Champaign community website debuts

By Angelica Lavito

Champaign City Council members received a preview of Neighbors of Champaign, the city’s new website, at their meeting Tuesday night.

Neighbors of Champaign is a communication outlet that aims to improve the flow of information between different members of the community and the city. Council members were given the opportunity to provide feedback on the website.

“I think it’s a great idea and a nice way to connect the community,” said Deborah Feinen, council member at-large.

Neighborhoods can register to share and receive information about events occurring in the community. The website will strengthen the city’s capability to foster connections among neighbors, neighborhoods, the city organization and the community, according to the study session report.

“We really want to help strengthen the relationships between these citizen volunteers, and we are working so hard to engage with them,” said Kevin Jackson, Neighborhood Services Director.

The website will feature a calendar of events, news and notices, neighborhood registry, neighborhood geographic information maps, a neighborhood leaders forum, neighborhood notification, volunteer opportunities, a photo gallery and community resources.

“The pictures represent various neighborhood events as well as pictures sent to us,” said Colleen Madera, administrative assistant. “We plan on changing the pictures frequently, and our goal is to showcase events happening around the city.”

Users can register to receive notifications about volunteer opportunities that interest them. General volunteer opportunities will be posted on the website.

The neighborhood registry will provide users with a profile of the area. The geographic information system map allows users to locate resources such as neighborhood groups and use other tools such as street views of the neighborhoods.

Neighborhood notifications let registered users receive alerts for community events and other activities in their area. The community resources page will focus on organizations such as the Park District and the University.

There is a $3,136 fee for logo artwork, but City staff estimates that no more than $5,000 will be spent to fully develop the website, according to the study session report.

The city’s neighborhood services will conduct demonstrations and workshops for registered neighborhoods throughout the spring.

Although the website is already live, it is still under construction. Staff expects the website to be fully functioning by March 14.

Angelica can be reached at [email protected]