2020 Year in Review

2020 has been very a different year for everyone. The Greater Belhaven Foundation has powered through by re-imagining events, helping support our neighborhood businesses by spreading the word about new hours, curbside pickup and takeout, and moving forward with residents and the City on the Community Improvement District Petition.

Our big push for 2020 has been collecting the required number of signatures needed to submit the CID petition. We are SO CLOSE! The pandemic has made in-person contacts so much harder, but we were able to work with the City on an agreement that lets us use DocuSign. This gives residents the opportunity to sign from their computers and limits volunteer contact.

Our summer social media campaign focused on some of the improvements a CID will bring to Greater Belhaven. The Foundation sponsored a cleanup day along the Museum to Market Trail, funded street sweeping at the intersection of Riverside and Peachtree, and put a spotlight on added security the CID could fund. If you’re in favor of these kinds of improvements (and more), we’d welcome your help in reaching a few neighbors who have yet to sign the petition for the CID.

As part of the summer social media blitz, we asked you to post your favorite reasons to love our neighborhood. The “100 Reasons Belhaven” social media campaign brought much-deserved attention to all the wonderful things that Greater Belhaven has to offer. Obviously, there are way more than 100 reasons to love this place we call home, and social media proved us correct. Our thanks to all who posted and participated.

The summer also saw a longtime Greater Belhaven Foundation project come to fruition, with the groundbreaking for the Museum to Market Trail. GBF has worked for years to secure and connect properties along the multi-use trail route, and has helped with planning and coordinating among the organizations working on this project. This is one of many projects in the Foundation’s 20-year history that has taken countless hours of behind-the-scenes work and perseverance; it is great to see it finally under construction! The Foundation continues to engage in conversations about the trail and its amenities and security features. Your continued support will help to maintain, secure, and update the Trail and other outdoor areas like Greater Belhaven’s three parks.

The COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on the hottest festival in town, Bright Lights, Belhaven Nights. We were able to reimagine Bright Lights to create a neighborhood night out, modeled around a nationwide festival called Porch Fest. Neighbors put out lights to honor health care workers, several residents set up booths in their yards, and musicians played on their porches. It was not the BLBN we know and love, but it was a great evening nonetheless.

Our Being Belhaven Annual Party will also be very different this year. We’re going virtual, but we are sure you’ll love what we are planning. Save the Date for December 8th!

While 2020 has been challenging in so many ways, it’s also shown us again and again the very real value of a dynamic, diverse, vibrant community, where we know our neighbors (and their pets and children), support our local businesses, and applaud our neighborhood healthcare heroes. Shelter-in-place has meant lots more people working from our historic homes, riding bikes and walking our tree-lined streets, and enjoying some socially-distanced gatherings on our patios and porches. It’s made us appreciate Greater Belhaven even more, and it makes us even more grateful for your ongoing support. Our special neighborhood depends on your continuing support and involvement. And we need your support this year more than ever! Donate now by visiting https://greaterbelhaven.com/help-us-grow/ .