Each October, the American Planning Association (APA) celebrates National Community Planning Month as a way to highlight the role of planners and planning in our community. This year's theme "Sustaining Places" celebrates how places can be sustained and how places themselves sustain life and civilizations.
City Council Proclamation: On Tuesday, October 5, 2010, a proclamation was passed during the 1st Council meeting of the month to invite and inform the community of this important celebration.
Recycling Event: On Sunday, October 3, 2010, the Planning Department celebrated National Community Planning Month with the Hispanic community during a recycling event. Around 250 people attended the event and received information related to air quality and recyling. They also signed up to receive a recycling bin provided by the City's Public Services Department.
Local Schools: Our Department visited several local schools to educate future generations on the importance of planning. One of the schools visited was Columbus State University on their Family Fun Day celebrated on October 23. Other schools were also visited such as Clubview Elementary on October 4th and Kendrick High on October 13th.
Columbus State University:
Columbus State University (CSU) hosted their second annual parents weekend "Family Day" on Saturday, October 23rd and Sunday, October 24th. Several CSU students and their families attended this event. The Planning Department helped welcome parents and gave them a brief introduction on the different projects our department is working on. We particularly focused on the Rails-to-Trails project, which passes right next to CSU's main campus. "In Touch" sign up cards were completed so that parents and students can get regular updates. Bags, giveaways and brochures were given to the attendees.
Magic of Recycling:
The Planning Department, Keep Columbus Beautiful, and the City of Columbus' Recycling and Stormwater Division partnered to present "The Magic of Recycling." This 45 minutes school assembled program was presented at various Muscogee County Public Schools, Fort Benning, Private Schools, and other organizations during the week of November 1st. The show was designed to teach children in grades K-4 about the benefits of recycling. It combined educational points with fast-paced fun. Kids learned while being entertained with comedy, magic, and surprises. The Magic of Recycling is a winner of the National Recycling Coalition's prestigious Beth Boettner Award for Outstanding Public Education Program.
National Walk To School Day:
The Planning Department also joined MidTown, Inc and the River Valley Regional Commission at their International Walk to School Day celebration held on October 6th at Hannan Elementary. Approximately 15 students met at Rosehill Baptist Church who walked to their school that day. Kids were excited about this experience and showed a lot of interest on continuing the program. The main purpose of this international celebration is to help build the community and educate children about the benefits of walking.
Libby Warren's Visit:
On November 17, 2010 we received a very special visit as part of the Youth Advisory Council Shadowing Day. Libby Warren, a 6th grade student, visited our department and came to delight us with her charm. Staff had a great time showing her the Planning Department and involving her in our daily work. We discussed a mock planning situation on a piece of property near her school. She was very impressed with our maps and mapping systems. On one aerial map, Libby quickly identified her home and several of her friends homes. She commented "that is so cool!". She said she would definitely like to come back.
In Our Community: During the month of October, several activities have been planned to celebrate National Community Planning Month. We participated on the Communities in Motion (METRA) event held on October 7th, the Boots on Broadway Event held on October 16th, the Going Green event held the same date, and Spooktacular Halloween Festival held on October 30th.
Communities In Motion:
The Planning Department was also present at the METRA's Communities in Motion Fair, which is an event designed to highlight the vital role that public transit plays in making a difference in the daily lives of citizens in our community and throughout the country. The event was held at METRA's transfer station on October 7, 2010. Riders and visitors asked questions while staff explained about the importance of planning at the local and regional levels. Free giveaways, brochures and flyers were distributed to all bus riders.
Boots On Broadway:
The military and their families were also involved in our NCPM celebration when we attended Boots on Broadway Military Heritage Celebration. This year's Boots on Broadway was held on Saturday, October 16th between the 900 and 1100 blocks of Broadway. It was a day designed to express gratitude and respect to those soldiers, both past and present, throughout the Chattahoochee Valley and around the world. The afternoon was filled with entertainment, live musical performances, tasty treats, and loads of activities. Free giveaways were provided at the Planning Department table as well as informational brochures and flyers.
Go Green Festival:
The Go Green Festival (Help the Hooch) held on Saturday, October 16, 2010 was a great platform to show Columbus residents and kids, in particular, about the importance of maintaining a healthy environment. Help the Hooch is the single largest river and creek cleanup event in Georgia and the Southeast. This year, over 6,000 volunteers from individuals, organizations, and different grade levels from Muscogee, Fort Benning and private schools work hard over the course of two days cleaning our creeks, lakes and the Chattahoochee River removing various types of debris.
Spooktacular Halloween Festival:
Approximately 3,000 children of all ages and races gathered to celebrate Halloween at the 11th Annual Spooktacular Halloween Festival held between the 1000 and 1100 blocks of Broadway on Saturday, October 30th. The Planning Department offered candies, free giveaways and lots of information intended to educate future generations. Kids showed their appreciation and happily received information about urban planning and energy conservation.
Planning is the process of envisioning, mapping or otherwise conceiving how a community will look, grow, and define itself—its characteristics, attributes, and identity. As our communities continue to change and grow, planners play an important role in ensuring that new developments are designed and built in harmony with existing surroundings. Planners must carefully balance the needs and desires of residents against the challenges presented by growth and change not just in the physical realm, but also economically and socially.
Planning also strives to give residents choices. From the type of home an individual lives in, such as a condominium, apartment, town home or single family, to how an individual gets around, whether taking mass transit, walking, bicycling or driving, planning helps ensure communities address the needs of everyone.
Residents of Columbus were invited to celebrate National Community Planning Month and participating in various events held throughout the month of October. Other communities across the nation also celebrated this important event, to find additional events or to learn more about this celebration, visit: www.planning.org/ncpm.
For more information about National Community Planning Month, please contact the Planning Department at, (706) 653-4421.
Government Annex Building
420 10th Street
Columbus, Georgia 31902
Phone: (706) 653-4421
Fax: (706) 653-4534
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