1 Jun 2016
Wall Economic Development Blog
Happy June! It is hard to believe the summer season is upon us. This is always an exciting time of the year. It is full of graduations, summer vacations, and an increasingly full Main Street!
In my past two blogs, I discussed our first two priorities: housing and business retention and expansion. This brings us to our third priority, which is community development. WEDC has decided to take an active role in community development. Our community and community members are the foundation of everything we are doing and aspire to do.
First, you may be wondering how community development aligns with economic development. Economic development has a very broad umbrella, especially in small, rural communities like Wall.
Economic development can align with community development in many ways, such as:
- Housing (which I discussed in the April 18th blog)
- Condition of the community
- Lifestyle (entertainment, recreation, culture)
I am excited to share a few of the upcoming projects we have been working on to address this priority.
#1: Mailbox Project
Earlier this month, in an effort to address both community development and workforce, Mayor Marty Huether led the first Mailbox Project.
“You can go anywhere from here, and you should,” Mayor Huether told the Wall High School Class of 2016 during the May 21st graduation ceremony. “Go out into the world and experience life, and then, come back! Come back and set your roots deep in our community. We want you and we need you! We want you to come back for jobs, to start a business, to raise a family."
The City of Wall, Wall Chamber of Commerce, Wall Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), Wall High School and local businesses helped organize the project. The City of Wall sponsored 19 mailboxes, one for each graduate. The mailboxes were decorated with the students’ last names, a blank address space, and “Wall, SD”. The idea is for graduates to fill in the address when they return to Wall. Inside each mailbox, graduates received a letter written by Mayor Huether, thank you letters from Wall City Council members, and various additions made by businesses and other community groups encouraging them to return.
The Mailbox Project partners are looking forward to feedback from this first time program. We hope it get our young people thinking about moving back to Wall! Read more about this program HERE.
#2: Marketing Hometown America
Wall is an amazing community. We have amazing people, amazing opportunities, amazing attractions, and amazing recreation. Several people, even community members, do now know about all Wall has to offer! WEDC brainstormed ways to market not only to visitors or potential residents, but to our current community members. When we heard about the Marketing Hometown America program, we thought it would be the perfect fit.
Marketing Hometown America is an SDSU Extension program that helps community members discuss and decide as a group: How can we better market our community? This can mean creating more community events, expanded community spirit, marketing actions, increased networking opportunities and much more! The Wall City Council offered to sponsor our participation in the program.
Curious as to what the program has done for other communities? Click the links below!
Marketing Hometown America Overview
Neligh, Nebraska: “This is my Neligh”
I am very excited to begin this project. If you are interested in being part of the project as an organizer, team leader or participant, contact me, Cheyenne McGriff, at (605) 279-2658.
#3: Wall Farmers Market
The Wall Area Farmers Market group is organizing to prepare for the first Wall Area Farmers Market this summer. The group will meet at 5:15 pm, Thursday, June 2nd, in the West River Electric Association Board Room. Contact Garrett Shearer, (605) 515-4932, for more information about how to get involved!
#4: Archery Day
WEDC, The City of Wall, South Dakota Game Fish and Parks and SCHEELS have all partnered to hold Wall’s first ever Archery Day. The goal of Archery Day is to raise awareness for the possibility of an archery range at the golf course and offer a fun event for community members!
Archery Day will be Saturday, July 30th at the Wall Golf Course. South Dakota Game Fish and Parks will have bows, arrows and targets for youth. Adults are encouraged to bring their own bows, arrows and targets to set up a separate adult shooting range. There will be prizes sponsored by SCHEELS! The National Grasslands Visitor Center will hold a special presentation during the event. We are very excited for Archery Day and will provide more information and a start time as planning moves forward.
Don’t Miss These Upcoming Events!
- Wall Chamber of Commerce Hospitality Training – Wednesday, June 8th
- Wall Volunteer Fire Department Fireworks at the Golf Course – Saturday, July 2nd
Wall is going to be a busy place for the next few months! We hope you will be able to participate. It is a wonderful time to live in Wall! If you are interested in learning more about WEDC and our goals or projects, or would like to be involved, never hesitate to contact me.
As always, thank you for being such a great community. It is because of you that we have it all in Wall!
WEDC Executive Director