Community Shares Feedback During First Friday
Last Friday, members of the Enrich Marietta Steering Committee partnered with the team from OHM Advisors to host pop-up engagement activities during Marietta Main Street’s First Friday event. Two stations were set up, one at Jeremiah’s Coffee House and another at the Marietta Brewing Company, each with an interactive map, post-it cards, sticker dots and markers for the public to weigh in on what they think would be best for Downtown Marietta.
Nick Arnold, an Enrich Marietta steering committee member and a member of the City’s Development Advisory Board, helped out at the Marietta Brewing Company Friday evening. “Many community members shared their input with our Enrich Marietta team by showing our volunteers exactly which locations they were interested in focusing on downtown,” said Nick. “It was nice to see so much passion and interest among so many families and professionals. I really appreciate their willingness to engage with our team and learn more about the Enrich Marietta planning process,” he said. “I highly enjoyed hearing local stories about what community members view as the best part of Marietta and what they’d like to see come to our downtown next.”
Participants were asked to place colored sticker dots on a map of Downtown indicating which areas they thought should be preserved, enhanced, or entirely transformed. Another activity listed nine priority projects that the Enrich Marietta committee has identified as potential community enhancement projects and asked participants to vote for the one or two options they felt would have the most impact on the community. A third asked more open-ended questions such as, “What do you like best about Downtown Marietta,” and “What do you think should be next for Downtown Marietta?”
“This process is pushing many of us out of our comfort zone,” said Geoff Schenkel, 4rd Ward City Councilman and Co-Chair of the Enrich Marietta committee. “It’s been a while since our community has engaged in planning with one another like this. It’s gratifying to see us work the rust off and start dreaming together again.”
After participating in the planned activities, community members were encouraged to complete the survey to share additional thoughts.
“I love hearing the community share what they love most about our city because it allows the conversation to start from a place of appreciation,” said Sarah Arnold, Marketing and Community Relations Manager for the Washington County Public Library and a member of the Enrich Marietta committee. “When we start with appreciation, it’s easier to see how future success can build on our existing assets.”
The Enrich Marietta team will continue collecting public feedback through the survey for the next few weeks, and will then share the results with the community.