There are tremendous opportunities in small town’s historic downtowns. This past fall University of Illinois Extension partnered with a Bradley University marketing class to implement a market analysis that will help Delavan, IL identify business opportunities in their community.

Our partnerships with U of I College of Medicine - Peoria are cross-disciplinary and mutually beneficial.

Even though we are both part of the University of Illinois System our partnership is relatively new. Once it started, more and more mutually beneficial opportunities became evident. Extension staff in the areas of horticulture, community and economic development, 4-H youth development, and SNAP-Ed all have ongoing projects in which UICOMP is a partner.

When two more grocery stores closed in 2018 in Southside and East Bluff Peoria neighborhoods, University of Illinois Extension staff joined the team of policymakers, nongovernmental organizations, and activists working to eliminate disparities in equitable access to healthy food. The process to fill the gap in access to healthy food in the City of Peoria is a challenge that is multi-faceted but began with conducting a grocery store survey.

In late November, University of Illinois Extension collaborated with Hanson Engineering, City of Pekin, and UIUC Department of Urban and Regional Planning in conducting a planning study.

The study looked at the area's needs, assets and opportunities with the focus on better serving residents, visitors and businesses who use the street regularly. The planning process examined issues such as walkability, street beautification, parking needs, traffic calming and safety. The idea is to improve the quality of life on Derby.