Sustainable planners work to engage community
Group still asking residents to offer comments
The community gathering to discuss the new greener, sustainable master plan for Greenfield on Court Square on Thursday.
Jeff Hansen and Becca King of Greenfield speak with Christy Moore at the community gathering to discuss the new greener, sustainable master plan for Greenfield on Court Square on Thursday.
GREENFIELD — Dozens of people walked along a sunny Court Square Thursday afternoon with a purpose: to share their vision of what Greenfield might look like in 10 years.
Under a cloudless, blue sky, the town committee that will eventually create Greenfield’s new sustainable master plan set up tents between Town Hall and the Town Common and talked with people about the future.
The Greenfield Sustainable Master Plan Advisory Committee shared what those who attended the first community gathering in March asked for in the categories of public works, facilities and services, transportation, land use, education, housing, economic development, and natural, cultural and historic resources, and more.
Some said they’d like to see Greenfield become a showcase “solar city,” while others said they want plenty of recreational opportunities and agricultural land preserved for all time by then.
Others said they hope to have safe schools, a premiere high school, the latest technologies for students and teachers, and many students and teachers walking and biking to school.
Still others said they’d like to see historical buildings be used and promoted, more affordable and attractive housing options for everyone, and lots of options for getting around.
What everyone has agreed on, so far, is that they would like Greenfield to become a thriving, vibrant city over the next 10 years. Children colored and drew pictures with sidewalk chalk along the common, while their parents contributed ideas to an “implementation tree,” which the committee will use when writing the town’s new plan.
Stephanie Marshall, a small business owner who lives in Greenfield, said she wanted to stop and check out some of the goals the committee has already set and maybe add some of her own.
“I was shopping downtown and decided I had to come to this,” she said. “I love this.”
Those who attended the gathering stopped by the numerous booths and placed colorful dots next to the one or two things they thought should be a priority for their town.
For example, there were several dots next to ideas like, “creating more ‘green’ infrastructures,” and “redeveloping vacant buildings.”
Nancy Hazard, one of the Sustainable Master Plan Advisory Committee members, said she is very interested in learning what people have to say and what they think is most important to Greenfield’s future. She said the committee would review, over the next few weeks, all of the ideas they collected during the three-hour community gathering.
“We want people to tell us, in general, what they want, but we also want them to be very specific,” said Hazard.
She said when the new master plan has been created, the committee wants it to “reflect everyone’s ideas and serve the entire community.”
“This has been an amazing learning experience,” said Hazard. “So many people want to make the town better. They all want to look at what’s possible and then reach for it.”
Hazard said the new, sustainable master plan will not only contain new ideas and how to implement them, but will define things like “green infrastructure” and “sustainability.”
She said some people are skeptical about how useful the new plan will be, because many master plans end up on a shelf.
“We plan to not only create a sustainable master plan, but implement it, also,” she said. “This is going to be very exciting for Greenfield.”
The committee will hold one more community gathering before the end of the year. A date and time has not yet been set.
The town hopes to have a new, sustainable master plan in place by early next year.