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Group nears unveiling of vision for city's future

A new vision for Terre Haute is about to be unveiled.

Terre Haute Tomorrow, a citizen-driven volunteer group, will unveil its 10-year strategic plan on Friday. The “Community Plan” plan will be available that day on the group’s website, www.terrehautetomorrow.com.

The 40-page document is the result of months of work by more than 100 community leaders who have come together to dream up ways to improve the city. The plan sets goals and objectives in several key areas, including quality of life, community image, economic development, workforce and leadership development and infrastructure.

Details of the plan are being withheld until Friday, but it is expected to include a wide range of goals ranging from the very specific to the very broad. The goals vary greatly in the time in which they can be implemented.

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Wabashiki Fish and WIldlife Area

Progress towards the Wabashiki Wetlands initiative can be traced back to the River Committee developed by the Terre Haute Tomorrow organization created in the early 2000s to improve Terre Haute and the surrounding communities. The effort started as a modest 7,000 acre area previously used for various industries, primarily farming. The land was located in the river bottoms and frequently flooded, shortening the season significantly. Through voluntary sales and donation of land, the completion of the Wetlands initiative was steadily approaching. Over the course of a few years, Max Miller, the chair of the committee, had acquired much of the land south of US 40, past Interstate 70, from Interstate 70 past Darwin and north of US 40.

In 2010, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels announced an expansion of the Wetlands initiative that would turn the original 7,000 acres of wetlands to an enormous 43,000 initiative under the name Wabashiki, the Native Indian name for the Wabash River. Spanning the length of nearly 94 river miles from Shades State Park to Fairbanks Landing Fish and Wildlife Area, a portion of the wetlands is already open to the public. The west bank of the Wabash River between Terre Haute and West Terre Haute is open to the public for recreational activity.

A true gem for the Wabash Valley, the effects of this initiative will be felt in multiple areas. From wildlife to recreational activity to economic growth for the Terre Haute area, the establishment of this fish and wildlife area is the beginning of revitalization for Terre Haute and the Wabash Valley.

Visit: Wabash Valley Riverscape for more information

EDITORIAL: Terre Haute Tomorrow seeks to reignite community momentum

Terre Haute Tribune Star
May 29, 2013

Long-range planning that brings together diverse local interests in an effort to collaborate on community improvements often launches with a flourish but then settles onto a shelf to gather dust.

That was remarkably NOT the result when the group known as Terre Haute Tomorrow emerged on the scene about 10 years ago. While skeptics were certainly watching closely, the group pressed its agenda, probing and prodding, assessing strengths and weaknesses, and building alliances that would eventually help produce the most significant community transformation in decades.

There was plenty to motivate that group. The community's image, inside and outside, was flagging. The statewide view of Terre Haute was as a model of economic stagnation. There was no united strategy for economic development. In fact, there were competing interests. Downtown rehabilitation had made progress, but big problems remained. The political sector was bogged down. The community was void of visionary leadership.

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