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Category: Green Space

Photo Friday: The Welcome Garden

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • September 1, 2017

Named after the Swahili word for “welcome,” the Karibu Garden is a bright, burst of color on Lodi Street. Thanks to Hopeprint, the fence got a new coat of paint and a mural along the back wall this summer.


NBP Member Interview Series Featuring Terry Horst

Written by Rachel Nolte  • May 31, 2017



Editor’s Note: The Northside Business Partnership is an association comprised of Northside businesses, property owners, and organizations. It serves as an advocate group for the Northside, strengthening the vitality of the business community by connecting, engaging, and promoting its members. NBP is administrated by NEHDA.





Terry Horst is the Project Developer Partner for the Landscape Architectural firm of Maxian + Horst. Maxian + Horst has been a Northside Business Partnership member since 2014. Read on to discover more about the field of landscape architecture—it’s more than just gardens!


Maxian + Horst collage


Q: For those who are not familiar with the field of landscape architecture, could you give a brief synopsis of the field?

A: Okay, so landscape architects, we see ourselves as an architect of the site. So where an architect would design and build a building, we would design everything outside the building. We do, not just the landscaping part, but the beautification and using plants is an integral part of what we do. We also design the parking spaces and how vehicles and people move through the spaces, around those buildings or parks. We design recreation facilities, athletic fields, we’ve been doing a lot of the green infrastructure of projects in Syracuse under the Onondaga County save the rain program. So we’ve been involved in that and that’s been very exciting for us personally. So anything that’s associated with the site, a landscape architect can do.


Q: What first drew you to the field?

A: Oh, that’s a good question. I went to SUNY Morrisville and I majored in natural resources conservation. When I left there, I worked a little bit. But then I was looking through the SUNY ESF catalog because I was interested, a lot of my friends were there, and I saw landscape architecture, and I thought, well this is great! It mixes art and nature, which are two things that I’m very interested in. So I applied there, and I graduated with a BLA (Bachelor of Landscape Architecture) and I started working in Massachusetts, and became licensed in New York.  


Q: How did you come back to the area?

A: We were living in the Boston area for a little while, and there was an economic downturn. I’m from Syracuse, so it was a natural place for me to want to come back to, and I really like living here.


Q: Has this firm always been at this location?    

A: My partner, Allan Maxian, is partner in owning this building and I think they bought it in the late ‘80s. So this office, even before I became partner, it was Schuman + Maxian, was in this building from the late ‘80s til now. Then yes, they were in other offices downtown before they came here.


Q: Is there something about the Northside that lends itself to the Landscape Architecture field or is it more the area of Syracuse?

A: I want to say it’s more the area of Syracuse, because you’ll see that there’s LA firms scattered about. But what we like about this neighborhood is obviously this is a great building and the space is just really nice. It’s just always been a nice place to work.


Q: What about Syracuse draws the LAs?

 A: It’s probably having SUNY ESF right here in Syracuse. I think a lot of people stay or come back, so it just kind of lends itself to having a lot of landscape architects in it.


Q:  Does Maxian + Horst have any specialties or is it more general landscape architecture?

 A: It is general landscape architecture. We do a little bit of everything. A lot of our work is for architects, so we focus on the site when they’re doing the building. That lends itself to working with school districts and commercial property developments. We also do work for municipalities, like the City of Syracuse, we’ve done a lot of site work for the Parks Department in the development of a lot of their park facilities, athletic fields, and play grounds.


Q: Do you have any personal preference?

A: I do like working with the parks department. I think they’re just people that want to promote recreation. It’s a great concept and the work is always a lot of fun. I pretty much like everything that we do. I also like to do Green Infrastructure practices as well, just from the environmental aspect of it because using green infrastructure, taking care of storm water, is very environmental, so I like that as well. And of course, always landscaping, because that’s kind of what everyone thinks that we do—gardens—that’s certainly something else I like to do.


Q: Your website says that you have 26 years of experience in developing project packages. What sorts of changes are happening in the field?

