Sunday, October 9, 2011

Carterville's "Count Me In" Volunteer Kick-Off

Well, it's been way too long since I've posted on this blog, sorry about that. I'm in the big town of Carterville and fortunate enough to have been hired by the hometown that I love to assist with downtown revitalization and marketing. Great companies, and great change, all happen with the right people on the bus - and we need a lot of them, so...we need you!

As part of Carterville’s downtown revitalization efforts, a volunteer kick-off and community forum will be held on Tuesday, October 18th at 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at the Carterville Community Center located in Cannon Park.

Architectural firm and Carterville chamber member Architechniques, based in Herrin, Illinois, will be on hand, seeking community input as they assist Carterville with new possibilities for downtown revitalization as well as other city ideas. Jennifer Spence, a native of Carterville and hired as a consultant to assist Carterville with downtown development and marketing, will lead a discussion, showing ideas from other towns and items to consider for Carterville.

In most cases, grants will need to be obtained for improvements, but the city hopes to hear from the community first on what is important for them, what businesses they would like to see in Carterville, what enhancements they would hope to have for the area. This input is an important step in the strategic planning process for revitalization, and ideas can be big and small, as even the minor changes make such a big difference. Maybe you would hope for upper-level housing development downtown, revised codes, more greenspace, infrastructure improvements. Possibly, you simply want to voice what kind of businesses you would like to have in town that would offer convenience for you, or ideas that you have for town improvement that you would like shared. If so, this is your opportunity.

As part of the revitalization efforts, there is a tremendous need for volunteerism among our community for downtown events, clean-up projects, a future heritage museum, and more. While it is important to voice your opinion for town improvements, it is also important to be a part of the change. Carterville’s volunteer recruitment campaign, “Count Me In” will be kicked-off during this event, with volunteer forms for distribution. Part of the presentation will discuss upcoming volunteer needs. There is a variety of talent needs, and whatever time one can provide to assist this effort will be appreciated. If you’d like to volunteer but can’t make this event, email Jennifer Spence at or call 615-210-3705. You may also contact Jan Forbes at

One of the instrumental organizations behind the volunteer recruitment program is the Carterville Heritage & Preservation Foundation. Formed in October 2010, this 501C3 charity organization was formed with the mission to preserve and restore the history of Carterville, Cambria, and Crainville. While not all of the future clean-up projects will be geared with history in mind, several will be in an effort to better preserve and present some of the area’s historic buildings.

For questions regarding this event, or if you can’t make the event and would like to share your ideas or sign up to volunteer, contact Jennifer Spence at or call 615-210-3705.