Fostering self-reliant families and healthy, sustainable communities

August 2018

In this issue: 


Isles Community Planning & Development team works with residents to envision and realize a healthier, safer, more beautiful future for their neighborhoods. From community planning to developing new homes to activating underutilized spaces with recreational events, gardens, and parklets, it's all about helping people think about and experience places more positively.
Places affect mental health, physical health, and an overall sense of well-being, so it's critical that the places that define people's daily landscapes meet their needs and feel welcoming to them. This summer, we've been working on projects across the city that help us meet our mission of fostering self-reliant families and healthy, sustainable  -- and beautiful! -- communities.
As you'll read about below, we spent the past three weeks engaging children at our first-ever urban agriculture-themed Camp Carrot, which introduced kids to healthy cooking, nutrition, and STEAM activities set in parks and gardens that we manage.
In July, we installed Trenton's third parklet on Brunswick Avenue. We're proud that our parklets and streetscape work have inspired the City of Trenton to develop new regulations that will make it easier for others to undertake similar projects.
We continue to collaborate with stakeholders to bring the downtown Creek to Canal Creative District to life. At National Night Out, our event featured the Trenton Art Puzzle, a public art project led by local artists and members of the Trenton Community A-Team, an arts collective. The Trenton Art Puzzle project and the A-Team are two of fifteen recipients of Community & Arts grants  from the I am Trenton foundation (IAT) made possible by Isles with NJ Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit funding. 
And beginning this month, we're engaging the community as part of an EPA-funded planning effort in East Trenton. Together, we're developing recommendations for how the adaptive reuse of brownfields along the Assunpink Greenway can benefit the entire neighborhood. Stay tuned!
In community,
Julia Taylor       

This year, Isles ran its first Camp Carrot, a free summer day camp for 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in Trenton. Free summer camp lifts a great burden off the shoulders of low-income working parents, who are often saddled with more expensive alternatives when school is out for the summer.

Plus, it's fun for the kids! Students get to discover gardens and parks in the city. They explore the outdoors, learn to prepare their own tasty, healthy meals, play games, get active, and learn through STEAM activities. So far, our little city dwellers have gone on hikes, visited the farm, brewed their own tea, and picked their own veggies. We're teaching them important lessons about growing food and eating healthy early on.
Highlights events
Beauty on Brunswick
We kept ourselves busy this summer cleaning and greening our neighborhood. In addition to delivering planters full of flowers to our Trenton neighbors, we also established our third parklet in the city - right on Brunswick Ave. There is power in these small but concerted efforts to bring more beauty to the City. Want more evidence? Read this study:
Replacing vacant lots w/ green spaces can ease depression in urban communities.
National Night Out
This month, Isles and several resident groups hosted an outdoor community event for  National Night Out , an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. Our event was right outside our Wood St. office--a great opportunity to share in T-Recs games and good food with our neighbors. Photos here!
Save the Date fallfest