In attractive cities built for walking and exploration, such as Paris, Rome, and Barcelona, alleys serve as beautiful and vital pedestrian passageways. As one of the most walkable Philadelphia suburbs, West Chester has the potential to enhance our alleyways and create a healthier environment for residents and our ecosystem.
The alleys in Downtown West Chester have various uses, including parking for workers, service access for businesses, and cut-throughs. However, alleys can often become neglected, leading to trash and dark corners. With the help of alley beautification, we can increase the quality of our alleys and create a more beautiful and safer town.
Our goal is to makeover many of the downtown alleys with the help of local volunteers and funding. To enhance the ambiance of alleys, we are looking to hang lights, add planters and trees, set up fences to hide trash cans, add street signs for each alley to help with location identification, paint murals, and more.
Benefits of Alley Redevelopment
- Creates high-value retail space
- Creates additional space for local businesses
- Public safety
- Invites investment by developers/owners
- Pedestrian connectivity and walkability
- Community gathering focal points
- Destinations for visitors and locals
- Environmental sustainability through the addition of plants and trees
How Can You Help?
As a Resident
Habitat loss, pesticides, and disease are the main reasons for the dwindling numbers of certain pollinator species, including bumblebees, moths, and butterflies. They are seen as essential for global food security, with 75 percent of crop species and 1/3 of global crop production reliant to some extent on insect pollination.
Please become part of the West Chester BID Pollinator Pathway Program and make a little space around your place where important pollinators can visit! Urban gardens can play a vital role in the survival of pollinators, even if it’s just a planted pot or two in the front of your house or in an alley. Together, we can make a difference!
You can also visit our certified pollinator-friendly garden on Prescott Alley at the Chestnut Street Parking Garage to see one example of the Pollinator Pathway Program in action!
If you’re interested in creating your own pollinator-friendly garden, check out the resources below.
- Attracting Pollinators to Your Garden Using Native Plants
- Gardening for Pollinators
- Planting for Pollinators – Pennsylvania
- Landscaping with Native Plants
As a Business Owner
Alleys can be an asset to business expansion and commercial connection within the community. Improving areas around your business could attract more customers or clients and provide opportunities for expansion outside into the alley space. Transforming alleys could also benefit businesses, such as providing community foot traffic and creating cohesion among adjacent businesses.
As a business owner, you can enhance your alleyway and façade with our two new grant programs:
Alleyway Beautification Grant Program
The Alleyway Beautification Grant Program is being funded by the BID to help businesses and commercial property owners make needed updates and improvements to the alley-facing side of their buildings. This is a matching grant program that will cover 50% of the costs of a project up to $500. Grants may not be used for projects started prior to submission of the grant application. Grant funds will be distributed upon successful completion of the approved project accompanied by submission of receipts of all costs.
Façade Improvement and Maintenance Grant Program
The Façade Improvement and Maintenance Grant Program is being funded by the BID to help businesses and commercial property owners make needed updates and improvements to their buildings. This is a matching grant program that will cover 50% of the costs of a project up to $5,000. Grants may not be used for projects started prior to submission of the grant application. Grant funds will be distributed upon successful completion of the approved project accompanied by submission of receipts of all costs.
If you have questions about the Pollinator Pathway Program or Alleyway and Façade Grants, please contact John O’Brien at email@example.com.