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East Side Grove:
an "Elm Street Designated Community"

The Elm Street Program is a neighborhood revitalization initiative intended to be a complete approach to long-term neighborhood sustainability.

The Elm Street Approach is structured around five focus areas:

Deals with the stewardship of a neighborhood, clearing and maintaining the neighborhood. 

Safe, Clean & Green 

Relates to the economic relationship between residents and businesses.

Neighbors & Economy 

Handles the physical elements within the neighborhood. Deign should be pedestrian oriented and have an architecturally significant housing stock. 

Design

Looks at and seeks to improve the neighborhood’s perception. 

Image 

& Identity 

 Involves getting various groups and volunteers in the neighborhood working together towards common goals. 

Sustainable Organization

Our 
Story

The Elm Street neighborhood revitalization initiative is a program awarded by the Department of Community and Economic Development and is facilitated by the PA Downtown Center.  

The Elm Street designation was awarded for the period of March 2, 2021, to March 30, 2026.  

The initiative is intended to be a comprehensive approach to long-term neighborhood sustainability. To date, there are only two designated Elm Street Communities in the Commonwealth of PA.

The Keystone Elm Street designation means that New Castle will receive priority consideration under several Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) programs including the Keystone Communities Program. New Castle will also be eligible for complimentary technical assistance and programmatic support from the Pennsylvania Downtown Center (PDC) over the next five years. In addition, New Castle will receive priority status for various funding applications submitted to the DCED. New Castle will also be eligible for Neighborhood Assistance Program Enterprise Zone tax credits for private sector development within the designated Elm Street Program area. 

Through the Keystone Elm Street designation, many programs have been created. Some programs provided are the Lower East Side Community Garden, playground renovations, neighborhood cleanups, community watch meetings, grant writing, budgeting, home renovations, quarterly newsletters, web page communications, Golden Broom awards, Volunteer of the Year awards, and information and referrals through social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).  

To make the Elm Street community thrive, a manager who lives in and understands the community is key. The Elm Street Program manager connects neighborhood homeowners, renters, businesses, community leaders, potential contributors, and stakeholders to assess needs and match resources to those needs. The Elm Street Designation program for New Castle’s Lower East Side neighborhood, which is administered through DON Enterprises, Inc., knew just the person to fill this position. 

 

Therefore, in June 2021, Kenneth (“Kenny”) J. Rice, Sr. accepted the position of Manager for the Elm Street Designation program for the City of New Castle’s Lower East Side neighborhood. 

 

Kenny has been with the DON “family” of business entities since 2007 in numerous roles and capacities, including personal care attendant, facilities supervisor, and corporate board member. A life-long resident of New Castle, he resides in the Elm Street Designation’s project area. Kenny’s love and commitment for his neighborhood has been demonstrated by his spearheading grassroot initiatives such as Annual Community Clean-up Days, Neighborhood Watch, the Lower East Side Community Garden, and the Lawrence County Day of Prayer.  Among other accomplishments, Kenny received the 2020 Dominion Energy/Western Pennsylvania Environmental Council Award for the Lower East Side Community Garden, 2020 Oneness of Lawrence County – Uniting Community, Citizen Award, 2019 Lawrence County Conservation District Urban Stewardship Award, 2019 NAACP Thomas Farrow Community Award, 2019 Tri-County Clean Ways Community Steward Award, and 2019 Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Volunteer of the Year.

 

Beyond his work for the community, Kenny is devoted to his family. Kenny has been married to his beloved wife, Laura, for 14 years and he has 9 children. 

 

Kenny is a staple of his community. He takes exceptional pride in continually working on improving the neighborhood by maintaining public areas, tending to gardens, and simply being a good neighbor to his fellow residents.   

Elm Street Manager 

More Elm Street

Learn more about the Elm Street by viewing a timeline of the project.

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DON Enterprises, Inc.
831 Harrison St.
New Castle, PA 16105

 
(724) 652-5144

Elm Street 

101 S Mercer St.

Suite 210  

New Castle, PA 16101


(724) 652-5144

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