The Next Chapter

Building on our Collective Successes

Vibrant Communities’ next chapter will build on our collective successes

Life is good in Elkhart County.

If you didn’t feel that way, you probably wouldn’t be reading this. You – the wonderful, hard-working, creative, imaginative, and energetic residents of Elkhart County – have a lot to do with where Elkhart County is today.

Our downtowns are thriving – buzzing with activity every day. Our neighborhoods are following in those footsteps – neighbors helping each other out, chatting on evening walks, and waving and smiling to each other.

Whether you are living in an urban neighborhood or a rural subdivision or somewhere in between, chances are you’re involved in something good that’s happening in Elkhart County.
So, we know you’ll be interested in this: It can be even better.

Where We’ve Been

Since Vibrant Communities started in this journey in 2016, we’ve been hard at work. There were 77 Action Agenda items. We accomplished or made progress on nearly every item. Our county, our cities, our towns, and our rural spaces are the better for it. Thinking back to that creative energy makes us feel all warm and fuzzy.

We’ve seen the great work that’s happening. In fact, we’ve been a part of a lot of it. From the Elkhart Aquatics Center to downtown Nappanee to the Goshen Theater to the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail and so much more, there is so much good going on. We see Middlebury and Wakarusa and Millersburg putting together revised comprehensive plans. We love the ambition of Goshen and Elkhart to put new stamps on their downtowns.

But you know what? We don’t settle for “good enough” in Elkhart County. When we finish something, we enjoy it, of course. But we also ask: What’s next?

What’s Next?

That’s why it will be so good to really come together again. Every city, town, and region has its ideas and goals – all of them valuable.

Now let’s work on setting our priorities. Let’s dream a little bit, and not just little dreams. LET’S GO BIG.

In the coming weeks, you’ll be called to participate. Don’t worry. There will be many ways for you to be involved, taking into account your skills, gifts, and time available — to think big picture, to give your opinions, to organize a meeting, to get the word out to everyone possible.

This only works when we get a wide – we mean WIDE – buy-in. No one gets left behind.

No matter where you are in Elkhart County’s life, we want you to be involved. You can stay informed on our website. Share what you’re doing on social media.

Join us!

– Arvis Dawson and Suzie Weirick, co-chairs, Vibrant Communities

Join us!

The Next Chapter will be supported by three groups of community members who will guide the process.

Read about the committees and let us know about your interest.