PICTURE THIS… imagine what your “ideal Shelbyville” looks like. Look out five or ten years into the future. Imagine what would make Shelbyville even better, even nicer, even more appealing to you than it is today.
What does that look like to you? Are there more parks? More diverse shopping? Different businesses in the business park? What about restaurants? Events? Recreational opportunities? How about art? What kind of services would you like to see offered in Shelbyville? What would neighborhoods be like? How about the town square? Or along the river?
What kinds of educational opportunities would you like to have available? Anything for older adults? Would you like an emphasis on health? Are there medical services you would like in town? What kind of religious services interest you? Do you want more green spaces or more buildings?
There’s a lot to think about when you’re imagining your picture perfect Shelbyville, isn’t there? Now here’s the fantastic news: the City of Shelbyville wants to know what you would like to see in our community’s future. The details for how you will share this information will be rolled out over the next several months and we will be sure to share it here. Regardless of how the city collects that information, your input is critical.
Looking ahead to the Shelbyville of the future is a collaborative effort. Let’s all consider what we would like to see and experience in ten or twenty years so we can get to work making that happen. As Stephen Covey said, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” So let’s all get our thinking caps on and start imagining our future community. Together we can make it better than any one of us could imagine by ourselves.
Another great quote about determining your future is by Albert Einstein. He said, “If you want to know the future, look at the past.” As the City of Shelbyville prepares to embark on future visioning, there will also be a time of reflection of what the town has been in the past. This doesn’t mean to recreate history, but to learn from what has worked well and what hasn’t worked so well.
Where has Shelbyville been successful? How has Shelbyville contributed to producing great citizens? Where has Shelbyville fallen short? What has Shelbyville struggled with and overcome? How has the town created change in the past? What has made Shelbyville famous?
Are there historical mementos or memoirs from your family that highlight a personal perspective on local history lessons? Are there unsung heroes who inspired and made a difference, but won’t be found in any history book?
Are there history lessons we’d like to avoid in the future? George Santayana said, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Let’s make sure we learn from the past to create a brighter future.
Are there examples of unlikely allies pulling together to create success? What happened in the educational system of the past? What worked and what didn’t? How did people learn new skills? What kinds of public services were available at different periods of time? Do you know when the first fire department was formed in Shelbyville? How about the first library? How did those become reality?
Shelbyville has a long history, so let’s work together to unearth some of those lessons and piece together a more rich and complex understanding of where we have come from so we can better see where we are heading.
One piece of history that is soon to be reimagined is the play structure at H.V. Griffin Park. The City of Shelbyville has received a Blue Cross Blue Shield grant to completely update and renovate the playground. There will be more accessibility for children of all ages with a greater variety of activities to engage in, within a safer environment, and promote improved physical fitness.
The demolition will begin in July and the project should be completed by the end of the year.
The city needs your input to rise to the level of greatness it is capable of achieving. The leadership and government of Shelbyville want to make sure that all of Shelbyville is represented in looking back to the past and forward to the future.
City Manager Joshua Ray summed up how he views his role each day by asking himself the question, “How can we most effectively complete a task or project that improves the quality of life for the citizens of our Shelbyville?” Let’s make sure you keep your seat at the table to express the desired tasks and projects that you’re excited about that will make a difference in your picture perfect Shelbyville. Stay tuned to this magazine as well as https://ShelbyvilleTN.org for updates on how to submit history lessons and your future vision. -GN