A Place for Everyone: Continuing the Conversation in Baldwin City

November 05, 2021


As part of its community engagement process to create a strategic plan for the community, Baldwin City hosted a community conversation on October 28. Nearly 30 stakeholders participated in the 2.5-hour session. The second conversation is November 9th.

As part of its community engagement process to create a strategic plan for the community, Baldwin City hosted a community conversation on October 28. Nearly 30 stakeholders participated in the 2.5-hour session.

The purpose of the conversation was to identify:

  • Gain an understanding of what Baldwin City citizens appreciate most about their community
  • Understand Baldwin City citizens’ aspirations for their community
  • Clarity regarding areas of critical importance to achieve the vision

The workshop used the Covision platform to facilitate a high level of participation and engagement Participants were put in small groups to discuss specific questions. Their responses were recorded in Covision and reviewed by a Theme Team. That team then identified themes from across all the conversations and prepared a concise summary presented back to the group as a whole. Participants then were given the opportunity to prioritize the ideas they just collectively generated.

All the comments have been captured in a separate document; this memo summarizes the results of the conversations.

An initial question was asked regarding what makes participants proud to call Baldwin City home. The purpose of this question was twofold: to simply get to know their fellow participants and to encourage stakeholders to consider all that is good about their community.

The next two questions were the primary focus of the meeting and were designed to begin considering what citizens hopes are for Baldwin City and then to be more specific in identifying what needs to happen to realize their vision. For each of these questions, themes were developed, and priorities identified as follows.

As you consider our community’s future, what should set Baldwin City apart from other towns? 

(As enumerated, the first three themes were identified as priorities.)

  1. An intentional plan that promotes the range of events, venues and activities that bring tourists to town - Maple Leaf Fest, The Trains, Arts
  2. Maintain our downtown business district during all seasons, including maintaining infrastructure (brick streets, buildings)
  3. Support the growth of a range of local businesses that allows for convenience and the small town lifestyle.
  • Safe and family friendly community that's welcoming to all.
  • Deep history in locations and buildings including homes, ready for continued and expanded
  • preservation.
  • Our excellent school systems.
  • Affordable housing for a range of ages, built into new subdivision plans.

What do we need to pay attention to realize the vision of an even better Baldwin City?

(As enumerated, the first three themes were identified as priorities.)

  1. Keep evolving with new programs and events (shop hop, pub crawl, lumberyard arts center, library programs)
  2. Create and support ($) committee(s) to promote tourism. Including support for our historical sites (Black Jack, Santa Fe Trail, Baker, Railroad)
  3. Better communication with all populations (including seniors, lower income populations, young people) about events, projects, planning and activities in convenient and reliable mediums.
  • Support for affordable housing, including starter homes
  • Up to date comprehensive and transparent plan. Grow our community responsibly (don't exceed
  • our resources), ensure inclusion of underrepresented minorities.
  • Provide support and space for more small business and non-profits
  • Use of collaboration to build better communication and coordination between local groups.
  • Keep evolving with new programs and events (shop hop, pub crawl, lumberyard arts center, library programs)
  • Keep Baldwin beautiful

Finally, participants were asked to share information regarding other issues they wanted to make sure were captured as part of the conversation. Many of those comments focused on an emphasis for building connections and understanding within the community.

A second community conversation will be conducted on November 9. The purpose of this conversation is to Identify specific suggestions, improvements, or actions to take to make advancements in key areas. Everyone is invited to join the conversation; participation in the first event is not required for participation in the second.

Register to attend on November 9th here. More information about the event is available here.