 A: In terms of process, I started drawing everything on paper and drafting, so that was a huge change. It’s probably one of the biggest changes in the field, in architecture and in the design fields in general, was having to do that. I still do some things on paper and then it gets put into the computer, just because I was trained to think that way. So that’s a huge impact to the process. I think we still generate a lot of paper, so it hasn’t really saved on the paper aspect. But I think, using the computers and AutoCAD and SketchUp and a lot of the Photoshop programs have really helped the field. For us, the biggest way is just communicating our ideas.  A lot of people have a hard time looking at a plan view and knowing what it’s going to look like after it’s built. So if we can take that and generate something more in a 3-D image, I think people have a better feel for what that would look like. A lot of times, we would do these great designs and we’d build them, and then people would say, ‘That’s not really what I thought it would look like,’ because of that communication gap. It’s really filled that gap a bit so that’s a really positive thing.

Going to ESF, there was always that emphasis on the environment. But not everybody always grasps that. I think that things like green infrastructure, storm water control, and LEED buildings have led to more awareness of our earth and our environment. So I think that’s a really good change, very positive change.


Q:  If you could take on any space to design a park in, where would it be and why?

 A: I love the concept of taking vacant lots—and we were involved in some of that—and developing them into usable parks and spaces. Just because in Syracuse and a lot of the other cities like Cleveland and Troy, they have blocks and blocks of vacant property. Instead of saying, ‘Oh that’s so sad,’ you have to look at that and say, ‘That’s a great opportunity.’ I think being able to do that, use vacant lots to develop parks and other usable spaces, would be ideal for me. Just because it’s different. It’s not the big open space, because we’ve done that. Then you end up with these little pieces, and then, gee, can you start connecting them, and what does that look like?

We are actually working in collaboration with the Land Bank and SUNY ESF to develop some of these parks. It’s been a very interesting process because the students will run the community programs and just the ideas that are coming out of it are phenomenal.


To learn more about Maxian + Horst, visit their website.

April Showers Bring May Flowers . . . But Not Without Help from Volunteers!

Written by Lexie Kwiek  • April 17, 2017

Lexie2_for webEditor’s Note: Lexie is a proud AmeriCorps VISTA alum with a master’s degree in Communications & New Media Marketing from Southern New Hampshire University. She currently works as the Volunteer & Community Engagement Coordinator for the Syracuse Northeast Community Center and NEHDA. We’ve asked her to write guest posts for us, taking a deeper look into the Northside, its businesses, organizations, and residents. All of her posts can be found under the “Syracuse Northeast Community Center” and the NEHDA categories.


On Saturday, April 22 the Syracuse Northeast Community Center (SNCC) will be hosting a Community Garden Day to prep for another successful growing season. From 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, volunteers will help with spreading wood chips, clearing garden beds, transporting fresh soil, and more. Green thumbs are not required!




Located at 716 Hawley Avenue, the SNCC community garden supplies fresh produce to Northside neighbors; whether it is through a home-cooked lunch in our Senior Program, or as fresh veggies distributed through our Basic Needs Pantry. The garden is also the perfect tool to bring community members together. Age, ability, and background don’t matter in the garden – there are jobs for all of our neighbors.

You can register as an individual or as a group for the Community Garden Day by sending me an email at: lkwiek@snccsyr.org.

If getting dirty isn’t your ideal weekend activity, there are still ways that you can support SNCC’s programming. On Friday, April 21, consider doing some spring cleaning of your kitchen cabinets and donating nonperishable food items to SNCC’s pantry. The Basic Needs Pantry distributes over 60,000 meals annually to nearby residents, and is in constant need of canned goods to fill the shelves. SNCC will be collecting nonperishable items on April 21 from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, and will also have a collection bin on-site during the Community Garden Day on April 22.




Does reading the date April 22 trigger something in your memory? There are multiple Earth Day Cleanups happening throughout the city on that day. In a true collaborative effort, each of the NEHDA organized Clean Up sites will also have a collection bin to support the Basic Needs Pantry at SNCC. Just bring your canned goods to any of the three locations, and the registration table will accept your donation.




