By Lindsey Wooten – Wayne Ripple Effect, a non-profit volunteer driven downtown revitalization effort, recently achieved a tremendous goal of becoming a Michigan Main Street Community. Main Street is a national program that was created by the National Trust for Historic Preservation that has spanned three decades and taken root in more than 2,000 communities – a movement that has spurred $49 billion in reinvestment in traditional commercial districts. Urban renewal and sprawl in the 1970s left many traditional downtowns vacant and crumbling and cities have been struggling to get back onto their feet ever since. The Main Street program is a proven success story across the country and operates on the basis of a four-point approach: Design (historic preservation, downtown beautification), Economic Restructuring (business retention/recruitment), Promotions (image building, events/festivals), and Organization (fundraising, volunteer recruitment/retention). Being a Main Street community now allows Wayne Ripple Effect to tap into many state and national resources to assist business and building owners that were not available to Wayne before.
Now that the Wayne Ripple Effect has hired me as their Executive Director, it is time to start working on many foundational matters of the organization. It is my job to be the primary outlet of communications to the public about what the program is doing, to coordinate volunteers, and to collaborate with other organizations in Wayne to ensure everyone is complimenting each other’s efforts to better the community. Since I began in mid-May I have been attempting to meet as many people in the community as possible: business owners, organizational leaders, city staff, and residents. The Wayne Ripple Effect now has a temporary office in the Conference Room of Professional Insurance Associates (3028 S. Wayne Rd.) that can be accessed from the street. Drop-in office hours are from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Monday – Friday or by appointment. I welcome you to visit if you’d like to discuss Wayne Ripple Effect Main Street program, or anything having to do with the common good of downtown Wayne.
Currently Wayne Ripple Effect has four committees who are developing programs for the next 18 months that will help achieve the overarching goals set by our Board of Directors for the coming year: volunteer recruitment, fundraising, and increasing business involvement. All committee meetings are open to the public and will meet once monthly. You can view the committee meeting schedule on our website at: www.downtownwayne.org. Right now is an exciting time because this is when the community decides what will be happening in the short term to support long-term goals of achieving a vibrant and walkable downtown Wayne. Wayne Ripple Effect is a volunteer driven organization and will succeed thanks to all of the enthusiastic people who contribute their time, money, and goods to the cause.
For more information about volunteer opportunities and how you can help revitalize Downtown Wayne, please call (734) 629-6822, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website at www.downtownwayne.org. I look forward to hearing from you soon!