Transform Rockford Picks Test Neighborhood

Signal Hill first neighborhood involved in new Transform Rockford project

ROCKFORD - One Rockford neighborhood considers itself the coolest part of the Forest City. In fact, supporters even have a sign saying as much. Their confidence caught Transform Rockford's attention. The Signal Hill neighborhood is now the test subject of the movement's newest revitalization strategy.

The 'Great Neighborhoods' project helps neighborhoods focus on the assets they have and to market them, all in an effort to strengthen the city. Homes in Signal Hill are the test case for the project because of community involvement.

"Signal Hill seems to have a lot of organization and a lot of people participating from the neighborhoods in the meetings," said Transform Rockford's Gary Anderson.

Even with crime happening all around them, Signal Hill residents say this is an opportunity to set their neighborhood apart.

"We have worked hard in this area to make it feel comfortable," said resident Dorien Peterson. "I cannot say that we don't have issues. We do have issues. There's not a part of Rockford that does not have an issue right now, but we have really strengthened our communication."

Better communication with the city is one goal of the project, making aldermen and other city officials aware of community issues. Other goals include improvements in upkeep and marketing the area to attract more homeowners, and fewer renters.

"We were very pleased to be asked," said resident Bob Peterson. "We've tried to make Signal Hill a name. We talk about it a lot. We try to put it out there."

Transform Rockford believes all city neighborhoods can take better advantage of the positive qualities near them.

"Every neighborhood is different," said Anderson. "Every neighboorhood is different about what they feel  their needs are.  But, I think overall, we want to also show them how they brand and market their neighborhoods better. Why they can make themselves more attractive, what they have to offer."

Transform Rockford is looking at other neighborhoods to get involved in the project. You can email, for more information.

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