2020 was not what we expected, but the City of Valparaiso has worked hard to continue offering quality services and even introduce new initiatives and ways to serve the community. In this issue, we share 20 highlights of 2020 — in no particular order. We look forward to the potential a new year brings and thank the Valparaiso community for supporting the City and each other through a historic year.
1. Thank you!
A special thank you to all healthcare workers, teachers, first responders, store workers, business owners and families who have done their part to keep us safe this year.
2. Moment With The Mayor
videos launched in April as our world became more virtual -- to date, 32 video updates have been shared with our residents.
3. Home Team Valpo
a city-inspired and volunteer-driven initiative was launched in October and 6 homes have received home improvement assistance through this new nonprofit.
4. ValPawraiso Dog Park
opened in May and this 2-acre park serves more than 600 good boys and girls, large and small, through its membership program.
5. Paving Projects
were completed on nearly 12 miles of roadway throughout the city this year.
6. Citywide Food Drive
in May was a great success! Through the generosity of our community, more than 8,000 pounds of food were donated to Hilltop Food Pantry.
7. Neighborhood Grants
kept our community engaged and connected. In 2020, 16 neighborhoods were awarded grants.
8. Valparaiso Events
hosted safe, outdoor activities for people to come out and enjoy, including summer concerts and the Valparaiso Market.
9. City Hall Blood Drives
contributed more than 95 pints of blood with the power to save nearly 300 lives. Thanks to the donors that raised their sleeves to make a difference!
10. Good Neighbor Recognition Program
was launched in 2020 and Bob Westfall was our first recipient of the Good Neighbor Award.
11. Popcorn Fest
looked very different this year, but the City worked with volunteers to spread some positive cheer downtown that week.
12. July 4th in Valparaiso
was celebrated safely with a variety of outdoor options for people to enjoy, including a surprise fireworks show downtown.
13. Shop and dine local!
Businesses continue to work creatively to offer safe, in-person, pick-up and carry-out options for their customers amid COVID-19 restrictions.
14. Valpo Parks' Splash Pad
Need we say more?!?
15. Sensory Kits
are now available in all Valparaiso Police and Fire emergency vehicles to assist those with autism in emergency situations, through a partnership with Valparaiso Rotary Satellite Club.
16. Leaf Zone Map Alert System
was created to keep our residents informed of when to expect Public Works leaf crews to be in their neighborhoods.
17. Art Walk at Cumberland Crossing
had 15 new sculptures installed in June. This Walk is funded by the Redevelopment Commission and was a great outdoor escape this year.
18. Neighborhood Groups
got creative and helped spread joy to one another. Thank you to everyone who stepped up and checked in on neighbors this year.
19. Town & Gown Committee
celebrated 50 years of partnership. Pictured at our February meeting are VU President Heckler, Mayor Matt Murphy and VU Students Annika, Craig and Elizabeth.
20. Peak Performance Award
was earned by Valparaiso City Utilities for continued operational excellence by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies.
Want to be a part of our highlights in 2021? Consider submitting an Application for Appointment to a City Board or Commission. Complete the form online to help shape decisions for Valparaiso's future.