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Your thoughts needed in Bushnell meetings

What do you think about Bushnell? Your thoughts on employment, recreation/activities, education, housing, and healthcare is exactly what the City of Bushnell and University of Illinois Extension staff are hoping to hear in the upcoming November meetings.

The quality of life assessment and improvement project began last year with a community survey. After the survey results were complete, key informant interviews were held with community members which took place throughout 2020 due to the pandemic limiting the ability to meet in person. The series of meetings with residents and business owners of Bushnell is the final piece of the project.

The project, 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 is a perfect location for this project due to its distance from a larger community and a diverse economic base.

The results of the three components will be gathered into a final report which will give a snapshot of where the community stands in its perception and reality across many community sectors. It will also include some recommendations on programs and initiatives the city can undertake to move forward on sectors perceived as needing attention.

“The project will not only help the city of Bushnell better understand how the community perceives itself, but also look to ways the community can be engaged to make improvements,” said McKillip.

All Bushnell residents and businesses are invited to attend community-wide meetings on Nov. 9 and 10 at the Bushnell Recreational and Cultural Center located at 300 Miller Street. Attend the meetings that are of interest below:

Tuesday, Nov. 9

5 to 6:30 p.m. - Topics include employment, and retail and recreation/activities.    

7 to 8:30 p.m. - Topics include social support opportunities and infrastructure, educational opportunities, and community leadership and governance.      

Wednesday, Nov. 10

5 to 6:30 p.m. - Topics include health care access, mental health/addiction services, and healthy lifestyles.            

7 to 8:30 p.m. - Topics include community appearance, and housing stock.

For more information on the project and/or questions contact Carrie McKillip or Tessa Hobbs-Curley at University of Illinois Extension, (309)837-3939. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, please contact the extension office. Early requests are encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting you access needs.


ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.