Envision. Enhance. Enjoy. These three simple words have taken on a new meaning for our Village’s business corridor.
In May of 2016 the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce applied and was accepted into the Wisconsin Economic Development’s Connect Communities program. The program is similar to the more familiar Wisconsin Main Street program, only tailored to smaller communities like Ellsworth. Its focus is on revitalizing the state’s downtowns, creating commercial districts that are stable, physically attractive, competitive, and visible.
Successful commercial districts don’t just happen. They need to be planned and nurtured. Their prosperity requires interest and action from many stakeholders who share a vision for the community. Thankfully, we have many business owners and community leaders who have a vision for Ellsworth, and have contributed their time and talent as we strive to make our downtown vibrant and prosperous.
In October of 2018, a research-based team of planning and design professionals volunteered their time to assist our community in mapping out our future. Over three days they immersed themselves into our community, meeting with residents, business people, government leaders, senior citizens and youth to get a better feel for the perceptions, hopes, and dreams of the Ellsworth community. The result was a plan, complete with sketches and action steps, for how to make the community's vision a reality.
When you look around our community today, many of the newest features and amenities in our community can be tied to this three-day event, including the new Ellsworth Public Library, a project that gained momentum and a wave of community support at Design Ellsworth sessions. The need for the Ellsworth E3 Community Development Corporation, a non-profit dedicated to fostering enhancements to area quality of life, was realized as a way to accomplish community projects. Under their umbrella, volunteers have launched Ellsworth Arts, Ellsworth Trails, and Ellsworth Dog Park committees. It is these groups that are responsible for the growing number of art and murals throughout Ellsworth's commercial corridor, the revitalization of Cairns Woods and the park's walking trails, and more.
More projects are in progress; however, a key part of the Connect Communities’ model is to involve the entire community; business owners, property owners, and community residents, alike. We invite you to review the final Design Ellsworth Report and get involved in a project to better the Ellsworth community.