Even Tim Jeckering finds the changes in Northside amazing.
After 13 years on Northside’s Community Council, eight of them as president, Jeckering still experiences a sense of wonder at the near west side neighborhood’s decade of transformation.
“If I were to tell you that Northside is close to having 125 new, single-family housing units today, would you believe it?” he asks. Throw in another 110 new units now being offered in the American Can Building, a newly-paved bike trail along the Mill Creek, and vibrant businesses and artistic organizations nestling in along Hamilton Avenue, and Northside has become a community transformed.
The Northside Community Fund is certainly one reason for these obvious changes. In eight years, it has raised more than $45,000 for neighborhood projects, “initiatives that came from the people,” says Jeckering.
Back in 2004, the Northside Business Association and Northside Community Council realized that an independent fund was the best way to support neighborhood-based initiatives, knowing that City of Cincinnati financing for such projects would continue to be erratic. Pulling together a board of directors and placing the fund under the Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) gave the organization credibility and standing in the city, as well as invaluable help through the GCF’s support services.
Since then, the Northside Community Fund has proven its worth. When the community wanted a farmer’s market, the fund supported a general manager’s position. Today, the Northside Farmer’s Market, voted best market by City Beat last year, offers cottage crafts and local farmers’ fresh produce and swells the streets and local stores each market day with visitors from all around Cincinnati. Other neighborhood-based initiatives supported by the fund include food pantry help through the local churches and a Summer Earn and Learn program for youth.
Fundraisers like the June 2 “Hot Club of Northside” concert, featuring the Faux Frenchmen and both silent and live auctions, continue to raise money for Northside community initiatives. Those funds, along with “an army of volunteers and great community activism,” acknowledges Jeckering, are remaking Northside into the community its residents want it to be.
• Attend: The Hot Club of Northside on June 2, from 7-11:30 pm at the Great Room of the Historic American Can Building, 4101 Spring Grove Ave. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at Shake It Records, Picnic & Pantry and the Northside Bank and Trust.
: the Northside Farmer’s Market to see what good things community dollars can support.
• Like the neighborhood on Facebook.
By Becky Johnson