The Community Development Department has worked on a number of special projects in addition to its administration of Community Development Block Grant-funded projects.
These non-CDBG projects are City projects and partnerships funded through a variety of sources. A listing of some recent and ongoing projects and initiatives are listed below.
The City of Portsmouth has embarked upon a project to replace “Visual Labels” which were scattered throughout Portsmouth’s historic downtown.
The City of Portsmouth owns and maintains six historic cemeteries; these cemeteries today exist as invaluable snapshots of the lives and final resting places of residents of our community over our nearly 400 year history. Recognizing this, in 2013 The City of Portsmouth and the Portsmouth Historical Society commissioned an existing conditions assessment report to begin the process of developing a long range restoration plan to maintain these historic resources for the benefit of future generations. For more information, please visit Portsmouth Parks and Greenery Division
Many in our community have asked how Portsmouth's African Burying Ground could have been forgotten. During the 1700s when the Burying Ground was actively used, the area that is now Chestnut Street was the undeveloped outskirts of town. Over time, as Portsmouth grew during the late 1700s and throughout the 1800s, the African Burying Ground was paved over and built over and many forgot of its existence. Today, we recognize this important place as the only known DNA-authenticated African Burying Ground in all of New England that dates to this era.
In 2014, the Mayor appointed a Blue Ribbon Committee on Sagamore Creek Land whose charge was to develop a plan for public usage of the 66-acre city-owned parcel. The report was completed and adopted in November 2015 and work on its implementation continues.
Haven School Playground was renovated in 2016. The goal of this project was to improve park aesthetics, safety and functionality.