The Hill School has always been civic-minded and engaged with the greater Pottstown community. In recent years, students, faculty, staff, and alumni have increased their participation in various ways.
In response to perceived community needs, the School began an important discussion on campus, with parents of students, and with neighbors about a project to improve the immediate neighborhood and serve as a catalyst for improvements throughout Pottstown. Through several brainstorming sessions, the group garnered support for starting Hobart's Run, a collaborative improvement district that would serve as a neighborhood partnership.
At the end of 2015, The Hill School hired its first-ever manager of community and economic development. The School is determined to make serious strides and drive transformation transformation both in the School's surrounding neighborhood and greater Pottstown.
The name “Hobart's Run” refers to the stream that feeds the School's Dell pond and also runs beneath much of the shared neighborhood. The Hobart family lived in the area and was a respected Pottstown family.
This map outlines, parcel by parcel, all the properties currently included in the Hobart’s Run Neighborhood District. We intentionally used dashes to mark the boundary lines, as we hope to expand the focus area as we develop successful working models in our key initiatives.
1. Creating a clean, safe, and inclusive community.
2. Providing incentives for home ownership and home improvements.
3. Generating positive, sustainable commercial and retail development.
In an article published in Urban Affairs Review titled " Understanding the Pursuit of Happiness in Ten Major Cities," the authors concluded that good urbanism contributes positively to happiness:
" We find that the design and conditions of cities are associated with the happiness of residents in 10 urban areas. Cities that provide easy access to convenient public transportation and to cultural and leisure amenities promote happiness. Cities that are affordable and serve as good places to raise children also have happier residents. We suggest that such places foster the types of social connections that can improve happiness and ultimately enhance the attractiveness of living in the city."
Accordingly, Hobart's Run has established the following key initiatives:
Community trash pick-ups
Community block clean-ups
Increased access to trash and recycling
Rain barrel workshops
Community garden memberships and training
Community health fairs and block parties
Community bike rides
Neighborhood advocacy groups
Private real estate acquisition
Commercial and retail development on High Street
Home ownership and employee incentive programs
Sometimes we are lucky enough in life to meet the right people at the right time—folks whose knowledge and goodwill catapult an idea into reality. When ZimRick LLC bought a prominent corner property in Hobart's Run, they became those people.
We are grateful for the collaborative relationships that have formed between various entities to address shared objectives.
Through leveraging the strengths of each partner and applying it strategically to the issues at hand, we believe we can increase our collective effectiveness in Pottstown. Additionally, strong partnerships build the relationships, shared understanding, and collective focus to make lasting progress on issues related to community and economic development.
Reach out to Hobart's Run to volunteer, contribute and partner in the revitalization of our neighborhood!