June 2022 Beautifying Riverside—A Communal Job

Published: 06/09/2022

The Big Tent Tour is coming to an end with the final two tour stops later this month. As the tour concludes, the work of community engagement from my team and me continues. We are now compiling the feedback gained after a year of listening sessions. During this compiling process many of the neighborhoods had several shared concerns. The appearance of the city was one of the most common concerns we heard. The importance of having a beautiful and welcoming neighborhood—and city overall—is something that I understand and am committed to. To put that commitment into action, following the conclusion of the Big Tent Tour I will launch a new initiative known as Beautify Riverside

Beautify Riverside is modeled after the City Beautiful urban renewal movement of the late 19th century that sought to create more attractive urban centers. The ideals of City Beautiful came closer to home in the United States in the 1960s when Lady Bird Johnson made her main cause as First Lady to enhance cities across the country through beautification programming. Our initiative seeks to improve the quality of life in Riverside by enhancing the appearance of main gathering points and neighborhoods. Privately funded and volunteer driven, Beautify Riverside projects across the city will focus on landscape improvements, litter removal, and mural painting.

Each neighborhood within the City of Riverside has a unique story and feeling. It is the intention of Beautify Riverside to tap into that uniqueness with projects and public art that reflects the identity of those that call each neighborhood home. By welcoming public art and cleaner spaces to designated project areas, we will engage with residents, increase foot traffic and neighborhood interest, showcase the talents of local artists, and encourage community volunteerism. Beautify Riverside will be separated into quarters to ensure concerted time and attention is paid to each of our city’s seven wards.

This beautification movement launches this summer and will begin in the Magnolia Center neighborhood of Ward 3 before extending to other wards as momentum builds. I am excited to share about the inaugural projects of Beautify Riverside: three murals on Sunnyside Drive between De Anza Avenue and Magnolia Avenue, litter and weed removal on Magnolia Avenue from Jurupa Avenue to Arlington Avenue, in addition to small business beautification throughout Magnolia Center.

This is a community movement and is not intended to just be a government initiative. To live up to that intent, community support is paramount—and needed. Monetary and supply sponsorships for projects will ensure Beautify Riverside reaches its full potential. A volunteer advisory group of Riversiders will work with my team on project ideas and implementation. Additional project ideas from the community are encouraged—please send your ideas or inquiries for more information to Philip Falcone at [email protected].

My team and I stand ready to add beauty to our city and look forward to your partnership in Beautify Riverside. Updates throughout this movement will be shared on my social media accounts so be sure to follow along to get involved.