2020 will be the best year yet for Vibrant Communities

By Arvis Dawson and Suzie Weirick, co-chairs

It’s the people who make Elkhart County so special.

More than four years after the Vibrant Communities movement started, the reason it resonates to this day is because of how much we love Elkhart County.

We’ve learned what it means to love where you live. We speak out and cheer on the projects and programs that create an emotional attachment to this place.

From Nappanee to Goshen to Elkhart to Middlebury to Bristol to Wakarusa, neighbors and business embrace the arts as a major part of our lives. We have amazing works of public art, we go to concerts, and buy tickets to plays and musicals.

We love our downtowns and investors have noticed. New businesses are starting up everywhere — restaurants, craft breweries, shops, galleries, artisans, apartments — that add to the richness of life here.

Our parks and trails have never looked better and have never been busier. And there’s a hunger for more as more of us want to get out in nature.

We’re far from done though. The first four years were just a start.

Everywhere around us we see our neighbors putting their energy into things they care about — beautifying their neighborhood, volunteering at the school on the corner, starting neighborhood festivals, collecting food and other necessities for the needy, getting engaged in local government and fighting for policies that they care about.

We celebrated many of those people with Vibrant People of Elkhart County. But we don’t want to just celebrate; we want everyone to get out and get engaged. 

That’s why we’re starting Vibrant Champions, where you get to pledge how you’re going to better life in Elkhart County.

With Vibrant Neighborhoods, we’re going to figure out how to make our blocks and communities stronger through placemaking and policies.

We’re also reaching out to our teens, the next generation, to get them more excited about Elkhart County. And we’re bringing artists together to collaborate in ways that will just take your breath away.

2020 is going to be an incredible year. We know you’ll want to be involved.

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