Special Column: Your responses to River Valley Resolutions

Editor Column

Taylor Scott, Managing Editor

For the past month we’ve asked the community to share with us some ideas they have to better the community. We asked to figure out the services/offerings/events, etc. that an area would need to have to want to settle down there. We asked what some things are that every community should offer its residents? Not just now during COVID, but in normal times too. What things represent that concept of community? Some things you’d wish your hometown had?

The ideas didn’t need to be completely realistic, but they should’ve been creative enough to get the conversations flowing. Through the process we were reminded that our local governing bodies can’t do it all, that we all need to step up — individuals, businesses, organizations — in a way that is concerted and organized. We are reminded that sometimes passion speaks louder than money. Sometimes the simplest and most fulfilling things that better our community are virtually free

Some of the things below may exist in some form in our community, some may need work, some may not exist in our area at all. Some ideas below will take action and infrastructure, some will take wood and marshmallows. We hope to keep the conversations going. Below are selected answers from our community. 

—Affordable, quality housing that is still an updated, comfortable place to call home
—Rental housing
—Workforce housing
—Senior housing 

—Quality coffee shop options, especially for cozy lounging and working
—More options for breakfast/brunch
—Gluten friendly options
—Dairy free and other allergen options
—Upscale dining
—Late night options – a place to get food or coffee late at night
—Restaurants with outdoor wood fireplaces year-round 
—Food truck Friday

—Variety of boutique and consistent options, should be able to get all material and sustenance needs within a 15 minute drive

—Shuttle to APT/between villages
—Rail streetcar linking Arena/Spring Green/Lone Rock for local transportation to tie communities together and encourage tourism

—Concerts/live shows
—A concert in the middle of town for a summer festival
—Concerts in the parks
—Event venue space
—Drive-thru/drive-in events during COVID

Social Media/Connecting Virtually
—Instagram-worthy events to raise awareness of Spring Green—cute, themed, or well-planned events that give people options to get out
—Events that make people want to share the area they live in
—Watch parties and discussions over social media

—Finding balance between having big city amenities with a small town feel
—Ability to have a good work/life balance and time to enjoy community
—Local  jobs that reduce the need to commute to work, being able to spend more time in the community.

—Ice fishing derby
—Consistent rental options and infrastructure for kayaking, fishing, boating, floating
—Winter after hours events, community bonfire, s’mores, ice skating
—Parks and recreation programs for adults and youth
—Better visibility/utility of the area’s recreation options
—Greater visibility of the Driftless Area

—Collaborative events organized by businesses, such as a Taste of the Valley that brings all of the area restaurants together
—Emphasis on a revitalized downtown in each village
—Co-working space for small businesses
—Mixed use space for development
—Entrepreneurial support and grants

Arts & Culture
—Invest more in Arts in the Park programs for kids
—Find ways to connect more with local arts, maybe APT can do Shakespeare in the Park as dress rehearsals to reward the community
—These questions and ideas are just a beginning, the start of new conversations, conversations that have been happening for a while and of new collaborations and engagement.