This year, NEHDA is organizing cleanups at the Hawley-Green triangle, the North Salina Street corridor, and Rose Hill. This event is a great way to enjoy some fresh air while beautifying our city. To register as a volunteer, or for more information, visit NEHDA’s website or contact Rachel at Rachel@nehda.org.

No matter which option you choose, I hope you will join our efforts to get the Northside ready for a healthy and thriving spring!

Call for Art: Mural Proposals for SNCC’s Community Garden

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • April 10, 2017


The Northeast Hawley Development Association (NEHDA) and the Syracuse Northeast Community Center are teaming up to organize the creation of a mural for SNCC’s community garden. The proposed design should incorporate a theme of “connectivity” and be submitted to NEHDA either in person (101 Gertrude Street) or via email to Rachel (rachel@nehda.org) by April 28th.

For all the details, check out the “Call for Art” and the “Artist Agreement.”

NEHDA Presents Clean Up ‘Cuse: Northside | April 22 from 10 am – 1 pm

Written by Rachel Nolte  • April 6, 2017

rachel_for-webEditor’s Note: Rachel is serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) at NEHDA for the year. Her roll involves a variety of tasks, such as recruiting volunteers and applying for funding opportunities to plan really cool, really fun events that benefit the community. Rachel graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a BFA in Sculpture and a minor in psychology. She spent the past year serving in another AmeriCorps program where she traveled the state of New York to help out with various environmental projects. As part of Rachel’s work with NEHDA, she is writing some posts for us to share. All of her posts can be found under the “NEHDA” category. To learn more about NEHDA, visit their website and Facebook.

Clean up Cuse banner

Syracuse, NY—Every ‘Cuse resident is familiar with the infamous lingering winter. It shapes our city’s culture and affects our daily lives. We have those that embrace the weather and those that resign themselves to constant misery from mid-October until late May. However, pro- or anti-winter folks alike get excited when the days begin to lengthen and the hesitant sun returns. This excitement is with good cause, too. We’ve survived another snowy season and have a few months of heat and growth and maybe even some swimming ahead of us! Ice cream stores re-open, bars and restaurants have outdoor seating, and the whole world seems to come out of hibernation and swarm the public parks.

Sadly, not every part of the springtime is so cheery. As the remnants of the tired yellow, brown, black, and grey snow banks melt away, the horrors underneath are revealed. Bottles, bags, wrappers, newspapers, cigarette butts, tires, Styrofoam—it’s almost enough to make a person long for snow to cover up all the litter! Almost. Fortunately, there’s a better option. Every year, neighborhoods all over Syracuse host litter clean up events on or near Earth Day.

The Northeast Hawley Development Association (NEHDA) is organizing three such events—one in a neighborhood near you! Or so we hope. The meet-up locations are the following:

— In front of the Flat Iron building on 536 N. Salina Street for the N. Salina Street corridor cleanup

— In front of the YWCA on 401 Douglas Street for the Rose Hill cleanup

— In the parking lot of Laci’s Tapas Bar on 304 Hawley Avenue for the Hawley Green triangle cleanup

 If you want to participate or provide donations, please email Rachel (@) nehda.org or call (315) 425-1032. Special thanks to Dunkin’ Donuts and Home Depot for providing donations to make the event a success.



1. Free donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts

Say, that sweetens the deal!



2. Feeling proud of your community

You can see the tangible difference that you made!



3. Spending quality time outdoors

When’s the last time you were outside? No, walking from your car into your home doesn’t count.



4. Everyone can participate: all generations are welcome!

No age limits here.

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5. You can go out for lunch!

You’re already out and you’ve done some good work, so you might as well treat yourself to lunch at a fabulous Northside restaurant. There’s so many delectable options!


Sandwiches by Thanos Import Market.


6. Spend quality time with friends

Come stag and make cool new friends, or bring an old buddy and catch up over clean-up.



7. Soak in the beauty

The Northside is already beautiful. You get to make it even more beautiful while enjoying the beauty. SO MUCH BEAUTY.



