Grow Southwest Wisconsin Gains Momentum

Contributed by the Southwestern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission

Between September and November 2012, over 100 community leaders, local residents and professional experts in Grant, Green, Iowa, Lafayette and Richland counties came together to discuss the future of southwestern Wisconsin at a series of 36 public meetings. Participants shaped a vision for each of nine topic areas that are integral to ensuring that southwestern Wisconsin is a great place to live for current and future generations. Topics included: agriculture, business and industry, culture and creativity, education, energy and utilities, health and social services, housing, nature and environment, and transportation.

For Ed Faherty, vice president of Faherty Inc., “being a part of the Grow Southwest Wisconsin Planning Group has allowed me opportunities to network with others, and to see that, although we all come from different facets of life, we are all working on one goal: to help continue the great quality of life that we are afforded in southwestern Wisconsin, not only for the present, but for future generations to come.”

The discussion about our region’s future will continue Jan. 30 at the Gray Dog Deli at 215 High St. in Mineral Point from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Join us for a showcase of the work of over 100 regional participants in the Grow Southwest planning effort, and meet and network with individuals from across the region who are also working to make southwest Wisconsin the best place it can be for our grandchildren! At this final meeting, topic representatives will review the results of the prior meetings and the results of the Regional Priorities Survey, and craft overarching regional goals for the next 20 years. This meeting and the networking event will occur simultaneously in separate rooms at the Gray Dog Deli.

Tell us what you think!

What is most important for our region in the next 20 years? You can have a say by taking the Grow Southwest Regional Priorities Survey online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/GrowSWpriorities

This five-minute survey will ask you to prioritize the major themes that were identified during the series of 36 public meetings. The results of this survey will guide the formation and prioritization of regional goals at the final public meeting Jan. 30. It will also inform implementation efforts in 2013.

One of the project’s overall objectives is to bring individuals and organizations in the region together to work toward common goals. For example, could multiple groups team up to work on similar issues instead of doing so separately? In 2013, we aim to bring together local and regional resources that are underutilized and maximize efficiency to benefit our region moving forward.

Additional information about the project and upcoming events can be found on the project’s website at www.growsouthwest.org

Southwestern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SWWRPC) provides intergovernmental planning and coordination in the areas of economic development, community planning and transportation for Grant, Green, Iowa, Lafayette and Richland counties. For more information, please visit www.swwrpc.org or call the SWWRPC office at (608) 342-1214.

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