Bay-Waveland ‘First Impressions’ to be revealed at local gatherings

Community meetings for Bay St. Louis and Waveland will be held to reveal the findings of the First Impression Studies conducted by the Mississippi State University Community Action Team later this month.

The first session is scheduled for Wednesday, February 24th at 5:30 p.m. at the Waveland Civic Center with results for the city of Waveland. The following evening on Thursday, February 25th they will present their findings for the city of Bay St. Louis at the City Council chambers on Main Street. All residents, business owners, and government officials are invited and encouraged to attend.

Project managers with the Mississippi State University Community Action Team will highlight both positive and negative observations that people likely make when they visit both communities. When living and working in communities day after day, residents do not often see the things—both good and bad—the same way visitors might see them. This program offers a fresh perspective and brings attention to both the assets and challenges that communities face to enable them to capitalize on their strengths and work on their weaknesses.

The First Impressions program, coordinated by MSU’s Community Action Team, is a structured visitation program designed to capture the observations of visitors to a community. The Bay-Waveland Main Street Association partnered with the Community Action Team to bring this program to Hancock County. These observations, both positive and negative, are used to raise issues that the community can evaluate and prioritize for in-depth study or immediate action.

Observations on specific issues and areas like entry ways, downtown, education, health care, housing, infrastructure, attractions, retail business, industrial activity, etc. are recorded and compiled into a written report and presentation to inform and solicit input from citizens on the next course of action for the community. Developed by Professor Andrew Lewis, University of Wisconsin, and James Schneider, Grant County (WI) Extension Office, in the early 1990s, the First Impressions program has now been successfully used in many states and hundreds of communities across the country.

If you have any questions about the upcoming meetings please contact Sherri Bevis, Executive Director of the Bay-Waveland Main Street Association at (228)216-9045 or sherri@hancockmainstreet.org.

The Sea Coast Echo

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