise the $3000 in matching funds and gather some volunteers. You may contribute at our YouCaring fundraising site. To volunteer, contact our Beautification Committee.

 

 

Winter 2018 Newsletter

Like to plan ahead? Most events and meetings through December are included in Friends of Midtown’s 2018-01 Newsletter,  which was recently mailed to everyone in the 17102 ZIP code . A copy is linked if you don’t receive one.

If you live in 17102 and didn’t receive one in the mail, please contact our Communications Committee at media@friendsofmidtown.org so we can address this problem with the USPS. If your business would like to reach this same audience with an advertisement, please contact our Communications Committee. 

Communications Survey

Friends of Midtown periodically evaluates its communications strategy and is seeking your input to determine current effectiveness and receive suggestions on how to improve. As a token of appreciation for you taking a couple minutes to complete this survey, you will receive a coupon code for $1 off the new #ShopMidtown coupon book.  If you’d like to assist us in our outreach to the community, please e-mail outreach@friendsofmidtown.org.

Midtown Person of 2017

Friends of Midtown is seeking nominees for Midtown Person of 2017.

A nominee should demonstrate the core goals of the Friends of Midtown: Strengthen the intrinsic physical structures of community by promoting a pedestrian-scaled streetscape that is safe and clean; stimulate Midtown’s economic revitalization by encouraging small business growth that contributes to a more livable community and quality of life for all; spark public participation through events and activities that celebrate Midtown’s diverse culture and contribute to community well-being.

To nominate someone, please send us your name and address, the nominee’s name and address, and a paragraph about the nominee before January 13. The winner will be announced on February 12 at our Winter Social and Annual Meeting.

Holiday Decorating Contest

Friends of Midtown’s Beautification Committee would like to stimulate and enhance a sense of community and neighborhood beautification by rewarding residents and business owners who go above-and- beyond in decorating their home or business for the holiday season.

We will issue first, second, and third place awards based on judge vote. We’ll also award a special “People’s Choice” award to be decided by public vote occurring during December’s 3rd in the Burg. All winners will be recognized publicly.

Vote as many times as you want: 1 vote for $1, 6 votes for $5, 15 votes for $10, or 40 votes for $20. All proceeds benefits FOM Beautification Projects, such as the Midtown dog park, graffiti removal, Treevitalize, community cleanups, and flower barrels.

Any Midtown Harrisburg property may participate for free, unless owned by or employing a judge. Decorations must be visible from the sidewalk.

Timeline:

11/15: Rules and Application Published
11/17: Judges announced: Susquehanna Art Museum Executive Director Alice Anne Schwab, Historic Harrisburg Association Acting Executive Director David Morrison
12/7: Applications due
12/12-15: Judge voting
12/15: Public voting (ballots available 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. during 3rd in the Burg at Broad Street Market and Zeroday Brewing Co.) Here’s a map of participating properties..

After much consideration, the judges were so impressed that they selected two winners:

Best Classical Display: 1502 Green Street, Thomas Robel
Best All-Out Holiday Display: 321 Kelker Street
, David Holsopple and Richard Reigle

The judges also want to recognize the following Honorable Mentions:

227 Reily Street, Brian and Becky Esworthy
2022 Green Street, Mark Crider and Bob Krambuhl
254 Verbeke Street, David Bixler
232 Charles Street
, Dan Fulton

Of the businesses competing, Alice Anne was the sole judge. She has so declared:

Best Classical Display:  1530 N. 2nd Street, note.
Best All-Out Holiday Display: 1230 N. 3rd Street
, Historic Harrisburg Association

We are also proud to announce the People’s Choice Award Winner: 1502 Green Street, Thomas Robel!

Of course, thank you to Zeroday for donating the gift cards and for allowing us to use your space as a polling location, and a shout out to the Broad Street Market for welcoming Friends of Midtown to use your space for a polling location during 3rd in the Burg as well!

Finally, we want to thank those who voted! Thanks to you, we made over $240 in votes — that is money that will go to beautification in our neighborhood. Thank you! If you’d like to make a year-end tax-deductible and fee-free contribution to Friends of Midtown, for Beautification projects or other purposes, please do so through the PayPal Giving Fund, which will boost all donations 1%.

We have hyperlinked the properties so that you can check out the winners and honorable mentions. Please, take advantage of your neighbors’ hard work and check out the displays. You can find the map of the competing homes by following this link.

We wish everyone very happy holidays! Look forward to hearing more from us in the coming months — we have some exciting announcements regarding Treevitalize and graffiti removal coming your way. Of course, if you want to get involved, please contact us at beautification@friendsofmidtown.org.

Halloween Haunted House 2017

Our free Halloween Haunted House returns to Midtown on October 26, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. We’ve developed a spaceship-themed maze in the basement of Histsoric Harrisburg Association (1230 N. 3rd St.). We’ll also have other activities for those trick-or-treaters too young for this scary attraction, plus candy for all!

We could still use some volunteers in the week leading up to and the night of the event, so if you can help, please contact our Events Committee.

Whether you’re participating in the haunted house, taking your children out for candy, or not distributing treats for any reason, please ensure safety by keeping your porch lights on and post this flyer on your door to redirect youth to the Haunted House.

Fall 2017 Newsletter

Like to plan ahead? Most events and meetings through December are included in Friends of Midtown’s Fall Newsletter, which was mailed to everyone in the 17102 ZIP code in the last week. A copy is linked if you don’t receive one.

If you live in 17102 and didn’t receive one in the mail, please contact our Communications Committee at media@friendsofmidtown.org so we can address this problem with the USPS. If your business would like to reach this same audience with an advertisement, please contact our Communications Committee. 

