London, Ont. votes and decisions tallied for local neighbourhoods

FILE. Andrew Graham / Global News

From baseball field upgrades to bike repair stations, Londoners have chosen the 24 public projects they want to see come to life through the Forest City’s fifth annual Neighbourhood Decision-Making program.

The city program offers community members of all ages the opportunity to share, brainstorm, and decide how a portion of the municipal budget is spent in their neighbourhoods.

“It’s a really diverse and awesome way for people to see cool things happen in their neighbourhoods,” said Vanessa Kinsley, supervisor of community development for the City of London.

Londoners were invited to submit ideas to improve their neighbourhoods from March 21 to April 29. A total of 230 ideas were submitted by residents and associations and 78 made it onto the ballot after they were reviewed by city staff.

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“Everything from movie nights to block parties, festivals, accessible swings, playground additions, free little libraries,” Kinsley said. “There are a lot of different ideas and a lot of creativity among Londoners.”

Almost 9,975 votes were cast online, in-person, and over the phone between June 18 and 25.

City council budgeted $250,000 for the program this year, with five areas to receive up to $50,000 to implement their individual ideas and suggestions to improve neighbourhoods on a local level. Individual projects could also get up to $30,000 in funding.

Below is a list of the winning projects as well as the funding amounts they will receive in working to enhance London neighbourhoods:

Central London

  • River’s Edge Disc Golf Course improvements ($15,400)
  • Bike repair stations along the Thames Valley Parkway ($12,600)
  • Kensington Village wildflower meadow ($12,500)
  • Tree planting in Gibbons Park ($5,000)
  • Community meals in Queens Park ($4,500)

Northeast London

  • Outdoor learning and play area upgrades at F.D. Roosevelt Public School ($30,000)
  • Story Walk along Stoney Creek Valley Trail ($10,000)
  • Shade tree planting at Dalkeith Park playground ($5,000)
  • Naturalized planting in McCormick Park ($4,000)
  • Duck feeding signage around ponds in Northeast London ($1,000)

Northwest London

  • St. Paul Catholic School playground addition ($30,000)
  • Planting shade trees near playgrounds in Northwest London ($15,000)
  • Little Free Library with Arabic books ($3,000)
  • Nor’west Optimist Playground bike racks ($2,000)
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Southeast London

  • Upgrades and safety improvements at Kiwanis Park baseball fields ($30,000)
  • Benches along Westminster Ponds Trails ($15,000)
  • Dog park improvements at Pottersburg Off-Leash Dog Park ($4,000)
  • Naturalized planting in Kiwanis Park – Central South ($1,000)

Southwest London

  • Lambeth Optimist Playground addition ($30,000)
  • Disc golf baskets in Basil Grover Park ($10,800)
  • Pollinator pathways in Cleardale and White Oaks neighbourhoods ($4,000)
  • Pollinator pathway in Southcrest ($2,700)
  • Bat houses in Southwest neighbourhoods ($2,000)
  • Community pantry in Westmount ($500)

All 24 winning projects will be implemented by the end of 2023.

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