By: Marta Moody—
Muncie, IN—The Muncie Action Plan spent 2019 working to address the issues identified by the community during the MAP3 planning process. MAP’s five task forces have focused their efforts on Linking Learning, Health, and Prosperity (TF1), Fostering Collaboration (TF2), Strengthening Muncie’s Pride and Image (TF3), Creating Attractive and Desirable Places (TF4), and Managing Community Resources (TF5). As we start a brand-new year, we would like to share our successes as we approach our Annual Community Meeting on January 28th at Muncie Central High School from 5:30-7:30 PM. This is the final of five reports from our task force leaders.
Input from the MAP 3 community listening sessions continued to show sidewalks/recreational paths and bike-friendly initiatives as priority areas. Because of this community support, Task Force 5 continued to prioritize these initiatives and worked with the City of Muncie, Bike Muncie, the Bike/Ped Advisory Committee and the Cardinal Greenway to see implementation of recommended improvements as set forth in the completed Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. The improvements include completion of the White River Greenway (the Kitselman Gateway Trailhead) and engineering and design work for the Muncie Arts and Culture Trail (MACT). The long-awaited Kitselman Bridge was set in its new location in 2019, crossing the White River on the east side of the City, and trail extension work from the Craddock Preserve to the new bridge was almost completed on the east side of the river. Trail work also continues at the Reservoir as set forth in the Prairie Creek Master Plan.
A green house gas inventory for Muncie and Delaware County was completed by a student extern from the IU Resilience Institute working for the Delaware-Muncie Metropolitan Plan Commission. The inventory will provide base data for future endeavors related to resilience plans, climate action plans and sustainability efforts.
MAP 3 added a TF 5 initiative – Support the Muncie Land Bank (MLB). In 2019, MAP provided a strong letter of support for the newly formed Land Bank Board of Directors in their efforts to seek funding from various local sources. The MLB Board finalized its work with their consultant – the Western Reserve Land Conservancy and their Thriving Communities Program – who provided assistance in setting up the non-profit organization’s operational structure with appropriate policies and procedures.
MAP’s role in all of the TF 5 initiatives is one of support and assisting in educating the public, which will be especially important as the Muncie Land Bank further develops and begins implementing its programs to address vacancy and blight.
Related articles in this series are below.