February 27 - March 1, 2017
Local Coordinating Organization: Town of Limon
Workshop Challenge: Limon is the largest town within 60 miles in any direction and at the juncture of five major highways. Limon has several downtown destinations and activities, which residents frequent on a regular basis but lack visibility for visitors stopping along highway interchanges. The goal of the workshop was to develop a wayfaring and trail design vision that connects visitors and residents with destinations in Limon to support economic development and promote the town’s unique cultural heritage. As part of this process, the workshop sought to develop a more connected bicycle and pedestrian network to encourage active living, and to promote Limon as an engaging regional hub that has more to offer beyond highway interchanges and service stops.
Workshop Outcomes: In addition to enthusiastic participation from nearly 100 residents, local leaders secured commitment from 27 state agency and organization representatives who participated throughout the workshop. These participants acted as a state resource team and funding group. This group included the Colorado Department of Transportation, The Colorado Department of Local Affairs, The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade and the Colorado office for USDA-RD Community and Economic Development. The workshop provided the state funding team with an appropriate venue to list funding sources for trail construction, signage design and implementation, and programming. While deliberating the scope and funding for the project, the group prioritized placemaking and the cultural heritage of Limon. The funding team also successfully crafted a timeline for the project to delineate appropriate funds for short term, medium term and long term actions. Overall, Limon is developing a tourist based economic development plan that builds on existing cultural assets in the town and also planning for improved livability and sense of place for residents.
Post-Workshop Accomplishments: On the last day of the workshop community members gathered to develop a calendar of short term actions, events and programming in order to sustain the excitement and momentum generated during the workshop. One of these is a Bike to School event on May 4th where the Town will test out Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper interventions like cones, painted bike lanes, bump-outs and temporary signage in order to demonstrate possibilities for signage and trails.
Well used but challenged areas were identified during the placemaking exercises like the Kissell Fishing Pond, which has drainage problems,is often not stocked with fish for fishing, and the wetlands are difficult to access. The Kissel Fishing Pond was stocked by the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, and a plan has been implemented to address the water issues, and to develop a walk-thru tunnel to the Wetlands.
Furthermore, Limon’s Board of Trustees gathered on March 26, 2017 and held a four-hour workshop to develop a community branding plan as well as a “Grand Plan” that will combine the CIRD vision of Signage/Wayfaring and Bike/Pedestrian Trails with other design projects addressed in the town’s recently updated comprehensive plan. Discussion at the meeting also focused on creating a priority project list and a financial plan that included exploring a local sales tax increase and bonding program. Both the sales tax increase and bonding program would be referred to local voters during either the April or November 2018 election. Limon has already submitted an application to Downtown Colorado, Inc. for a VISTA/AmeriCorps volunteer who will assist with development and implementation of the Grand Plan. Mayor Julie Coonts is leading an effort to convene a Board of Trustees Workshop on Branding and Marketing and has received a commitment from a graphic artist with ties to Limon to assist with the project.
Limon, Colorado fully embraced the idea of early outreach for their workshop and put a lot of energy into producing fun activities at fairs and events to build awareness in the summer before their workshop. For implementation, Limon integrated recommendations from CIRD into their comp plan and then created a Grand Plan Committee on Wayfaring & Signage to work on wayfaring and signage which led to a list of prioritized amenity improvements, and ultimately a bond vote. They also took CIRD’s advice to think about the tourism implications of their online presence, including updating their Wikipedia page.