Warrenton has earned more than 25 years of wisdom as a Virginia Main Street Designated Community. In 2017, their Main Street program celebrated a reboot, a new “booster club” and mantra: Experience Old Town Warrenton. To get there, the first thing the community leaders did was invite all stakeholders to be proactive participants in the downtown’s future. The meeting was so well attended that Virginia and National Main Street staff, as well as town employees, were scrambling to accommodate the standing-room-only crowd. This effort launched a wave of community interest that rippled into volunteer commitments and a meaningful program direction. The future is bright and the board is feeling it!
“The Main Street Approach situates community engagement at the heart of the revitalization process…it always reflects the input, wisdom, and perspective of local leaders, business owners, and residents.” – Main Street America’s Community Engagement for Main Street Transformation Guide
Warrenton used multiple platforms to reach a diverse audience including an online vision survey and a facilitated public meeting – but each community should look for the tools that will be most effective for reaching their stakeholders. Don’t be afraid to be creative! Main Street America recently rolled out a new resource to strengthen your efforts, Community Engagement for Main Street Transformation. It provides a practical framework and includes actionable tools to put to use in your own community. It will help you:
- Get to know your stakeholders and future partners;
- Celebrate the different voices in your community;
- Generate ideas for the best solutions to the greatest challenges; and
- Celebrate your accomplishments!
Preempt STP Syndrome, the Same Ten People making all the decisions and doing all the work, and visit the Main Street America’s Resources Center >>