Tree Streets Neighborhood Project
In 2019, residents chose to build a futsal court on Ash Street. In 2021, the Tree Streets Neighborhood Participatory Budgeting Project is back and you can dream higher! Learn about it below and please share your ideas.
Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a democratic initiative that gives Tree Streets community members the power to decide how to spend $40,000 of the City’s Budget.
If you have an idea for a project to improve Tree Streets, please share it on this form! Projects are eligible for funding if they meet the following criteria:
- Are capital projects, which usually involve infrastructure improvements (as opposed to operating projects, which usually fund salaries and services)
- Some capital projects have some sort of associated operating cost. Projects that would require the City to hire additional staff are not eligible.
- Are one-time expenditures that cost $40,000 or less
- Benefit the public
- Are implemented by the City of Nashua on City property (streets, sidewalks, parks, libraries, schools, youth centers, senior centers, municipal buildings, etc.)
- PB funding cannot be used to make a grant to a nonprofit organization
The winning projects from 2019 were:
- Futsal Court - 1st place
- Community Gardens - 2nd place
See below how the first Participatory Budget cycle went in 2019.
1. What is Your Voice, Your Choice?
In 2019, Mayor Jim Donchess initiated a project to engage the residents of the Tree Streets in directing an investment of $25,000 to improve the neighborhood. In 2021, the budget has increased to $40,000.
This effort is based on a concept known as Participatory Budgeting (PB) in which community members directly influence how to spend part of a public budget. It empowers residents by giving them real power to make real decisions over real money in order to make their neighborhood a better place to live.
2. What are the goals of this project?
- Empower residents of the Tree Streets to make decisions on where/how to invest in their neighborhood
- Foster a sense of unity in the Tree Streets and inspire residents to engage in their community and build new relationships and networks that will help improve quality of life
- Develop civic leaders by building skills and knowledge through involvement in this process
- Promote the sharing of perspectives and knowledge to connect neighborhood needs and challenges with assets and aspirations
- Include all types of people: all races, ethnicities, abilities, incomes, backgrounds, ages, and genders
- Encourage engagement by people who are often excluded or are disillusioned with politics.
3. What can the money be used for?
Project ideas are eligible for funding if:
- They are capital infrastructure projects.
- They are within the boundaries of the Tree Streets Neighborhood, as shown below.
- They serve the general public and meet the needs of the neighborhood.
- They are implemented by the City of Nashua or by a non-profit Nashua organization.
- They cost between $1,000 and $25,000 per project.
- They are a one-time expense for the City.
- They must respect the City's laws, regulations, policies and action plans.
Tree Streets Boundary Map (jpg, 900 K)
4. What happens when?
- Planning and Design: June 10 - 25
- Idea Collection: June 26 - August 7
- Proposal Development: August 8 - September 15
- Voting: September 16 - 30
- Implementation: Until September 2022
(Click on the Timeline tab to learn what happens in each stage)
5. What are some examples of projects?
Example Project Ideas and Estimated Costs:
- Trash/recycling receptacles ($1,000 each)
- Community gardens ($15,000 - $20,000 to support 25 families)
- Sidewalk flower beds/gardens ($2,500 - $5,000, depending on size)
- Solar charging stations ($5,000 - $10,000 each)
- Street interventions:
- Public art installation (varies based on size & materials)
- Pedestrian-scale lighting (varies, depending on wired vs solar
- Pedestrian crossing signals ($25,000 per location)
- Bike racks ($500 - $1,000 each)
- Bike lanes ($9,000 per ¼ mile per side of the road)
- Bus Shelter ($18,000 - $20,000 each)
- Fencing (varies based on length, height & material)
- Emergency "blue light" call boxes ($2,500 - $5,000 each)
- Stamped "brick" high-visibility crosswalks ($5,000 per location)
- Speed feedback signs ($15,000 each)
- Upgraded street signs and poles ($175 each)
- Community Resources:
- Community tool library ($15,000 - $20,000)
- Community kiosk/bulletin board ($5,000 - $10,000)
- Facilities, Parks and Recreation:
- Park benches ($2,500 each)
- Playground equipment ($1,000 - $25,000, depending on size, materials & components)
6. What is the role of the Steering Committee and who is part of it?
- Roles and Responsibilities of the Steering Committee are as follows:
- Play a key role in designing and guiding the process.
