Leavenworth group to continue meeting, plan event
Stephanie Taylor Ferriell, Senior Staff Writer, [email protected]
The third meeting of those interested in growing Leavenworth for the future won’t be the last. At the final of a series of meetings hosted by Breeden Memorial Library, the group decided to continue meeting with plans of organizing a future event, such as an arts and crafts festival.
The group noted the success of several such events in years past which drew several thousand visitors to the river town.
The purpose of the event is two-fold: to bring visitors to town and to raise funds to go toward developing the riverfront, perhaps with a park.
“We want to become a destination; we want people to come here,” said Megan Timberlake. “Leavenworth is a river town. I think we need to play to our strengths, and the river is our strength.”
The others in attendance at the Sept. 1 session agreed.
Mandi Elliott, office manager for Crawford County Economic Development Corp., believes developing an outdoor area is a great idea.
“If you invest in public spaces, hopefully, the trail will be put in; it will bring people here,” she said.
That can then spur other development.
Nobody among the 15 people in attendance felt comfortable stepping forward to lead the group. It was decided to continue on in a collaborative manner at this time.
The group plans to promote ideas and upcoming meetings on Facebook and through any other methods it can in an attempt to get more people with an interest in Leavenworth involved.
Participants also discussed other possibilities for fund-raising ideas that also draw on the area’s strengths. Ideas mentioned included a bicycle race and a 5k run/walk.
The town also hopes to soon acquire the old Lock and Dam No. 44. It is currently owned by the Army Corps of Engineers and leased to the town.
Leavenworth Town Council member Whitney Timberlake said the area may be used at the town’s discretion. He said an official is to come soon to inspect the structure.
“Hopefully, in the near future it will be in our name,” he said, adding the town could partner with the county park board to develop the area.
The historical significance of the structure was noted, with some saying there could be grant funds available to restore the building.
Library director Tina Brison, who facilitated the meetings, praised Leavenworth as a caring, giving community.
“If this community knows you’re raising money for a cause, they will give,” she said. “That’s just that way it is. This is an incredible place.”
The next meeting will take place this evening (Wednesday) at 5 p.m. at Breeden Memorial Library in Leavenworth. Everyone is welcome to attend.