The south Lansing neighborhood area is undergoing a “rejuvenation” headed by a team of facilitators and representatives, and backed by community members like Elaine Wombolt. She is the official facilitator and founder of the initiative. As stated on the group’s website, “Our goal is to connect neighbors to each other and to resources so we can improve the quality of life in south Lansing for those who live and work here.”
Wombolt also said that this group helps and brainstorms with other Lansing neighborhoods that have similar issues, such as the eastside neighborhood. Some of these issues include a huge, unregulated number of medical marijuana dispensaries, and unregulated donation bins that are easily taken advantage of as garbage furniture dumps. This group started several years ago, with hopes to promote growth of the South Lansing community and stop crime. “In October 2014, a group of citizens came together and decided we needed to do something for south Lansing because it was deteriorating,” said Wombolt. “I was designated as the facilitator of this group.”
Wombolt talked about how this is a growing and expanding group, explaining that there are no dues, no bylaws, and anyone can attend the meetings.
Delhi Charter Township has started an initiative called Realize Cedar and they are looking towards its residents for new ideas on how to improve Holt’s downtown area, specifically the triangle of Cedar Street, Holt Road and Aurelius Road. The study has three ways people can give input; offer a big idea, prioritize goals, and answer poll questions. The former allows people to write the township. Prioritize goals lets residents of the area tell the township what is most important to them. Finally ,the poll lets citizens vote and see the results of important considerations such as retail, bike paths, larger sidewalks and restaurants.
By Isaac Constans
Listen Up, Lansing Staff Reporter
In any major city, residents have mental maps of friendly areas and those that are uninviting, whether because of crime, blight, lack of interesting points, or all of the aforementioned. In Lansing, those mental maps seem to demarcate the south side of Lansing as a no-entry zone. Lansing as a whole has higher crime rates than state and national averages, with 10.6 violent crimes per 1,000 residents compared to an average of 4.5 and 3.8 violent crimes per 1,000 residents on the state and national levels, respectively, according to Neighborhood Scout. Many of those stats intensify in certain south Lansing neighborhoods. “I know the guy who works on my car can’t get out of Lansing,” Mark Skidmore, a Michigan State University professor of urban economics, said about his auto mechanic from the south side of Lansing.
Lansing, like many cities is separated into several sections; Northwest, South, West and East are usually how people go about dividing it. Within each of those sections are all kinds of neighborhoods and attractions, all of which differ from one another quite a bit. The neighborhoods are all very unique and offer very different pieces of the overall culture that is Lansing, according to Chris Tarpoff of the Lansing visitor’s bureau. Old Town is known for its variety of restaurants and art galleries while the downtown area is known for its tall buildings and local shops. Each area offers a specific niche allowing people to truly experience the lifestyles of the city and its residents.
LANSING — I oppose, I oppose, I oppose. These were the words that were firmly stated by many passionate south Lansing citizens at the Lansing City Council meeting on April 13. But, why? The vacant building at 930 W. Holmes Road is undergoing a rezoning debate within the community of south Lansing. Project developer Randy Yono is requesting to rezone this area in hopes of building an indoor self-storage unit.
A local farmer’s market is finishing out its season this October, continuing a mission to bring farm fresh produce to the traditionally undeserved South Lansing community. “In order to help people out, we have alternative payments,” said Jenae Ridge, the South Lansing Farmer’s Market manager. “We accept EBT and WIC Project Fresh, as well as credit card.”
Ridge finds the most special part of the farmer’s market to be the way that the vendors and customers treat each other. “I think the community between the vendors is special, and also the customers,” said Ridge. “The vendors have really gotten to know each other.