The Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation (YNDC) was recently recognized for the important work they do.
The organization was one of 15 across Ohio to receive the Dominion Energy Community Impact Award. Those selected showed a focus on human needs, environmental stewardship, education and community vitality.
YNDC was specifically honored for its Clean Up Glenwood project.
Clean Up Glenwood has been five to six years in the making. Most of that work has been behind the scenes acquiring property and raising funds. Most recently, work has been done in the neighborhood that everyone can see.
People who live in the Glenwood corridor have seen empty lots and abandoned buildings replaced with trees and parks. It’s a year-round project that takes time, but each smaller project is part of a larger vision – to give residents a better place to live and to get businesses to want to open along Glenwood Avenue.
“It’s always great to be recognized for those efforts sometimes. You think people don’t even notice what you are doing, so that kind of reassures you that people do see the change along the corridor, and while we’ve made a lot of progress, there is still much to do,” said Ian Beniston, executive director of YDNC.
Last year, YDNC and its volunteers planted nearly 150 trees, added lights to the Community Park, and restored apartment complexes and homes, among several other projects.
Their latest report shows that between 2014 and 2018, crime has gone down in the areas where the organization has action plans, and the number of vacant homes has gone down by nearly 1,500.
Three new homes are being built throughout Youngstown, which is the first time YNDC is breaking ground on new construction in the city.
“What is next is more of what we’ve been doing, so even along Glenwood, we have more homes that we are going to be renovating, more properties that we are going to be cleaning up. Throughout the city, we are achieving several milestones. This quarter, we are about to renovate our 100th house,” Beniston said.
The Dominion Energy Impact Award award comes with a $7,500 grant which will be used to plant trees this summer and build custom trash cans for the sidewalks.