From the Desk of the Main Street Program Director
Grayling to transition into new role as Project Rising Tide mentor
by Rae Gosling, Grayling Main Street Program Director
Over the last couple of weeks, as you may recall, I have talked about collaboration, in many forms. Sometimes it means organizations and entities working together on one-time projects, sharing space, or building long-lasting relationships for events. Since my time sharing with you began, I have also discussed collaboration on a more personal level, how those who live and work in Grayling really set the path for the above-mentioned groups in public meetings, input sessions, and conversations letting us know what you need and want. Now, I will give you all a break from the word collaboration.
I hope you take the time to read about our visit from Governor Snyder, and the folks from the Talent and Economic Development (TED) team. Our very own Dan Sanderson was there and I am confident he will have a delightful write up about the exciting event.
As many of you know, our community has been participating in the Rising Tide initiative (PRT), geared toward helping communities develop and implement tools and tactics to help themselves thrive. Last week we “graduated” from the program and passed the “torch” (it was a paddle) to the next Region 3 community to participate in PRT, West Branch. We look forward to continuing to work with the TED team, as we are not getting the boot from their radar all together; we are now transitioning to a new role in the program. Grayling will be serving as a mentor community, particularly to West Branch. We will help them to navigate some of the challenges we had, and must continue to learn and grow if we wish to be exemplary mentors in the future.
In other Grayling Main Street (GMSt) news, we are busier than ever administratively. This time of the year, while slow event wise, is filled with plenty of other exciting internal happenings. Beyond the recently shared PRT graduation, we are also working to host a community input session, applying for grants, reaching out to donors, preparing for a rigorous travel and training schedule, and planning this summer’s Paddle Battle. When the weather is cold, staying inside, buckling down, and getting this work completed is easy. Researching grants, looking at budget numbers, and creating calendars are some of my favorite things to do while watching the snow and rain come down. But, as the days warm up, it gets harder and harder to stay in the office. I am certainly looking forward to sunny days, and being on the street more often.
One of the projects being pursued vigorously right now is finding funding for bike racks in and around Downtown Grayling. Recently, the Design committee worked with a local bank to compile information and submit a request for funding through their community foundation. At the same time, we submitted a letter of interest to a national organization to help fund the other half of the project. In the coming months we anticipate hearing back from both grantors, and will hopefully be able to share good news. We have also applied for two other grants, one from a large corporation and one from a non-profit, to fund smaller projects, including, updating our website and email, and assistance with training expenses.
Want to know more about GMSt and what is going on in Downtown Grayling? Check back in future editions of the Avalanche for more From the Main Street Program Director’s Desk. You can also check out their website, www.DowntownGrayling.com, find them on Facebook, or email questions to DowntownGrayling@gmail.com.
Rae Gosling is the Program Director for Grayling Main Street. She has been with GMSt since April 2016. She is a Grayling resident, wife, mother, local shopper, avid supporter of all things Grayling, and keeps everyone on their toes wondering what color her hair will be next.