Pre-Schoolers Engage With Rise & New Community Development

On March 18th, Rise led two student tours for East Alton Elementary School, District #13 of the new Emerald Ridge affordable housing development in the once-distressed, former Defense Area of East Alton. Rise began developing 46 new single-family homes in East Alton, Illinois in March of 2014 in partnership with Southwestern Illinois Development Authority (SWIDA), the Village of East Alton and Madison County, IL. The students were led by Principle Stacey Egan and Teacher Beckie Harmon.

The tour consisted of some very inquisitive young students, parents who boldly braved the cold, teachers who led the way, and Mr. Bill Flynn as our guide through the nearly completed location. “Builder Bill” as he identified himself, is the Emerald Ridge project construction manager from Altman Charter Construction Co., a partner with Rise.

Mr. Flynn provided a brief presentation on the details of construction for the students, including all the varieties of artisans and craftspeople required to build an individual house, the average length of time to complete a house (7.7 working days), the materials and tools involved, and all manner of details that really engaged the students. Many tiny hands were raised, adorable and thoughtful questions asked, and plenty of fun was had by all.

The students made a circuit around the 3 blocks of homes in varying states of completion, and were able to visit a fully completed single family home much to their delight (and their parents’ as well, because it was a lot warmer on the inside). They were treated to high ceilings, vibrant paint jobs, and all the exciting nooks and crannies of a brand new living space.

The enthusiasm of the two tours subsequently went off the charts when the students were brought to the common green space in the center of the three blocks, which is slated to be freshly landscaped into a brand new park and green space. The biggest bonus for the kids: a new technicolor playground outside the Keasler Recreation Center, right next door.

Rise finished off with an informative video interview with East Alton Elementary School’s Early Childhood Principal, Ms. Stacey Egan. The school’s commitment to community development awareness, and instructing their own future community builders, is more than admirable.

This tour helps the school and the students meet the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards, in particular, “comparing and contrasting”, by experiencing and learning about how homes are built and what the finished product looks like. The Emerald Ridge grand opening and ribbon cutting is scheduled for April 20, 2015.

Emerald Ridge/East Alton Elementary Tour 1Emerald Ridge/East Alton Elementary Tour 2Emerald Ridge/East Alton Elementary Tour 3


The City of St. Louis Solicits Comments on Evaluation Draft

The City of St. Louis is soliciting comments on its draft Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER). The CAPER is an overall review of the housing and community development activities undertaken in 2014 by the City of St. Louis.  It is part of the Consolidated Planning process, which is a pre-requisite to receiving federal HUD funds.

Public Hearing Notice/Public Comment Period

The Community Development Administration will conduct a public hearing on Thursday, March 19, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. in Suite 2000 at 1520 Market Street.  The purpose of this hearing is to solicit public comments pertaining to the 2014 Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) prior to its submission to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Available for Review

The 2014 Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) will be available in draft form for review by any interested citizen prior to submission to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on March 6, 2015 at the City of St. Louis Central Library located at 1301 Olive Street. The draft report, including IDIS reports and the Financial Summary, will also be available for review at the offices of the Community Development Administration located at 1520 Market Street, Suite 2000.  Copies of the report may be downloaded from the City of St. Louis website at

Written Comments

The views of citizens, public agencies, and other interested parties are strongly encouraged. Written comments or suggestions may be addressed to Ms. Alana Green, Director of Administration, Community Development Administration, 1520 Market, Suite 2000, St. Louis, MO 63103, or via e-mail at [email protected].  Comments are due by close of business on March 20, 2015.

Other Information

Persons with special needs or accommodations relating to handicapped accessibility or foreign language should contact Ms. Green via email at [email protected] or by phone at (314) 657-3844 or (314) 589-6000 (TDD). Interpreting services are available upon request for persons with hearing disabilities.  Interested parties should contact the Office on the Disabled at (314) 622-3686/voice or (314) 622-3693/TTY.

CDA is an equal opportunity agency (employer).  Minority participation is encouraged.


Dana Gray Speaks Out on Low-Income Renters Needing Energy Efficient Housing

Dana Gray serves as the Community Outreach Coordinator for Tower Grove Neighborhoods Community Development Corp. She began her work in community development in 2005 with the Southwest Garden Neighborhood Association.

Rise Announces 2015 Group Training Schedule

Our group training classes cover a broad range of organizational development and neighborhood revitalization topics and are taught by in-house Rise staff and outside experts in a variety of specialty areas. This year we are doing some collaboration with the Community Builders Network and our own Rise YP Board. Please sign up for the 2015 trainings as soon as possible, they fill up quick!

Revitalization in Transitional Neighborhoods

Date: Friday, March 27, 2015 

Time: 9:00 a.m. – Noon

Location: Harris Stowe State University; AT&T Library; Telecommunity Room

Description: Community Builders Network, in collaboration with Rise, is providing this training opportunity focusing on best practice strategies for developing and implementing in the revitalization of “middle” neighborhoods, also referred to as places where there is some market strength. Presenters will highlight strategies locally and in other comparable cities where community development is occurring in middle or transitional market neighborhoods.

To register for this training through Eventbrite click here or

RSVP: Please RSVP at least three business days prior to class by contacting

Jenny Ryan, Community Development Specialist with Community Builders Network at [email protected] or by phone at (314) 402-5595


Comprehensive Community Development in Distressed Communities and Weak Market Areas

Date: Thursday, May 7, 2015

Time: 9:00 a.m. – Noon

Location: Harris Stowe State University; AT&T Library; Telecommunity Room

Description: Rise, in collaboration with Community Builders Network, is offering this training seminar focused on working in distressed neighborhoods.  There will be a focus on developing and implementing a comprehensive community development plan, quality of life planning and managing the partnerships with plan implementation.

RSVP: Please RSVP at least three business days prior to class by contacting

Brian Hurd, Technical Assistance Program Manager with Rise at [email protected] or (314) 333-7012


Date: Friday, September 25th, 2015

Time: 9:00 a.m. – Noon


O’Fallon Park Recreation Complex
4343 West Florissant Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63115


Rise and CBN are excited to present a training and workshop on the role of Civic Technology and Community Development. Eleanor Tutt, Data Management Coordinator at Rise, will facilitate an engaging session directed to community development professionals regarding how tech can improve the interaction between residents and the public sector as well as improve the quality of life for neighborhoods. Be prepared to discuss what challenges and opportunities you are facing in your service areas and how tech might improve or assist your work.

To register through Eventbrite here.

RSVP: Please RSVP at least three business days prior to class by contacting

Jenny Ryan, Community Development Specialist with Community Builders Network at [email protected] or by phone at (314) 402-5595

For more information please contact Eleanor Tutt, Data Management Coordinator at [email protected]

Other notable group training topics coming later this year: 

  • And in the fourth quarter, Rise will discuss opportunities and strategies to engage renters in neighborhood revitalization and community development by fostering their inclusive involvement

For more information on Rise’s 2015 group training schedule, please contact Brian Hurd, Technical Assistance Program Manager, at [email protected] or by phone at (314) 333-7012.

Rise Food Access Training 03282014 004