Historical society to host River Bend Trail Community Project Workshop
On Saturday, March 9. the Merrill Historical Society, in partnership with T.B Scott Library and the Building Merrill Together Initiative, will host part 2 of the Riverbend Trail Community Project.” This second event, “River Bend Trail Community Project” Workshop, is planned for 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and will once again feature Dr. Arijit Sen, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Through conversations with members of the Aware and Active Citizens Group, Dr. Sen has continued to discuss strategies to engage diverse social groups and community constituencies in the city in order to create a series of public events and civic dialogs. The goals of this event are to create River Bend Trail community projects that foster a deeper appreciation of Merrill’s cultural heritage, increase citizen engagement, and invigorate the vitality of our community.
During the February curriculum development seminar, Dr. Sen shared his knowledge of community engagement tactics, story-telling and story-sharing methods such as Jane’s Walks, History Harvests, and Oral History Field Projects. During the initial February 9th seminar, citizens brainstormed the following project ideas:
A Vision Walk exploring wants and needs for areas of the city to help create a long-term vision for the city
Rediscovering Main Street by surveying community members to determine what people might like to do on weekend evenings in Merrill
Have a Grand Kick-off for the new Main Street pocket park
Bringing Generations Together by sharing stories growing up with middle school students and Stonebridge residents.
The March 9 workshop will follow-up on these ideas. This collaborative “coming-together” has the potential to produce results that go well beyond civic conversations – towards the personal growth of each participant by enriching individual self-identity and relationship with neighbors, and bringing together business, education, and government to create a River Bend Trail Community Project. The Development Seminar agenda will include citizen introductions, presentations on community engagement and oral history techniques, leadership team building activities, and the brainstorming of additional ideas for creating a River Bend Trail Community Project. The seminar will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Merrill Historical Society. Lunch is included and reservations to attend are appreciated by calling the T. B. Scott Free Library at 715-536-7191.
The River Bend Trail Community Project is funded in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Wisconsin Humanities Council supports and creates programs that use history, culture, and discussion to strengthen community life for everyone in Wisconsin.
The Building Merrill Together Initiative, co-supported by T.B. Scott Free Library and the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy & Service (WIPPS), aims to stir government, business, and the general public to positively change Merrill through information and discussion, and by creating an open and transparent environment for change. Complimentary accommodations for the event’s presenter, Dr. Arijit Sen, are made possible by the AmericInn of Merrill. Lunch and event refreshments are provided by local businesses.
For more information, please contact Laurie Ollhoff, Assistant Director, at 715-536-7191, email@example.com or John Greenwood at 715-218-0284, firstname.lastname@example.org.