8. Get the most out of your Saturday

You’re going to get a jump start on the day because you have to be at the Clean Up by 10 am. Then you will be done in the early afternoon with lots of Saturday ahead of you to enjoy! You can spend the rest of the day being productive, or perhaps napping.



9. Bragging rights

While we hope that you are bringing everyone you know to this event, you can brag to those of your friends who fail to participate.



10. Spending time with the awesome people that work at NEHDA

We’re so fun to be around that we really are providing you with a free service. Plus, we bring our friends.


Help the Land Bank Design a Pocket Park on the Northside

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • April 3, 2017

Pocket Park Meeting

WHAT: Northside Pocket Park Planning Meeting #1

WHEN: Thursday, April 6 from 6:00 – 7:00 PM

WHERE: White Branch Library

The Syracuse Land Bank is seeking community input to create a pocket park on the Northside. At this meeting, participants will review possible sites for the park and brainstorm potential design concepts. Landscape Architecture students from SUNY ESF will be present to record ideas during the brainstorm and develop a design for the pocket park. At a second community meeting (to be determined), participants will see the designs and give further input.

For more information, view the event flier here.

Visioning Voices Re-imagines Public Space on the Northside

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • March 9, 2017

Visioning Voices


WHAT: Visioning Voices Community Speaker Series, a free reoccurring event from SUNY ESF’s Center for Community Design Research. The series takes place in different places throughout Syracuse with the goal of growing healthy neighborhoods.


WHEN: Tuesday, March 21 beginning at 2:30 PM

Guided walking tour of N. Salina Street:  2:30 – 3:30 pm

Presentation by Nate Hommel and intervention site visit: 4:00 -5:45 pm

Community dinner: 5:45-6:15 pm

Workshop: 6:15-7:30 pm


WHERE: Assumption Church, 812 North Salina Street


“Take useless spaces and give them back to people,” encourages Nate Hommel, University City District Director of Planning and Design and the speaker for this month’s Visioning Voices series and workshop on the Northside. Nate will take participants on a walking tour of the North Salina Street corridor and a nearby community space, and will present some of the work he’s done in Philadelphia transforming underused public spaces. Check out the video below for a brief overview of Nate’s efforts!


This event is free and open to the public. Although it focuses on the Northside as the “host neighborhood” concepts will be applicable across communities. Participants can attend one or all of the event’s components by registering at the Visioning Voices Eventbrite page.

To learn more about the event, join the Facebook invite and follow SUNY ESF on Facebook.

Photo Friday: Dressed in Yellow

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • October 14, 2016


Photo Friday: A Sunny Spot at the Isabella Street Garden

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • July 15, 2016

Sunflower in the Isabella Street Garden

AmeriCorps VISTA Neighborhood Tours

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • August 13, 2015

VISTA banner 1

On Monday, August 3, a group of four individuals, all with different backgrounds and interests, entered the CenterState CEO office to learn more about their new AmeriCorps VISTA positions and the neighborhoods where they will be working. For the next year, Kiva, Liz, Zach, and Camellia will help implement the Community Prosperity Initiative that seeks to more efficiently knit together community partnerships to achieve greater impact through workforce development, business development, and neighborhood revitalization throughout the City of Syracuse, and expects to benefit low-income, underserved community residents looking to improve their lives by participating in the economy.

Much of their first week was spent touring the Northside, Near West Side, and Southwest neighborhoods and getting acclimated to the projects and colleagues they’ll be working with during their time at four of our partner sites: Home HeadQuarters,the Near Westside InitiativeSyracuse Model Neighborhood Facility, Inc., and the Northeast Hawley Development Association, Inc. – NEHDA, Inc. Although the VISTAs will be based at different sites, their work will exist across neighborhoods, merging economic and community development with place.

Our aim is to create a relationship-based, action-oriented approach that can help our partners transfer hidden potential into opportunity and prosperity.

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To view a series of photos from the neighborhood tours, check out our Facebook album.