Loyola University Maryland

York Road Initiative


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A York Road Initiative task force of more than 20 Loyola faculty members, students, staff, and administrators oversee the effort for the University. A timeline overview of their work is listed below:

Spring 2008

  • Initiative adopted in University's strategic plan.
  • York Road Initiative task force assembled.

Fall of 2008

Spring 2009

  • The idea for a "Listening Project" to assess community strengths and needs evolves.

Summer 2009

Fall 2009

  • The task force works with the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) to develop Loyola is Listening, a survey tool to hear first hand from York Road community members on area assets and opportunities for partnership with Loyola.
  • The Loyola is Listening project groundwork is laid and 27 Loyola faculty, student, and staff "listeners" are trained.

Winter 2010

Spring 2010

  • Daniel Nieves, ’10 and Roger Kashlak, Ph.D., professor of management and international business, present recommendations to the task force to bring businesses into open storefronts in Belvedere Square.
  • Responses from the Loyola is Listening project are compiled and reviewed by faculty at the Loyola Clinical Centers.
  • The task force meets for a planning session and reviews the findings of Loyola is Listening. Three subcommittees to focus engagement form:
    • Enhancing Education and Youth Development (School of Education)
    • Strengthening the Commercial Strip (School of Business)
    • Building Civic Capacity (University-wide, through administration division)

Summer 2010

  • The University hires a director to oversee the York Road Initiative.
  • The Sellinger School is granted an AmeriCorps VISTA member to implement projects between students and local businesses.
  • The University helps fund a AmeriCorps VISTA member for the York Road Partnership in collaboration with Greater Homewood Community Corporation.

Fall 2010

  • On Oct. 6, Loyola hosts a discussion about and presentation of the findings of Loyola is Listening for more than 150 community members.

Winter 2010

  • The task force reviews best practices for university-community engagement and partnerships.
  • Subcommittees present their efforts. See Our Work for specifics.

Spring 2011

  •     The task force begins a five-year planning process for York Road engagement.

Summer 2011

  • The Govanstowne Farmers' Market pilots its first four week season with an average of 300 shoppers per week.
  • Based on a successful first year, a second year of AmeriCorps Vista funding was renewed and the project moved to focus on a more holistic approach to community development.

Fall 2011

  • Through task force efforts and direct collaboration with the York Road Partnership committees, efforts to build civic capacity and strengthen the commercial corridor thrived.

Spring 2012

  • York Road Initiative and York Road Partnership moved to a shared space in the Radnor-Winston office, spurring further teamwork and unity.
  • Partnership efforts with the Mid-Govans community and the DeWees Recreation Center result in national attention for the facility and generate increased interest in the center's sustainibility.

Summer 2012

  • The Govanstowne Farmers' Market returns for a second season, serving the needs of the local community, especially seniors, those utilizing CARES Food Pantry coupons, WIC, and those taking advantage of other local, state, and federal nutrition program benefits.
  • The AmeriCorps VISTA grant is renewed for a third and final year with the focus on business organizing and Main Street approach implementation.

Fall 2012

Spring 2013

  • York Road Community Food Access Survey interviews are held at GEDCO CARES Food Pantry, Northern Community Action Center, Glenwood Life Clinical Center, Guilford Elementary Middle School and residential homes with the help of trained Loyola Service-Learning students and Johns Hopkins Public Health Nursing students.