|A sidewalk to no-where ends at wetlands, school is just beyond|
The work part came with taking the idea and conceptual drawings around on a "road show" in the community. A series of meetings with local groups, clubs and organizations followed seeking their support both in word, letter and deed. I made over a dozen presentations to the schools, chamber of commerce, library, my own board, the DDA, student council, churches, Kiwanis groups and many more. We asked for financial contributions to help the township and downtown development authority match the grant frunding. While our government entities posted up the necessary lions share of the matching funds, smaller contributions from these groups demonstrated widespread community support. We worked hard to gain that and were successful and appreciative of the support we received.
In these economic times it's no easy feat to gain support of a program that, to many could appear frivolous, when there are competing essential needs and services. Building attractive communities with amenities that offer residents healthier choices and recreational opportunities is a big part of ecconomic development, and in the long run leads to a more vibrant and sustainable community. Telling that story and educating the populace is a big task. But it is doable and has been accomplished. Photos show the before conditions and construction progress. Completion is anticipated by mid October for Phase I. The project is multi-year phased and details can be found at this link. Details, maps and the scope of the project can be found there.
It's hard to imagine how happy I felt the day work began.
|Color me with a BIG SMILE!|
|Looking east from the elementary school before|