This program helps people find training alternatives (such as apprenticeships) to a four-year college. The program in association with Aspire Johnson County, JCPL and the Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters presents middle and high school students with the opportunity to learn about skilled trades.
The Great Parks Quest & Arts Quest
In 2021 and 2022 Aspire, the Community Engagement Team and Johnson County Public Library partnered to create a summer event that got people outside to explore the parks in Johnson County and discover public art. Hundreds of residents participated each year.
Helping Children Learn about Johnson County
The program developed an activity coloring book for 3rd and 4th-grade students that highlights the history and local amenities of Johnson County. 4,000 coloring books have been distributed to Johnson County elementary schools (public and private) as well as Johnson County Public Library Branches, the Johnson County Museum, the Boys and Girls Club, Girls Inc., local shops and other locations in Johnson County.
Promoting Local Food Availability Throughout Johnson County
In a partnership with Franklin College a prototype website to highlight local farm stands, restaurants and farmer’s markets that have local food. The project was taken over by the new Local Food Council upon completion. You can find the site here.
Destination Marketing Initiative
At the request of the Johnson County Council, volunteers conducted extensive research and prepared a report on how the county could approach destination marketing. This report not only included local government funding of the effort but also private investment. The team also collaborated with hospitality business owners on ideas to create a destination marketing organization. The organization, Festival Country, has seen remarkable success since its start in 2016.
A Conversation about Johnson County
Since 2019, JCPL and Aspire Community Matters community engagement team have been conducting community conversations to gather aspirations from residents regarding the type of community they want to live in. View the report and learn more.
Group volunteers represented Johnson County in meetings with state transportation representatives, legislators and the public to supply facts about the Section 6 project for Interstate 69. The organization’s efforts supplied a voice for Johnson County in the planning process. In addition, the team worked, at the request of the Johnson County Planning and Zoning Department, to update the land use plan for the Center Grove area of unincorporated Johnson County. In addition, team members worked with Johnson County Planning and Zoning to develop a corridor plan for the area surrounding I-69.
Community Conversations on I-69
To inform the community and get residents involved in the planning process for I-69 two “Community Conversation” public meetings were held. The first “Preparing for Growth: State Road 37: Maximizing Benefits, Minimizing Impact on Residents” was held on April 23, 2015. Over 150 residents attended while presenters from around Indiana covered topics including financing, design and planning.
A second meeting saw nearly 200 residents attend on January 16, 2019, at Center Grove High School. Presenters included INDOT commissioner Joe McGuinness, Andrew Dietrick, INDOT Communication Director, Chris Hamm, Senior Planner at HWC Engineering, and Larry DeBoer, Professor at Purdue University.
Creation of a County Wide Trails Plan
The Community Matters team worked with local business and health stakeholders and volunteers to lead the walking and biking trails movement throughout our community. The organization found and applied for an Opus grant through the Johnson County Community Foundation and received $40,000 to create the Johnson County Trails Master Plan.
View the Trails Map
This plan helps improve non-motorized accessibility, promote safety for bicyclists and pedestrians, and make Johnson County a more enjoyable place to live and visit.
Trail Plan Goals and Objectives
- Create connections between the communities of Greenwood, Franklin, White River Township, New Whiteland, Bargersville, Trafalgar, and Edinburgh within Johnson County
- Be ready for future funding opportunities when they present themselves
- Identify future Safe Routes to Schools opportunities
- Enhance community connections to neighborhoods, parks, schools, businesses, retail and dining, and government facilities
- Increase the number of people that exercise daily by providing safe walking and biking experiences for citizens of all ages and levels of ability
- Increase the number of people walking and bicycling for everyday transportation purposes such as commuting to work, to school and running errands
- Increase the quality of life for the residents of Johnson County to retain current citizens and attract new citizens
- Provide guidance and priorities for implementing infrastructure to support walking and bicycling with a broad range of funding and support
- Increase eco-tourism in Johnson County by attracting people that are looking for recreational activities in the region