The impact of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) continues to create uncertainty and concern both globally and here in our community. Illinois Extension is in the process of activating strategies with campus to protect everyone’s health and safety.

This week, the University of Illinois announced a suspension on all in-person events and meetings in campus facilities to protect you and our entire community. Illinois Extension, as the outreach program of the university, aligns with all policies related to public health and safety.

Effective Friday, March 13, all university-sponsored events with more than 50 anticipated attendees are suspended indefinitely.

As a result of this action, the City of Bushnell and University of Illinois Extension has cancelled the Community Meeting scheduled for March 25 in Bushnell. According to the Extension Educator, Carrie McKillip, “We are still actively working on the program, and encourage all Bushnell residents to complete the survey, but until we know we can safely host the meeting, we will postpone that portion of the program.”

The community survey is available in both electronic and paper formats.  The mobile or computer-friendly version can be accessed here and the paper version can be picked up and dropped off at Bushnell City Hall. 

The Community Meeting will be rescheduled as soon as possible, with information on the date and time of the rescheduled meeting available at Bushnell City Hall and University of Illinois Extension Offices in both Macomb and Galesburg.  Media will also be notified of the rescheduled date and time.

A collection of resources to assist families and community leaders preparing for and coping with COVID-19 is available online.

We are working to support all Illinois families at this time. We appreciate your support and understanding as we navigate this situation.

 

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Previously released information about the project:

The program entitled “SIMply Report: A Measurement and Planning Initiate for Rural Communities,” will include a community-wide Survey, key informant Interviews, and a community perception Meeting.  The results of the three SIM components will be compiled, along with secondary data, to give a snapshot of where the community stands in its perception and reality across many community sectors.  The final report will also include some recommendations on programs and initiatives the city can undertake to move forward on sectors deemed less than satisfactory.

The program, developed with a multi-state grant from the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, looks at a cross-section of economic and health issues as well as how community members perceive them.  According to Carrie McKillip, University of Illinois Extension educator, the concept came from the recognition that many people choose to live in rural communities. “We always see a list of the best cities to live with a wide array of amenities listed.  We wanted to look at rural communities with the same kind of lens, that there are many desirable components of rural life.  Open spaces, short commutes and family connections are just a few that come to mind,” McKillip said. She went on to say that Bushnell was a perfect location to pilot the process due to its distance from a larger community and diverse economic base.