Kettering spotlights Indianola revitalization

Beginning with Make a Difference Day on Oct. 26, volunteers supported by area businesses will clean up the area, encourage property renovation and solidify neighborhood identity.

Outcome in the first neighborhood chosen, Richman Heights in 2012-13, “met and went beyond expectations,” said Bonnie Pittl, volunteer resources manager for Kettering.

“We hope to work our way around the entire city,” she said.

Indianola, which is south of East Dorothy Lane and east of Wilmington Avenue, has a population of about 800. It includes 338 housing units, more than 250 of them occupied by owners.

“We don’t know why it’s called Indianola. We did some historical research and couldn’t come up with the answer. City council member Joe Wanamaker (District 2) has suggested it’s because Indian Ripple Road went all the way through to Far Hills Avenue in the past. Most of the homes there were built in the 1940s, before Kettering was a city,” Pittl said.

A pancake breakfast and forum will be held 9 to 11 a.m. Oct. 26 at Charity Baptist Church, 1600 Brownleigh Road, with Mayor Don Patterso. Residents can voice their concerns about the neighborhood.

Volunteers will remove yard debris, rake leaves, trim shrubs and small trees in the neighborhood from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Those with a request for clean up should call (937) 296-2433 or send an email to:

Make a Difference Day will also include a joint project with the Centerville-Kiwanis Club. Members and volunteers will meet at Town and Country Shopping Center to make trauma dolls for hospitalized children.

Pittl said the Richman Heights effort resulted in removing 3.5 tons of yard debris during two cleanups.

“The whole neighborhood looks sharper. There was an alley you could not even walk through. Now that’s totally open. More than 100 people attended our block party there. Some of them have lived there for years but had never spoken to each other. Residents have also become more comfortable about contacting the police to report crimes,” Pittl said.

The city of Kettering has applied for a grant to purchase a tool trailer and tools that volunteers could use to do home repair, cleanup and landscaping.

“We have walked the neighborhood, leaving hangers on doors that list events and ask residents to fill out cards suggesting things that need to be done,” Pittl said.

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