In 2017,the Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce partnered with the City of Baldwin City to facilitate community forums, “Coffee and Conversations” on community development topics recognizing the need to develop a VISION FOR BALDWIN CITY.  These Coffee and Conversations among other community conversations beginning in Spring 2016 and into 2017 – 2018 had an overarching goal of obtaining board community input on Baldwin City’s strengths, weaknesses, and vision for the future. In total, nine community conversations have been facilitated including:

  • Baldwin City Community Mural Project, “Visioning Baldwin City”: May 25, 2016 and April 5, 2017
  • Baldwin City Rotary Club “Visioning Baldwin City” Discussion: June 1, 2017
  • Coffee & Conversation – “Growth”, “Vision Baldwin City, “Developing a City Growth Plan” and “Community Development Committee Projects”: April 2017, May 2017, June 2017 and January 2018
  • K-State Research & Extension’s First Impressions Community Conversation – January 10, 2018
  • Baldwin City Chamber Luncheon “Visioning Business Prosperity in Baldwin City”

BE A PART OF OUR 10th CONVERSATION:

Join us on Wednesday, February 28 where, we as a community, will take the information compiled from these nine community conversations and produce an action plan and strive to produce a VISION FOR BALDWIN CITY. These efforts produced in partnership with the City of Baldwin City and K-State Research & Extension, Douglas County. Our discussion will be facilitated by Marlin Bates, director of K-State Research and Extension – Douglas County.

 

SUMMARY

VISIONING BALDWIN CITY – 2017-2018

Jeannette M. Blackmar, Ed Courton, Marlin Bates

Summary

In 2017, the Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce partnered with the City of Baldwin City to facilitate community forums, “Coffee and Conversations,” on community development topics recognizing the need to develop a VISION FOR BALDWIN CITY. Coffee and Conversations among other community conversations beginning in Spring 2016 and into 2017 – 2018 had an overarching goal of obtaining broad community input on Baldwin City’s strengths, weaknesses, and vision for the future. In the fall 2017, we also partnered with K-State Research & Extension to facilitate Extension’s “First Impressions” program. This program provided input from first-time visitors to Baldwin City regarding Baldwin City’s strengths and weaknesses. In total, ten community conversations attended by 244 individuals have been facilitated including:

  • Baldwin City Community Mural Project:
    • “Visioning Baldwin City”: May 25, 2016, n= 24
    • “Visioning Baldwin City”: April 5, 2017, n= 32
  • Baldwin City Rotary Club
    • “Visioning Baldwin City” Discussion: June 1, 2017, n= 16
  • Coffee & Conversation
    • “Growth: April 2017, n=22
    • “Developing a City Growth Plan”: May 2017, n= 19
    • “Vision Baldwin City: June 2017, n= 17
    • “Community Development Committee Projects”: January 2018, n= 20
  • K-State Research & Extension’s First Impressions
    • “How Does a First Time Visitor View Our Community”: January 10, 2018, n= 23
  • Baldwin City Chamber Luncheon
    • “Visioning Business Prosperity in Baldwin City”: February 14, 2018, n= 52
  • K-State Research & Extension “Action Plan” Development
    • “Action Plan Development”: February 28, 2018, n=19

 Methodology

Community input from each forum was documented and analyzed by frequency tabulation in the categories of Baldwin City strengths, Baldwin City opportunities, Baldwin City weaknesses and the future vision of Baldwin City. The Rotary Club conversation and Chamber Luncheon also captured community values. Table 1 presents the most frequent topics compiled across these nine forums in the categories of Baldwin City strengths, Baldwin City challenges, Baldwin City opportunities and the future vision of Baldwin City. From this, four key themes emerged:

  • Economic Development- Tourism & Downtown Vitality
  • Healthy Lifestyle/Recreation
  • Arts, History, Culture
  • Community Vitality

At the final forum, February 28, citizens self-selected into groups representing each of the four themes and were asked to identify specific topics in each theme, assets to support the theme, champion(s) and timeframe[1]. At the conclusion of the forum, participants were asked to identify their top two priorities across the four themes. This information was integrated and analyzed with the previous data. The result was the identification of five PRIORITY AREAS:

  • Tourism
  • Local Business Growth
  • Healthy Lifestyle/Recreation
  • Arts, History, Culture
  • Community Vitality

