The Eastern Connecticut Association of Realtors® has received a $2,200 Placemaking micro-grant from the National Association of Realtors® to help make Norwich a better place to live and work by transforming public spaces into vibrant community places. The NAR grant is in addition to $2,000 that ECAR has committed to the project.
The grant is intended to help Realtor Associations partner with others to plan, organize, implement and maintain placemaking activities in their communities.
The funds will be used for the Norwich Historical Society’s “Walk Norwich Project – discovering the role of Norwich in U.S. history” project. Signs will be designed, fabricated and installed on two walking tours, the Heritage Trail and the Benedict Arnold trail, that will tell all of the small stories about Norwich’s history. They will partner with the Leffingwell House Museum, Slater Memorial Museum, Norwich Community Development Corporation, Norwich Noontime Rotary Club, State of Connecticut Historic Preservation Office, The Last Green Valley, Norwich Historic District Commission, Otis Library, City of Norwich, and the Mayor of the City of Norwich on this project who will also be providing resources for the project.
“Realtors® live, work and volunteer in their communities and take immense pride in working to improve them,” said John Bolduc, ECAR’s Chief Executive Officer. “Placemaking can help foster healthier, more social and economically viable communities. It creates places where people feel a strong stake in their neighborhoods and are committed to making things better. This grant will allow us to address areas in our community that are in need of improvement or redevelopment and create a place where friends and neighbors can come together.”
Placemaking grants are awarded to local and state Realtor® associations to help them and their members initiate placemaking projects in the community, like turning a parking lot into a farmer’s market or a vacant lot into a playground. Realtor® associations and their Realtor® members are actively engaged in the community and know the neighborhoods and the properties that would benefit most from these improvement efforts.
“As the Norwich area becomes more attractive and welcoming, nearby properties may also increase in value,” Bolduc said.