Volunteer group works to revitalize Walkerton
WALKERTON, Ind. –Several community members in Walkerton have formed a group in an effort to bring life to the empty spaces downtown.
The group, called Main Street of Walkerton, has been working since January to join the Main Street America project that’s working to revitalize historic downtowns.
Group leaders hope to make Walkerton a destination, rather than just a town to drive through. They also hope to bring the town’s history back to the forefront.
Volunteers have already cleaned up landscaping in one corner downtown and have many more projects in mind.
“We're working with the town to get a grant for a couple thousand so we can get going on a couple projects. Then you just go up to there's some grants 10,000 or 20,000 and I think there's federal money that even could go up to 30,000- 40,000. So just baby steps for right now,” said Gary Trost, co-president of Main Street of Walkerton.
Some in the group have grown up in Walkerton and say they’ve watched as businesses have closed and the downtown area has died down. That’s what they want to change.
"I want us to reconnect. I think we get busy and we get distracted and when you have events downtown it's a chance to reconnect and that's where you really feel that sense of community. I'd like to see it come to life again in a new and different way,” said Kathy Frazier, co-president of Main Street of Walkerton.
Façade improvements, storefront decorating and downtown events are just a few of the plans Main Street of Walkerton has for the town’s future. They also hope to encourage new business in the area.
Once the group becomes an official nonprofit, it will be able to apply for federal grants. Frazier says she hopes to become a nonprofit by January of 2019.