 

Moving Forward

On March 26, 2018, Marlin, Ed and Jeannette identified a community champion[2]to facilitate the development of each of the five themes. In order to standardize the action steps, community champions will be asked to provide the following information by May 31, 2018 (see tables):

 

  1. Description of Goal Area(one page overview)
    1. Describe the current state
    2. Describe the ideal
      1. Utilize data to support
    3. Identify opportunities (i.e. grant funding)
    4. Identify challenges/gaps (i.e. staffing; data)
  2. Assess and edit “items” within goal area
    1. Review data collected from visioning sessions, integrate existing work of the organization
  3. For each item, identify community partners
    1. What organization and/or individuals could partner?
  4. For each item, identify objective(s)
    1. Define a specific strategy(ies) to guide action to achieve item.
  5. For each item, identify timeframe
    1. Short term, 1-3 years
    2. Medium term, 4-7 years
    3. Long term, 8-10 years

 

  1. Reflect on items 1-6 and articulate a succinct statement regarding the goal area—a vision to achieve.

[1]It should be noted no citizen tackled “community vitality.”

[2]Within certain goal areas, multiple champions were identified but the primary champion is identified first in bold (see tables).

 

  • Tourism: Champion –> Baldwin City Tourism Bureau
  • Local Business Growth: Champion–> Baldwin City Chamber, EDC
  • Healthy Lifestyle/Recreation: Champion–> Baldwin City Recreation Commission
  • Arts, History, Culture: Champion –> Lumberyard Arts Center, with Tourism, Blackjack Battlefield, Old Castle Museum, Santa Fe Historical Society
  • Community Vitality: Champion –> City Community Development Committee

 

PRIORITY AREA: TOURISM

 COMMUNITY CHAMPION: Baldwin City Tourism Bureau

 

ITEM Objective(s) Community Partner and/or Point person TIMEFRAME

1-3 years ; 4-7 years ; 8-10 years

“Reinvent Tourism”
Lodging
Increase marketing effectiveness
Improve historic site’s visibility
Market research – evening events, activities—especially as appeal to Baker students
Expand tourism assets to include agritourism

 

PRIORITY AREA: LOCAL BUSINESS GROWTH

COMMUNITY CHAMPION: Baldwin City Chamber and EDC

 

ITEM Objective(s) Community Partner and/or Point person TIMEFRAME

1-3 years ; 4-7 years ; 8-10 years

Downtown growth–
Workforce
Creative Industry—Clean, green, technology-based
Overall business attraction: Business Incubator

Business Center

Develop and nurture startup culture–entrepreneurialism

 

PRIORITY AREA: RECREATION & HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

 

COMMUNITY CHAMPION: Baldwin City Recreation Commission

 

ITEM Objective(s) Community Partner and/or Point person TIMEFRAME

1-3 years ; 4-7 years ; 8-10 years

Walkability – connectivity, sidewalks
Trails
Community Center
Farmer’s Market  & connecting with local farms
Upgrade sports facilities
“Healthy Lifestyle” –  defining this
Parks
Expanding recreation opportunities

 

GOAL AREA: ARTS, CULTURE, HISTORY

 COMMUNITY CHAMPION: Lumberyard Arts Center

with Baldwin City Tourism Bureau, Blackjack Battlefield, Santa Fe Historical Society, Old Castle Museum, Baldwin Academy of Dance & Voice, Baker Department of Music & Theatre

ITEM Description Community Partner and/or Point person TIMEFRAME

1-3 years ; 4-7 years ; 8-10 years

LAC expansion
Expand mural project
Market arts, history, culture more effectively (retain charm of “traditional” values—charm, character of downtown)
Expand voluntarism, hours
History tours

 

GOAL AREA: COMMUNITY VITALITY

 

COMMUNITY CHAMPION: City—Community Development Committee

with Baldwin City Chamber, Baker University

 

ITEM Objective(s) Community Partner and/or Point person TIMEFRAME

1-3 years ; 4-7 years ; 8-10 years

Communications
Leadership Development
Community Foundation
Conduct inventory of community nonprofits – identify shared interests, gaps, to build partnerships
Providing opportunities for new members of the community

 

Utilize mentors/subject matter experts living in BC