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Saint Louis Community Builders Exchange

December 11, 2014


The Northside/Southside Metrolink Extension: Crossing the Delmar Divide

By Tom Shrout, Partner at Avvantt Partners LLC

The planned Metrolink extension would run on West Florissant Avenue through the heart of Ferguson, offering its hard working citizens a high quality transportation option to access education and jobs, not only in downtown, but with a quick transfer to jobs in the Central Corridor of St. Louis. How many of the problems in North County have we learned in recent weeks are related to its citizens being auto-dependent? MetroLink would offer a different, lower cost option for transportation other than the automobile.

Developers who have seen this plan believe it would create development opportunities to revitalize older parts of our region, creating new housing and business opportunities that would serve existing populations. It would also be a visible demonstration that not all St. Louis economic investment should take place in the central corridor. What's more the new line could help integrate the St. Louis Region. It would link north to south, cross the Delmar divide, while also linking the City with the County.

To read the full article, click here.

We invite readers to contribute to the civic conversation about community development in St. Louis by writing an op-ed for the Community Builders Exchange. Op-eds should be short (400-700 words) and provocative. If you have an idea for an op-ed, contact Todd Swanstrom at

Nomination Forms Available For CBN Awards Reception
On March 26, CBN will recognize individuals, organizations, companies, and institutions that help make St. Louis a better place to live at the 3rd Annual CBN Awards Reception. If you know of someone deserving recognition, fill out one of the nominating forms. Last day to submit a nomination form is January 16. To see the forms and for more information, click here.

Collaborating To Make 'Near North' A Better Place To Live
The Near North Collaborative is a joint effort of Northside Community Housing Inc., Community Renewal and Development Inc., and the Old North St. Louis Restoration group. The three CBO's are working collaboratively to address issues of safety and quality housing in the 'Near North' area of St. Louis. To read about their efforts, click here.

Northside/Southside Metrolink Expansion and Transforming Transit in St. Louis
In this column by St. Louis Alderman, Scott Ogilvie, the case is made for expanding St. Louis' Metrolink service to include a line that runs north and south. His column includes details and ideas to implement and pay for the project. To read these details, click here.

A kayak park? A rock climbing garden? North Riverfront offers Possibilities
Great Rivers Greenway is commissioning a study to transform the riverfront north of downtown into vibrant destination filled with shops and activities for bicyclists coming from the nearby North Riverfront Trail. To ready more about these ideas, click here.  

Can St. Louis Business Owners Help Push For Systemic Change?
The Reinvest North County Fund, Centene Corporation, Monsanto, Emerson and others have pledged to large investments as a way of helping to address underlying issues affecting North St. Louis County. But is that enough? To see how corporations can ensure positive changes occur, click here.

Ferguson-Area Youth Get Hand Up In Job Training, Searches
A program funded by Emerson is working to enroll and train individuals aged 16 to 23 in a youth job training program. The program, called the "Ferguson Forward" program, is working with 30 local businesses as training placements. To read the full story, click here.

Home Visits For Preschoolers Return to Normandy Schools
After seeing the Parents as Teacher Program fade from the Normandy School District, the district has announced plans to bring the program back. In 2009, cuts to the program became the subject of community conversations, and efforts by Beyond Housing sought to fill in the gaps in the meantime. To read the full story, click here.


2015 St. Louis Emerging Trends
Join the Urban Land Institute Thursday, December 11 for the 2015 St. Louis Emerging Trends conference. The conference will discuss trends that impact developments and living standards in the St. Louis region. For more information, click here, and to register, click here.

Linking Research and Practice: Equitable Economic Growth and Sustainable Water Infrastructure
St. Louis University's Center for Sustainability is hosting this seminar on January 23. The goal of this seminar is to increase and strengthen collaboration and communication among groups that try to foster sustainable communities. To register and for more information, click here.


Stock Healthy Shop Healthy
The University of Missouri Extension has created this online resource for programs that work to improve community access to healthy and affordable foods. Their online resource also includes several recorded webinar sessions on strategies for community organizations. To see this online resource, click here.


Affordable Housing and Mixed Income Community Management
The Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis is holding this five day course on best practices for mixed-income housing. The course begins Monday, January 5 and ends Friday, January 9. December 19 is the last day to register. For more information, click here



The St. Louis Community Builders Exchange is a partnership between the Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis, the St. Louis Home Repair Network, and the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis to bring you quality up-to-date community development information. Look for the St. Louis Community Builders Exchange every other Wednesday morning!

Environmental Solutions for Communities Grant Program
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is accepting proposals for their Environmental Solutions for Communities grant. The grant is intended for organizations who work to create environmentally sustainable communities, facilitate green infrastructure development, and who work with the community to implement projects. The deadline to apply is December 10. For more information on this grant, click here

Our Town Grants: Arts Engagement, Cultural Planning and Design Projects
The National Endowment for the Arts is offering grants for projects that will improve livability, civic development, and support for community arts. Grant applications are due December 15. For more information, click here.

Our Town Grants: Projects that Build Knowledge about Creative Placemaking
The National Endowment for the Arts is offering grants for projects that seek to improve connections between artists and economic and community development projects. Grant applications are due December 15. For more information, click here.

Environmental Justice Small Grants Program
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Environmental Justice is accepting grant applications from organizations helping to address environmental and public health issues within their communities. Grant applications are due by December 15. For more information, click here.

Livability Solutions: Free Technical Assistance
The Project for Public Spaces, through support from the Environmental Protection Agency, is offering free technical assistance for organizations who are working to make their community more livable. The deadline to apply is January 9. For more information, click here.

Partners for Places Round 6
The Funders' Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities is offering this grant for projects that promote and encourage the creation of vibrant and prosperous urban areas.  Grant applications are due January 28. For more information, click here.

Sustainable Environments Program
The Surdna Foudnation is offering funding for organizations that improve and create sustainable infrastructure in underserved communities. The foundation is offering grants in four categories: Sustainable Transportation Networks and Equitable Development Patterns, Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment, Urban Water Management, and Regional Food Supply. For more information about these grants, click here.

Real Estate Development Manager
Habitat for Humanity St. Louis is hiring a Real Estate Development Manager to coordinate the planning and implementation of the organization's projects and programs. For more information on this position, click here.

Director of Quality Improvement
Beyond Housing is seeking a Director of Quality of Improvement to lead internal quality planning, support a culture of improvement, and support compliance with all quality standards. For more information, click here

President and Executive Director
Lemay Development Corporation is seeking a new President and Executive Director who can run and implement economic development projects in the Lemay area of South St. Louis County. For more information on this position, click here.

Community Engagement Specialist
The Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council is seeking a Community Engagement specialist to raise awareness of fair housing and community reinvestment issues. For more information on this position, click here.

SLACO: Volunteers, Interns, Practicum Students, and Service Learners
SLACO is encouraging students and young professionals, and retirees, to apply for a service and learning position for the January through May term. For more information about this opportunity, click here.

Location, Location, Location: The Role Neighborhoods Play in Family Wealth and Well-Being
This paper produced by Brandeis University's Institute on Assets and Social Policy examines disparity in social and economic opportunities among neighborhoods. This paper tries to explain the reasons why communities become separated by race and class. To read this paper, click here.


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