Today, the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs announced the La Porte Economic Advancement Partnership (LEAP) and the Heart of Sullivan Main Street organizations as recipients of the INspire Idea competition at the Great Lakes Regional Main Street Conference.
“It was exciting to see the creative ideas that came out of our Main Street organizations," said Jodi Golden, Executive Director of OCRA. "These projects demonstrated a definite need, but will also improve quality of life for residents and visitors to these areas.”
The goal of the competition was to encourage the Indiana Main Street network of communities and professionals to present inspiring and imaginative downtown revitalization projects. The selected recipients will receive a $5,000 grant to help implement the project.
The goal of La Porte Economic Advancement Partnership’s project is to improve the quality of downtown infrastructure, while reinforcing community volunteerism and involvement. The project, titled "Paint the Town," will be a series of service projects for community members to revamp and aesthetically improve the downtown area. Volunteers will repaint faded light poles, wash storefront windows, install pet waste stations and repair and paint benches and trash receptacles. New wayfinding signage will also be installed to help direct residents and visitors to downtown attractions, and inform pedestrians of their Main Street community status.
"Being an INspire grant recipient has enabled us to complete a transformative project for Downtown La Porte which has already begun to bring our community together to interact and show our investment in the future of La Porte," said Angela Rose, downtown coordinator for LEAP. "We have now accepted three large grants and sponsorships for the Togetherhood Project and the investment in downtown infrastructure in the last week alone. I believe this project will help improve the quality of life for downtown and am excited to be a part of this community effort in improving my hometown."
The Heart of Sullivan hosts many projects and events to aid in the revitalization of the downtown area. Their project would develop a greenspace located in the heart of the downtown area. The greenspace will serve as a welcoming gateway, while providing a gathering spot for residents and visitors. The area will include the following amenities: seating, handicap accessible tables, giant checkers, hopscotch, a Lego wall and cornhole boards. The space will be used to host projects and events to aid in downtown revitalization.
It was also announced that the 2020 Great Lakes Regional Main Street Conference will be held in Downtown Royal Oak, Michigan.
For more information on the conference and the INspire Idea Competition, visit www.in.gov/ocra/2956.htm.