- What do we want to do?
Better understand the neighborhoods in and around downtown Williamsport by connecting with the people who live and work there.
- How do we plan to do this?
Begin with a community network analysis to identify who actually lives in these neighborhoods, and who are the key persons critical for personal outreach. Plan and host events to bring people together to share their personal stories – which we will capture through transcription and video – and share on our social media pages.
- What are the desired outcomes?
- Use the content of these stories to identify the common values people share, and develop vision statements that reflect these shared values. We will present the vision statements to City and County planning, asking that they be adopted as guiding principles for decision-making.
- Identify projects and/or programs that would support the vision and ‘sense of place’ that people hold dear for Williamsport.
- Discover new leadership and engage a group of people willing to work with local and county planners to define and implement projects to realize this shared vision.
- Build bridges between groups of people that currently do not know or understand each other.
Our Heart of Williamsport mission is to collect stories from our diverse community, identify what people value, and share this information to guide Williamsport’s future.
- Pennsylvania Humanities Council – awarded a grant for using the Heart and Soul program to create a project team, capture stories, and develop vision statements for Williamsport’s downtown neighborhoods.
- Orton Foundation – staff support and on-line tools for implementing the Heart and Soul program that they developed.
- Lycoming College – project support through staff time, student interns, and meeting spaces.
- Lycoming County – planning staff time for meetings, coordination and integration with their County Comprehensive Plan update, GIS and mapping support.
- City of Williamsport – staff time for meetings and integration with on-going planning efforts.
- Hands On Heritage – creation and first year’s administration of HeartOfWilliamsport.org website, twitter, FaceBook, and Google social media sites.
- Community groups, residents, and business owners that share the desire to bring about positive change by connecting people to each other, their community, and humanity as a whole.
- Susquehanna Greenway – serve as project coordinator and the fiscal agent for the Pennsylvania Humanities Grant. Our River Town Program provides technical support for revitalizing river towns. We assist in connecting neighborhoods to downtowns and the river, fostering walkable/bike-able communities, and promoting sustainable economic development related to the natural assets of the Susquehanna Valley.
- Beloved Community Council – BCC members provide support for planning, outreach, and story gathering in concert with their mission of establishing, promoting and maintaining an evolving multicultural consciousness and presence in our community.