June 14th marked the first week that the AmeriCorps VISTAs, Clara Martinez and Brittany Gordon, started their work on Lansing City Hall Campus. They set out to help incorporate the Love Your Block blueprint–provided by Cities of Service–into the neighborhoods within Lansing and illuminate the importance of impact volunteering.
However, it being week one, the VISTAs first had to learn about the many opportunities and “bright spots” within Lansing in order to fully understand what makes this city so amazing. From going to the offices of their Michigan senators and representatives to seeing the beauty of Hawk Island Park, they learned the beautiful details of the Capital City.
They look forward to delving into their work with neighborhood and resource development. Below are some pictures they took of their adventures in week one.
A look at Boji Tower from the Beer Grotto, a newer addition to downtown Lansing.
These stacks from the Board of Water and Light serve as a staple in Lansing to figuring out where you are in Lansing.
A view from the Anderson Building, which houses Michigan’s House of Representatives.
Boji Tower is a beautiful part of downtown Lansing’s skyline and also houses the main hearing room for the Michigan Senate.
These are the elevators inside Boji Tower, which illuminate labor and industry in its engravings.
Clara and I took the CATA bus challenge and made our way from Northern Lansing to the South side Meijer and then to Allen Neighborhood.
The CATA bus system works to being environmentally friendly and also sponsored the live music we heard later that day at the Allen Neighborhood Farmer’s Market.
Clara reads one of the newspapers dedicated to Lansing News.
Clara and I took a visit to the State Capital. As you can see, they are working on a bit of a face lift.
Clara’s Rep., Sam Singh, had a really awesome office in the capital that had a bank vault inside it.
This is one of the ornate hallways in the capital.
Clara grabbed an Eastside Neighborhood Organization newspaper from the office of Senator Curtis Hertel Jr.
Senator Hertel Jr showed the area of his constituents by displaying the varsity letters of those in his district.
We took a visit to the Downtown Lansing INC office and received literature on downtown businesses and events.
Ferris Park is located right in downtown Lansing. Next to Ferris Park is Beacon Field, which will be starting construction to become an artificial turfed soccer field for the community.
Clara and I visited the weekly farmers market put on by the Allen Neighborhood Center every Wednesday from 2:30-7pm. We got to interact with the vendors and learn about Sleepwalker Spirits and Ale, which is a community owned cooperation. This farmers market also accepts EBT cards and has a Double Up Food Bucks program, where EBT cardholders can get twice the amount of produce for the price of one.
Teff-rific! sells Ethiopian food at the Allen Street Farmers Market. Clara and I both got the combo meal with a Samosa. It was an amazing meal.
South Lansing Farmers Market is put on by the South Lansing Community Development Association. It is open Thursdays from 3-7pm. This farmers market had some really great tacos, which were made from beef and salsa sold by vendors at the market.
Clara and I received a lot of literature on Lansing events and attractions at the Greater Lansing Visitors Bureau. Located in the Stadium District, the staff there was welcoming and kindly took this picture for us.
Located just down the block from our office is one of the coolest Biggbys I have ever seen. Clara and I have already become frequent customers and have learned that it is affectionately called the Hogwarts Biggby due to its architecture.
Clara and I found one of the Keys in the Cities pianos. These painted pianos are free for anyone who comes by them to play on.
Kositchek’s is a menswear retail store that has been located in downtown Lansing since the late 1800s.
This sculpture sits on the Lansing Community College Campus, which has been newly renovated in the last few years.
Clara and I took a walk into LCC’s Gannon Building in order to see some of its updates. We enjoyed this painting on one of the walls inside the building.
On our tour of South Lansing, we went and looked at the historical marker for Malcolm X’s home site in Lansing.
On our first day, Clara and I had the opportunity to meet with Mayor Bernero.
This is my (Brittany’s) cubicle in City Hall Campus.
Clara is hard at work at her cubicle at City Hall Campus. As Americorps Vistas we are excited to see how we will contribute with Lansing’s Love Your Block program.
Blog Post created by Brittany Gordon.