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Wabash County releases Imagine One 85 plan

WABASH COUNTY (Inside INdiana Business) – The Community Foundation of Wabash County and Grow Wabash County have released a draft of the Imagine One 85 plan. The organization’s say the 100-page plan includes 85 action items aimed at growing Wabash County’s population.

The recommendations are organized into four areas: great places, prosperity, housing, and community and foundations.

Community Foundation Executive Director Patty Grant says the plan was made with the help of hundreds of residents who participated in meetings, surveys and the Mighty Wabash County Summit last July.

“Despite the limitation of the pandemic, an engaged public submitted more than 1,000 comments regarding ways to grow Wabash County and realize a bold vision for the County’s future,” said Grant.

The organizations say they will first address select priority actions aimed at reversing population decline. The plan also includes an implementation schedule to ensure action items move forward.

“Population loss is the county’s most serious threat,” says Keith Gillenwater, president of Grow Wabash County. “We were thrilled to partner with the Community Foundation of Wabash County and all of the communities of Wabash County to create urgency and awareness about the complicated and damaging dynamics of population loss. The Imagine One85 Plan will serve as the roadmap to rewriting the future that others have predicted for us.”

The Imagine One 85 team was formed in 2020 to address the county’s steady decline in population and to improve economic development in the area.

“It’s incredibly exciting to have reached this point in the Imagine One 85 process,” said Melissa Ford-Kalbfell, development associate of the Community Foundation. “Hours of work were given by everyone involved. Thorough deliberation ensured that the comments and ideas heard throughout the process would be ideas that everyone in the community could take ownership of. We encourage anyone who reads the plan to find a way to participate in its implementation, whether by sharing the plan with others or by getting involved with one of the organizations recommended to lead some of the proposed action items.”

You can read the entire plan by clicking here.