Seeking Board and Committee Members

As we proceed through 2017, we must plan for 2018 and the need to fill existing and expected voids in leadership and volunteer positions. Remember that  volunteering just two hours per week can improve your health. If you’re interested in filling one or more of the following positions, please contact us:

Beautification
This is a co-chair position with an existing Board member, so these duties would be shared. Runs monthly Committee meetings and organizes community service projects, including community cleanups, MLK Day of Service, graffiti removal, tree planting, and planting and maintenance of flower barrels. Oversees Dog Park Subcommittee. Representation of Friends of Midtown with Clean & Green Harrisburg preferred, but not required. This Board member position requires monthly Board meeting attendance. Expected commitment: 1-3 hours per month, plus monthly Committee and Board meetings.

Business
This is a co-chair position with an existing Board member, so these duties would be shared. Participates in monthly business meetings run by the City. Coordinates Local Lunches and #ShopMidtown and #DestinationMidtown campaigns. Recruits business members and discounts for FOM members. This Board member position requires monthly Board meeting attendance. Expected commitment: 1-3 hours per month, plus monthly business and Board meetings and seasonal #ShopMidtown solicitations. [tentatively filled]

Communications
This is a co-chair position with an existing Board members, but they have distinct duties. The applicant will publish weekly e-mail updates, monthly eNewsletters, and quarterly paper newsletters. Some level of familiarity with MailChimp and publishing software preferred. This is a Board position requiring monthly meeting attendance. Presently no Committee meetings, but this may change if Communications and Membership duties are combined into a proposed Outreach Committee. Expected commitment: 1-2 hours per week, plus monthly Board meeting. Must fill by November. 

Membership
Seeking two individuals to split several duties: maintaining membership database, issuing welcome packets to new members and new homeowners, notifying members of lapsed memberships, organizing quarterly socials, coordinating 3rd in the Burg and other information table participation. Proficiency with Excel required. These are Board positions and require monthly Board meeting attendance, but certain tasks may be delegated to a Committee volunteer, so non-Board volunteers are also welcome. Presently no Committee meetings, but this may change if Communications and Membership duties are combined into a proposed Outreach Committee. Expected commitment (if split between two people): 1-2 hours per week, plus monthly Board meeting. Must fill by October. 

Parents
This existed briefly in the past, but does not presently. It may be an independent committee or subcommittee of the Events Committee. The purpose would be to gather Midtown parents to pool resources on those challenges unique to an urban parent: safety, fun, and education. It could coordinate independent events or collaborate with other committees to make each event appropriate for both parents and children. If a Board position, would require a monthly meeting. Could have independent committee meetings or join the Events Committee meeting. Expected commitment: 1-2 hours per month, with potential meetings.

Safety
This is a co-chair position with an existing Board member, so these duties would be shared. Runs monthly Committee meetings and organizes Community Foot Patrols and other safety initiatives. This Board member position requires monthly Board meeting attendance. Expected commitment: 1-2 hours per month, plus monthly Committee and Board meetings and non-mandatory weekly Foot Patrol. [tentatively filled]

Neighborhood Organization Representatives
Friends of Midtown welcomes a representative from each active neighborhood organization in Midtown to serve as a liaison between organizations. We’re interested in your help if you live in one of the following Midtown neighborhoods and that neighborhood has an active organization, which we may or may not know about: Midtown Square Action Council, Hardscrabble, Engleton, Governor’s Square, Capitol Heights, Lotsville, Cumberland Court, New Fox Ridge, Old Fox Ridge. This would be a Board position and the only requirement is monthly Board meeting attendance, but assistance with committees is preferred.

Improvement District
This ad hoc committee is looking for up to fifteen interested individuals from broad economic, geographical, and racial demographics: homeowners, renters, non-resident property owners, business owners. and nonprofit representatives. The purpose of this committee is to explore the idea of creating a Midtown Improvement District, as has been proposed in different incarnations in the past. Expected commitment: 2-3 hours per month.

Help Bring Harrisburg’s First Dog Park to Midtown!

Friends of Midtown is partnering with the Vartan Group and the City of Harrisburg to bring a temporary dog park to Midtown. On any given day in our community, you’ll see many neighbors walking their furry friends, and soon we will have our own public space for pets and owners to enjoy! Our efforts have even been recognized by TheBurg in not one, but two pieces.

However, to make that happen, we need to generate awareness in the area and raise $20,000.

The #GivingTuesday partnership between Facebook and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to match the first $2 million in donations was quickly met, so further donations on November 28 will be fee-free, but not matched. Without knowing which donations were matched, we estimate  to have raised about $2000. 

It’s not quite an even match, but donations through the end of 2017 will be boosted 1% and fee-free when given through the PayPal Giving Fund.

Prefer a check or money order? Make payable to Friends of Midtown and mail to

P.O. Box 5291
Harrisburg, PA 17110-0291

You can make track our progress at our YouCaring fundraising site.

If you are interested in volunteering at these events or otherwise for this project, please contact the Dog Park Subcommittee Co-Chairs Andy & Annie Huges at dogpark@friendsofmidtown.org.

Summer 2017 Newsletter

Like to plan ahead? All events and meetings through September are included in Friends of Midtown’s Summer Newsletter, which was mailed to everyone in the 17102 ZIP code in early July. A copy is linked if you don’t receive one.

If you live in 17102 and didn’t receive one, please contact our Communications Committee at media@friendsofmidtown.org so we can address this problem with the USPS. If your business would like to reach this same audience with an advertisement, please contact our Communications Committee.