At Delta Bridge Project, we've helped to generate over $74 million for the revitalization of Phillips County.
Click on the links below to read about just a few examples of community projects completed in coordination with our Strategic Plan.
The dilapidated Jefferson School was torn down in preparation for construction of the Union Fort Curtis, a key Civil War Helena site, in 2010. The new Union fort is one of the largest replica earthen-walled forts in the region, occupying the entire block. The story of the fort is unique since it was one of the few places in the South where African American troops were trained to become part of the USCT.
Sibley Quarters, a football-field sized slum right on the main entry into town from the bridge, was cleaned up in 2005. As a result, a significant eyesore along historic entry corridor is cleared in preparation for the new Freedom Park Civil War Helena site to be completed in 2012. Civil War Helena’s Freedom Park, the first “Network to Freedom” site in Arkansas, will tell the story of African-American experiences during the Civil War.
The VITA free tax return preparation program serves almost 1,000 Phillips County residents helping them receive more than $2 million in refunds and credits, a record year. Since 2005, the volunteers have completed more than 4,000 returns and helped families receive more than $7.5 million in refunds and credits.
Completed in 2009, this $25 million, 40 million gallon facility completed testing in 2011 and added more than 40 jobs.
A partnership with the Audubon Society produced 15 wildlife and nature panels in the River Park area.
Our second generation plan was developed over seven months of intensive planning. Each Goal Team updated their individual Mission Statements, and SWOT analyses were divided into program categories to allow Goal Teams to easily access this information.
We replaced an abandoned grocery store with a modern library. As a result, we were able to convert an ugly, abandoned piece of commercial real estate in the heart of the historic district into a top-notch community asset on par with the best in any community of our size.
We secured public ownership for a unique Mississippi River island and boating destination just north of downtown Helena. Game & Fish provided a conservation easement for Buck Island to ensure that this resource remains in public hands Quapaw Canoe company leads day trips and overnight trips to Buck Island, providing a unique Mississippi River eco-tourism experience.
A scholarship that covers full tuition for local community college and is modeled on the nationally renowned Kalamazoo Promise and El Dorado (AR) promise, this program enables all students who graduate from any Phillips County HS and meet a few other minimal criteria to attend Phillips Community College free of charge.
A new downtown business incubator was formed in partnership with Phillips Community College and Thrive.
Finally adopting the right model and a part-time manager, the Market’s seven vendors attract more than 100 customers per week
This important festival celebrated a 25-year anniversary and had one of the strongest line-ups in the festival’s history. DBP grants paid for headliners; substantial staff technical assistance helped bring in a highly qualified director and put in place an annual audit, fiscal policies, and improved board governance.
We transformed an old abandoned lot into expanded park with Farmers Market pavilion. Formerly a site of urban decay with collapsed structures, trash thrown over fenced areas, and unwanted FEMA trailers, this centerpiece of our downtown has been transformed into a beautiful, useable park which now houses the Farmers Market, Civil War Helena markers, and the site of Helena on Ice Christmas Celebration.
An ambitious 29-site Civil War Helena plan was released at a July event attracting more than 300 people. The initiative is expected to draw more than 90,000 visitors annually at full scale. Catalyst sites include Fort Curtis, Freedom Park, Battery C, and Estevan Hall.
Civil War Helena Part 2 History
A community branding firm completed a brand focusing on the themes of renewal and rhythm. Continuing the process of “getting on the same page” and “speaking with a unified voice,” Main Street Helena commissioned a brand study which produced a comprehensive unified brand for Helena and Phillips County which is being used in all official advertising and promotion of the community.
This public education consulting program has led to statistically significant gains in test scores for students reached by the program.
Local non-profit secures partnership with city/county governments to invest $200,000+ in a county-wide animal control shelter/program.
A master plan was completed for downtown Helena, including detailed branding, signage, and infrastructure recommendations. The process helped crystallize a three-pronged tourism strategy focusing on the Civil War, music and eco-tourism.
This $3 million facility, supported by significant local donations, radically transformed the downtown approach corridor.
The 19,000 square foot facility opened to 500+ members as another major infrastructural improvement for the community. The Club has gone on to win numerous regional and national awards for program excellence.
Helena is the only downtown on the river for the 300 miles between Memphis and Vicksburg. In addition, St. Francis National Forest hosts the confluence of the St. Francis and Mississippi Rivers as well as numerous boat access points. As such, we are in a unique position to capitalize on tourism from river and canoe enthusiasts.
This is the reason that John Ruskey decided to open a Helena Outpost (on Ohio Street) of his Clarksdale-based Quapaw Canoe Company.
Elegant Victorian Gardens were created in downtown Helena to complement Solomon House and historic Magnolia Hill Bed and Breakfast.
This Annual bike race was started, drawing several hundred visitors to Phillips County in memory of HRMC Administrator Tom Kinnebre.
The two cities join together in the largest such consolidation in state history. This gave us a combined population that made us far more significant than either of the two cities alone.
The Club opens doors with 200+ members in a temporary facility, and it became a community institution.
This new facility created 25+ jobs and benefits local produce farmers. As a farmers’ co-operative, it helps smaller minority farmers realize greater profits from growing sweet potatoes.
Initiated the Homebuyer and Credit Counseling service to help people purchase a home, retain their home, and repair or establish a good credit history.
We created a plan to put us all on the same page, and we created a structured community development effort to help implement the plan. Over 300 residents came together to create our first detailed strategic community plan.
325+ properties were cleaned up. We began by cleaning the slate (and the clutter) to give people a blank canvas to work with and a sense of how beautiful our neighborhoods could be again. And, while there’s certainly more clean-up to be done, this was a very big step in the right direction.
A significant eyesore along a historic entry corridor was cleared in preparation for the new Freedom Park Civil War Helena site.
Our high quality Dr. Vasudevan Wellness Center was completed. The Center addresses a key quality of life issue for many residents, having a quality place to exercise, and contributes to increased retention of residents.