- Help ensure the process is inclusive and consistent with the goals and principles of the Tree Streets Neighborhood project.
- Attend events and meetings during each stage of the process and provide assistance at public meetings
- Identify and recruit individuals and groups to support the Tree Streets Neighborhood project.
- Provide specialized support as needed, e.g., research, organizing, media, online engagement, social media, policy development, budgeting, and/or design.
- Promote the process through the press, social media, and other networks, using protocol agreed upon by the Steering Committee.
- Assist in mobilizing broad, inclusive and proportional community participation that reflects the diversity of the Neighborhood.
- Help create and distribute educational and promotional materials.
- Steering Committee members are:
- Alderman Tom Lopez, Ward 4
- Vanessa Jimenez, Resident
- Erica Brooks, NeighborWorks
- Jessica Gorhan, NH Hunger Solutions/Greater Nashua Food Council
- Kendra Smith, Soel Sistas
- Shaun Nelson, PAL Executive Director
- Jenn Benoit, PAL Volunteer
- Junely Grullon, PAL Volunteer
- Officer Bennett Stusse, PAL Officer
- Dave Smith, Crossways Christian Church
- Kim Adie, YMCA
- Angela Wesson, Nashua Transit System
- Sarah Marchant, City of Nashua Community Development Division
- Andy Patrician, City of Nashua Department of Public Works
- Julie Chizmas, City of Nashua Community Development Division
7. Who is eligible to submit ideas and vote?
- Anyone who lives, works, attends school, owns property/business, and/or practices their faith in the Tree Streets Neighborhood who is 10 years of age or older may vote.
- Each voter may cast up to 3 votes, but only one vote per project.
- Projects will be ranked by order of highest number of votes to lowest. The $40,000 will be distributed across the top ranking projects until it runs out. If there is a tie, then the Steering Committee will decide the winning project with input from the implementing agency (e.g., Public Works, Parks & Recreation, etc.).
- To facilitate broad participation, voting will take place over multiple days at multiple locations. Absentee ballots will be offered to handicapped, out of town or limited mobility voters. Ballots can be mailed to voters who request an absentee ballot. These ballots will be numbered and tracked to avoid duplicate voting. Ballots can be returned in person to City Hall or at a location in the neighborhood (to be determined).
First Participatory Budget Cycle in 2019
In 2019, we asked those who live, work, attend school, own property or a business, or practice their faith in the Tree Streets Neighborhood to help decide how $25,000 should be invested in their neighborhood. The City collected over 200 project ideas. The most recommended eligible ideas were turned into proposals that were voted on.
About the Projects
There were a lot of GREAT ideas gathered through this effort, but we just couldn't implement them all. Some project ideas exceeded the $25,000 budget, some weren't eligible, and some we will try to do through other programs. Here is a summary of the ideas (pdf)/ resumen de ideas (pdf) we received.
Over 300 votes were cast and the winning project was... The Futsal Court!
|Proposed Project||Project Cost||# Total Votes||Rank|
|Los Amigos Park Improvements||$25,000||89||3|
|Heritage Rail Trail Improvements||$25,000||76||4|
|Trash Receptacles & Dog Waste Stations||$10,000||62||5|
|Portable Gaga Pit||$2,500||44||6|
|Transit Shelter by Palm Square||$22,000||42||7|
|Portable Speed Feedback Signs||$12,000||22||9|
*Community Gardens had the second-highest number of votes and received the remaining $5,000 to expand their gardens in the Tree Streets Neighborhood. The new "Mother's Garden" has been built and is beautiful! Click here to read about the project (pdf).