North Central News

Neighbors fight blight by ‘planting progress’

Norton Vista’s neighbors came together at the end of June to beautify their neighborhood by addressing a chronically blighted area. They were supported by area business and a grant from the City of Phoenix (submitted photo).

At the end of June, the Norton Vista Neighborhood Association came together with area businesses and Sunnyslope neighbors to help turn an area of chronic blight into a place of perpetual beauty.

Founded in January 2019, the Norton Vista Neighborhood Association is bounded by Mountainside Rd. (south) to Dunlap Ave. (north); 14th St. (west) to Cave Creek Rd. Its mission: to create a safer, stronger community by fostering neighborhood unity. And in June, that is just what they did.

The project, which they called “Planting Progress,” was an effort to help a neighbor whose property abuts a wash area that has attracted individuals who are homeless and those who use the area for drug use and as a dumping ground — leaving the neighbor holding the citations.

“Many organizations and individuals made a sacrifice of their time, energy, and personal and professional resources to make this happen,” shared Lily Williams, coordinator of the Norton Vista Neighborhood Association, in a newsletter.

A $5,000 grant from the City of Phoenix Neighborhood Services department kickstarted the project; Sunnyslope’s Preach Landscape Supply donated and delivered three large boulders; Home Depot #0464 donated the irrigation supplies; and RynoDesign and their principal landscape designer, Ryan Wassenaar, donated their expert services to create a unique xeriscape, placed a new irrigation system, and directed more than 35 volunteers in the installation of all the plants and boulders.

Of course, the work could not have been completed without the community. Williams added, “They were from all over Sunnyslope! It was an amazing outpouring of generosity from our community to help a neighbor. They showed that Slopers are willing to pay their dues to ensure that their neighbors are protected and that the community is safe and beautiful.”

Residents who are interested in joining the Norton Vista Neighborhood Association can follow them on social media @nortonvista (Instagram) and @NortonVista85020 (Facebook), or send an email to nortonvista85020@gmail.com.

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