Greene County Prospective Projects

Greene County Prospective Projects

Indiana University’s Sustaining Hoosier Communities initiative is working with Greene County leaders to explore, understand and resolve challenges identified by the community. 

This page is intended to help faculty partners familiarize themselves with the kinds of projects available through Sustaining Hoosier Communities. The list of projects published here is not exhaustive. Faculty are encouraged to reach out to Jacob Simpson at jacdsimp@iu.edu to share their class’ project needs, and Jacob will help identify appropriate projects.

The Shawnee Theater is a cherished asset of the community, among the other cultural venues and events in the county, including Yoho General Store, the Linton Freedom Festival Parade, and an apple festival. The outdoor recreation opportunities are plentiful, and many of the residents share a desire for more public trails and bike paths. The following projects were identified as priorities:

  • Working with Shawnee Theater to create a development director, fundraising and marketing plans, and youth theater program
  • Planning routes and other features of public trails and bike paths across the county
  • Creating tours of historic sites, focusing on buildings in Worthington, Linton, and Bloomfield
  • Drafting a business plan for a drive-in theater, YMCA, and other entities

Students in Greene County are more likely to pass their 10th grade combined ISTEP test and are more likely to graduate from high school than the average Indiana student, signaling a level of college preparedness. In contrast, the number of people in Greene County who have a bachelor’s degree is well below the state average: one in six residents has a bachelor’s degree or higher. This could signal a difficulty for the county in retaining students after they complete their college education. Five public school systems service Greene County, as well as libraries in Linton and Bloomfield. The following projects were identified as priorities:

  • Connecting local leaders with children through mentorship programs
  • Developing business plans and designs for a life skills center where students can work and learn professional skills
  • Studying the financial opportunities and challenges of consolidating the school systems
  • Creating inclusive after-school programming for youth that takes advantage of the county’s recreation opportunities
  • Inventory the leadership programs in Greene County and recommend how to develop the next generation of leaders for the community

The median household income for Greene County is $45,153, about $5,000 less than the state median. With NSWC Crane located in Greene County, the county’s top three revenue-generating industries are government, construction, and retail. Local leadership see opportunities to redevelop Linton and Bloomfield’s downtowns to be thriving centers of economic activity by supporting new businesses and youth who wish to start their career in Greene County. The following projects were identified as priorities:

  • Identifying spaces that could be utilized for coworking space, potential tenants and associated fees, as well as creating an operational plan
  • Promoting opportunities at the industrial park
  • Identifying the vacant buildings in downtown Linton and Bloomfield and the possible products or services the community would support if entrepreneurs were located to fill the spaces

Greene County residents value the social and economic impacts of the local food system. The Local Food and Anti-Hunger Policy Council established a goal “to increase the amount of money spent to support local farms and agribusiness ventures while building partnerships that can infuse fresh produce in school nutrition programs and resource-limited households.” In addition, Linton has a successful farmers’ market with aspiration for growth. The following projects were identified as priorities:

  • Working with healthcare centers, emergency food assistance providers, non-profits, and clients to create outreach strategies and develop plans to reduce stigma associated with chronic hunger, poverty, and reduced access to healthy foods
  • Promoting the Linton Farmers’ Market through public relations campaigns
  • Selecting an optimal location for the Linton Farmers’ Market
  • Studying which restaurants would be successful in Greene County towns and creating recruitment plans

Health indictors in Greene County show that residents are less likely to drink heavily than the average Hoosier. However, rates of obesity, diabetes, smoking, and inactivity are higher than the state average. Residents of Greene County have access to a county hospital and a few other service providers. Local leaders are aware of the need to address the opioid crisis and to increase collaboration between providers so patients receive the best health care possible. The following project were identified as priorities:

  • Developing educational programs to make residents aware of the health care providers in Greene County
  • Integrating health care service providers so opioids are relied on less
  • Identifying and preparing a physical location for families of veterans and first responders to gather, support each other, and improve health

With a wide variety of outdoor recreation sites—Goose Pond, Greene Sullivan State Park, American Bottoms—Greene County has abundant opportunities to attract more visitors, ultimately invigorating the local economy and fostering community vibrancy. The following projects were identified as priorities:

  • Developing programming plans for specific sites and events, such as events at the Tulip Trestle for the solar eclipse in 2024
  • Promoting tourism through public relations campaigns, and facilitating visits with digital and print communications materials like websites, brochures, and maps
  • Designing wayfinding signage and kiosks to increase connectivity between destinations
  • Studying the need for lodging supply to support and sustain the demand for tourism

Community partners recognize a need for land use planning to encourage economic development. There is also interest to improve the infrastructure and atmosphere of public places in the municipalities. The following projects were identified as priorities:

  • Developing a land use master plan for the county and towns
  • Assessing the public’s readiness to adopt land use master plans
  • Planning for ADA compliance of sidewalks and other infrastructure in towns like Worthington
  • Creating design standards for downtown streetscapes
  • Establishing a service that connects volunteers with people in need of house repairs
Download a complete list of prospective projects here.
iushc@indiana.edu
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