Purdue Extension-Daviess County celebrated 100 years of Extensions at their annual meeting Monday night at the 4-H Grounds. Those in attendance learned from Hans Schmitz with Purdue Extension Gibson County about the ever changing face of Purdue Extension as well as Extension's economic and community development programs.
"Daviess County is one of a few really getting with the program as for as economic and community development," said Schmitz. "Enhancing the value of public spaces is a big part of that."
Schmitz went to on to say that while the initiative is fairly new, several are jumping on board to help make their community better. "Enhancing public spaces is essential to social, economic, and environmental sustainability of a community," said Schmitz who mentioned the southern Indiana towns of Orleans and Mount Vernon have been working to bring life back to their communities.
Daviess County also has plans for revitalization in the works.
Washington High School Principal LeAnne Kelly said she hopes that creating an interest in the community with the students could mean big things for county. "If we can focus our kids in the right direction, we have a lot of kids with great ideas here in our community," said Kelly. "We need things kids can do and places where they can go that are safe. If we can get our kids interested, we could do a lot here."
Cindy Barber, economic and community development associate, said that she too felt kids could play a big role in local revitalization. "The kids get it. They want to help make their community a better place," said Barber who mentioned a little girl from Lena Dunn who told Barber she picks up trash in her neighborhood to help make the area look nicer.
Paula Council echoed Barber and Kelly as well. "We had a group of students that met and did community things. We know getting the kids involved works. We had students clean up parking lots among other things. It does work. We just need the people to help oversee the students," said Council.
Local Extension office members presented reports on the happenings at their respective offices as well over the last year.