Project Londonderry seeks community participation to move town forward

Old photo of South Londonderry

Project Londonderry is a new initiative from the Londonderry Planning Commission  to create a citizen-driven group to “identify and implement strategies and activities that 1) sustain and improve the economic vitality of our town, and 2) meet the expressed needs of our residents, with special attention to the north and south village centers.”

How did this come about? Last winter posters were placed around town to get resident input on what their hopes and dreams are for Londonderry. This list was combined with resident “wishes” that are included in the Town Plan adopted in 2017.  Together these lists became the basis for Project Londonderry.

What’s happening now? To move the idea forward, four working groups have been formed:

  • Main Street
  • Recreation/Outdoor Resources
  • Economic Vitality and
  • Community Connections/Communication.

Simultaneously, the Londonderry Beautification Commission is working on new signage to capture the welcoming spirit of the town.

Working groups are looking for additional members to join these efforts and voice what they would like for Londonderry. Seniors, families, students and business owners all are welcome and important to the future of Londonderry.

Here are some of the discussions and activities under way.

Recreation/Outdoor Resources Working Group is currently gathering and documenting walking and hiking trails and bike routes. Print and digital maps and brochures will be produced to capture all that Londonderry has to offer. The group will continue to explore year-round activities. They would love to hear more from residents on the types of outdoor and recreation needed for everyone.

Main Street Working Group is focused on improvements for the north village. Its initial meeting identified traffic calming, improved walkability, bike paths and a river walk on its wish list. Members are also looking at a redesign of Williams Park and the former New England Clothing Barn as a welcoming entry to the north village. Members will be exploring grant opportunities with the Vermont Community Development Program, Agency of Transportation and other municipal sources.

Economic Vitality Working Group has been investigating possible short- and long-term opportunities with the state and non-profit groups to improve the town’s economy.  The group has discussed Covid and non-Covid issues facing the town, including challenges faced by restaurants and the absence of adequate child-care facilities. To address these issues, members are looking at community development grants and hiring a consultant to assist the Economic Vitality Group and other working groups as Project Londonderry move ahead.

Community Connections Working Group has taken on the task of building more social connections in the Londonderry Community through creation of a resource guide, event calendar and better town-wide communications to let everyone know what’s going on. The group would like to create a signature town event or festival to build a strong sense of community. Of note is a new effort on Instagram to capture the people, the places and businesses of the Londonderry community.

Most of all, Community Connections is seeking young people to participate and share their fresh, timely ideas and skills. Their participation would bring the town up-to-date on social media and technology and bring more attention to their needs for working or studying from home. What can the town do to help them survive and thrive? Community Connections would love to hear from you.

Project Londonderry and all the working groups invite you to join our efforts or to share your ideas and suggestions on what you would like to have for our community. Email ProjectLondonderry@gmail.com

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeIn the CommunityLondonderry

About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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