Apr 27 2014
The Blue River Community Foundation is hosting a Quality of Life meeting at the Strand Theatre on Wednesday April 30, 2014.
Work continues on a Quality of Life Plan for the Shelby County community. On April 30th at the Strand Theatre, a public meeting will be held to discuss the strategy and hear from two experts in the field. The message will include Shelby County’s demographics and larger trends, how those factors underline any quality of life planning, and how community development is indeed, economic development.
Amy Haacker, Director of the Blue River Community Foundation, explains how this plan builds upon previous work. “From our vantage point at the Foundation, we have the perspective of knowing much of what is happening in the community across many sectors. Earlier in the year, several things were happening: The positive momentum around Healthy Shelby County and Livable Communities and the collaborations formed as part of those efforts; new programs like the Industry to Education program and Manufacturing Skills Connection to address our workforce and education needs; the Cultural Team feasibility study; and the Blue River Trail project receiving funding.
At the same time, Community Aspiration and Life Long Learning began reorganizing into the Quality of Life Coalition and the City began to think about a quality of life plan and began efforts in that direction. There was an obvious need to incorporate all of these efforts into one cohesive plan. After discussion with the mayor and other groups, and looking at what other communities have done successfully, we thought that the Foundation, being non-political and not tied to any one area of programming, would be an ideal convener for this effort, just as we have been in the past. We are working toward a plan that recognizes existing areas of momentum and clarifies priorities for today and tomorrow.”
Haacker acknowledges that the community has already put resources into visioning and planning in the
past. She emphasizes that the work that has been done with Community Aspiration and other planning processes will be the building blocks of this Quality of Life Plan. “We currently do not have a plan that has taken that work to the next step, which is formulating a list of feasible projects with timelines, benchmarks and funding mechanisms. It is vitally important that we get broad participation in this effort and include the current work and goals of many of the organizations, government agencies and civic groups.“
Two experts will talk about important aspects of this work at the April 30th Klacik, Senior Policy Analyst with the Indiana University Public Policy Institute will discuss population and demographic trends that Haacker says will be a call to action for a more proactive approach to Quality of Life Planning and Community Development. His work is focused on Indiana and trying to understand the interaction of economic and community development policy, taxation, and trends, and the effect on the quality of life and economic vitality of metropolitan areas.
David Terrell, the Director of Economic Development Policy at the Building Better Communities Program at Ball State will then share a message that Community Development is Economic Development and how we move forward in this important work. David is formerly the Executive Director with the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs and an architect of the Stellar Communities program, Hometown at 2:00 pm meeting at the Strand.
If you go:
What: Quality of Life Planning – open to the public
Where: The Strand Theatre
Time: April 30th
For questions or comments, contact Amy Haacker at the Blue River Community Foundation at 392-7955
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