Downtown Middlesboro has an early lead in national voting for the Successful Communities contest. Middlesboro is the only community in Kentucky and one of 16 nationally competing. The contest is meant to generate ideas to make local communities more successful. Four entries with the most votes will receive $500 each from the Orton Family Foundation.
Middlesboro’s submission is for a Build a Better Block event that is planned for Oct. 26-27. During that weekend over 100 volunteers will carry out temporary “interventions” downtown costing less than $1,000 to plant the seeds for long-term change. Among ideas being considered are creating a pop-up park and pop-up shops. The facilitator for the weekend will be Mike Lydon with Street Plans Collaborative and co-author of the Tactical Urbanism Manual. Also participating will be a broad cross-section of area business owners, civic leaders and residents, along with faculty and students from Lincoln Memorial University and the University of Kentucky.
Communities in twelve other states from Maine, to Texas, to Oregon are competing. Several other Main Street programs are participating too. Medfield, Mass. is vying to create a pocket park. In Hershey, Pa. they are trying to get more bike racks. And in Seguin, Texas, they are creating an inventory of community assets and a video to promote their town.
The contest will opened for voting on Monday and voting will end on Sunday at 9 p.m. EST. Voters will need a Facebook account to cast their vote, and they’ll be required to “like” the CommunityMatters® page on Facebook before they can participate. Voting is limited to one vote per person per day. Once you are logged into Facebook go directly to this link: https://www.facebook.com/CommunityMttrs/app_451684954848385.
For those who want to participate in this event or have any questions, contact Discover Downtown Middlesboro at 248-6155 or www.downtownmiddlesboro.org. Or check out Facebook and Twitter at “DDMBoro.”
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