The Hilltop Alliance is bringing back our Hilltop Summit in 2024 on March 19th at Alla Famiglia on E Warrington Ave in the Allentown neighborhood. This annual event brings us together with the eleven community-based organizations we are comprised of to reflect on the accomplishments of the past year. As the upcoming Summit is the first we've held since 2019, we decided to build up to the event by spotlighting one of our eleven community-based organizations each week leading up to March 19th. This week, we are highlighting the people and work of the Allentown Community Development Corporation (ACDC)!
The Allentown Community Development Corporation (ACDC) has been making remarkable strides in enhancing the quality of life in the neighborhood. Through a series of initiatives and collaborations, ACDC has successfully brought the community together, creating a more vibrant and welcoming environment. Let's review some of the key achievements and ongoing projects that showcase ACDC's commitment to community development.
Community Meetings and Projects
ACDC actively engages with the Allentown community by hosting four community meetings annually. This year, meetings will see further collaboration with Councilman Charland's office and the District 3 Police Station. ACDC also hosted the Councilman Charland's first stop on his Listen First Tour that included generously provided food from Councilman Charland. Hill Top United Methodist Church provided their space for the meeting. With the support of RE360, ACDC worked on zoning approvals to implement wayfinding signs for Allentown and Mt Oliver business districts. These signs serve as navigational aids, promoting local businesses and improving the overall accessibility of the community.
Business District Initiatives
The Allentown Community Development Corporation has prioritized the neighborhood's cleanliness by financially supporting a street cleaner in the past years, ensuring a well-maintained and attractive environment for all. In 2023, they also added flower pots along E Warrington Ave, adding a touch of natural beauty to the urban landscape which promotes both aesthetics and wellness for the neighborhood. During each holiday season, ACDC adorns the streets with banners and Christmas decorations, spreading festive cheer throughout the community. Such efforts contribute to a positive and joyful atmosphere, helping make Allentown a delightful place to live and visit
ACDC is committed to supporting and attending business district events such as the Allentown Night Market, Small Business Saturday and the Mt. Oliver & Allentown Cookie Tour and welcomes new businesses along E Warrington Ave in collaboration with Hilltop Alliance. Allentown welcomed eleven new businesses in 2023 such as Genuine Studios, Star Mind Shop, North Ave Candles, and more. See the full Allentown Business District here.
Collaboration with Leadership Pittsburgh: Food Access Committees
ACDC collaborated with Leadership Pittsburgh on an in-depth research project focused on Allentown over an eight month period in 2023. The project used qualitative and quantitative research as well as community feedback to analyze the features of the neighborhood. The findings led to the establishment of two committees, non-profit and for-profit food access, led by Abiding Missions and Soil Sisters Plant Nursery, respectively.
These committees represent a proactive approach to addressing community needs for accessible food options and include participation from Just Harvest, the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council, Hilltop Alliance, Hilltop Urban Farm, and other individuals, non-profits and businesses around the city.
Pittsburgh Garbage Olympics 2023:
A Second Year in First Place!
For the second consecutive year, the Allentown CDC in collaboration with RE360 led the neighborhood team to a first place prize in the Pittsburgh Garbage Olympics. The Allentown Garbage Olympics team works hard each year to not only helps keep the neighborhood clean but also fosters a sense of camaraderie among residents!
Preservation and Development of St. John Vianney Church
ACDC continues to focus on the preservation and development of St. John Vianney Church, contributing to the historical and cultural richness of Allentown.
New Strategies for Beautification and Litter Control in 2024
Looking ahead to 2024, ACDC is gearing up to implement new strategies for beautification and litter control. These initiatives aim to build on the existing efforts and address emerging challenges in the ever-evolving landscape of community development and will begin with providing all business owners on E Warrington Ave with new brooms and outdoor dustpans. This year, community meetings will see discussion on the collaboration with Audubon Society to put pollinators in a community garden across from Bottlerocket Social Hall which will provide a green gathering space for the neighborhood.
The Allentown Community Development Corporation's multifaceted approach to community development demonstrates a commitment to fostering a thriving, beautiful, and united neighborhood. With ongoing projects and a vision for the future, ACDC stands as a beacon of positive change, making Allentown a better place for everyone.