Downtown Inc creates new fund to maintain York City beautification efforts

Maria Yohn
York Dispatch
Downtown Inc. and their volunteers decorate lamp posts in downtown York during the 16th annual Hanging of the Greens, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017.   John A. Pavoncello photo

Since its inception, Downtown Inc has focused on creating beauty in York City. Now, the organization is placing a greater emphasis on maintaining the beauty it has created.

Silas Chamberlin, CEO of Downtown Inc, announced the creation of the Downtown York Landscape Stewardship Fund during the organization’s biannual Downtown Update, held Tuesday, April 17, at the Appell Center for the Performing Arts, 50 N. George St.

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Chamberlin said he and other Downtown Inc members came up with the idea after they looked around the city and wondered how they were going to preserve the public art, annual flower plantings and other beautification projects their organization supported.

That's when they decided to create a fund for the sole purpose of maintaining their urban landscape efforts, including the work of the Clean-Up Crew that collects litter in the city’s central business district, Chamberlin said.

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The York County Community Foundation will manage the fund on behalf of Downtown Inc, according to Chamberlin.

"We're trying to be more strategic," Chamberlin said.

Downtown Inc. CEO Silas Chamberlin speaks during the 2018  Downtown First Awards at Logos Academy in York City, Thursday, April 12, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert photo

According to Chamberlin, the organization plans to grow the fund over time via the support of donors who may contribute through their estate planning and planned giving. 

The new fund has been started with a $26,000 balance after having received a $13,000 donation from the Kinsley Family Foundation, he said.

“As so many individuals and companies have invested in the revitalization of York City, we wanted to be part of that effort," Tim Kinsley, president of Kinsley Properties, said in a news release. "While work has focused on new buildings, we thought we could contribute to the public space between the buildings and the streets."

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The organization also received an $8,000 donation from Better York, an organization focused on public safety and economic development, and a $5,000 donation from the York County Community Foundation, Chamberlin said. 

“Downtown York must be an inviting and comfortable place in order to attract people to work, play and live here. The creation of the Downtown York Landscape Fund gives us a forward-looking tool to ensure our city center remains beautiful for years to come," Chamberlin said in a news release.