Last Tuesday the Weinland Park Community Civic Association‘s Food & Wellness Committee hosted a Community Engagement Conversation in collaboration with Local Matters, Knowlton School of Architecture, CEGI, and MORPC. This event took a great deal of planning and genuinely sought resident input about food, possible food related jobs, and plans for the 3M site on 4th Street & 5th Avenue.
The Community Engagement Meeting pulled in nearly 100 people to the Godman Guild, a site chosen as host not only because they are right next door to the 3M/Auld site, but also because their dedication to improving the quality of life for children, families, and the community since 1898 holds the promise of potential collaborations and community-based solutions along 4th Street.
Breaking up into small facilitated groups to brainstorm and then present solutions, the room was abuzz with possibility.
Common elements emerged across many groups calling for youth & arts programming, jobs and workforce development, business incubator space, retail & market space with restaurants, bars, and even a brewery or sports pub. Interestingly many groups saw food as tool that could accomplish many social goals including providing cultural programming, community space, and a variety of education and entertainment needs. Here is a sample of some of the conversation:
So many great ideas and solutions came out of the Community Engagement meeting, it was truly amazing and inspirational! In fact, the federal HUD officer observing the meeting, said it was one of the best examples of true community engagement in a planning process they had ever seen. (Go team!)
Come see the ideas generated by our community displayed at Godman Guild. Here is one example of what our neighbors produced:
We heard loud and clear the importance of jobs, cultural, recreational, and retail options, business incubation, community space, and particularly important the opportunity to provide facilities and programs for youth, including the need for sports and arts activities.
Utilizing these community-generated ideas, we set about to explore models around the country that offer up solutions that are applicable to meeting the dreams of Weinland Park. Our exploration of models around the country will govern the next number of blog entries. We hope to learn valuable lessons from those in Cleveland, Chicago, Indianapolis, and beyond, so together we can make a difference on a local level in Weinland Park!
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