• Getting connected in Barre
    October 08,2012
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    By now it is no secret that Downtown Barre is going through a major revitalization that is more than just new roads and buildings.

    New and existing businesses are vying for the remaining spaces on our beautiful new Main Street. Young people are moving to — or in many cases moving back to — Barre, bringing a wonderful youthful spirit to our community.

    Others who have longed for a downtown Barre like the one that thrived “back in the day” are finally believing that their beloved downtown will once again be the social, cultural and economic hub of central Vermont. A palpable momentum has taken hold and members of the Barre community are turning out in great numbers to be a part of it.

    In order to take advantage of all the opportunities that are springing up, it is important to get and stay connected with what is current in downtown Barre.

    One excellent place to start is Barre’s Front Porch Forum, a free community-building, ZIP code-based service. Front Porch Forum is only open to people who live or work in the 05641 ZIP code and is all about helping neighbors connect.

    Members share postings among nearby neighbors about all sorts of topics: lost cats, plumber recommendations, school budgets, local gatherings, helping neighbors in need and much more.

    People who are on the recently introduced forum in Barre have already told me they feel more connected to neighbors, more tuned in to local goings on, and more a part of the Barre community. Take advantage of this excellent community building forum by registering at www.frontporchforum.com.

    Another excellent way to stay connected in Barre is by friending The Barre Partnership on Facebook. The partnership’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/barrepartnership first played an important role in getting information out during the May 2011 flood. Since then, the number of friends have grown exponentially to where it is now the go to place for information on happenings in and around Downtown Barre.

    Whether it is a sale at a Barre Partnership member business, a picture of the newly installed lampposts on Main Street, a reminder about an upcoming concert or an announcement of an important public forum, the Barre Partnership’s Facebook page is the place to get information or get information out in Downtown Barre.

    Another important source of information is the Barre Partnership’s e-newsletter, the Downtown Barre Update. The monthly newsletter is an easy way to get important up-to-date information on activities and events in the Downtown Barre area. If you would like to receive the monthly newsletter, send an email to me at info@thebarrepartnership.com and ask that I add you to the list.

    In addition to these excellent ways to stay connected, there are numerous organizations in the community have their own ways to stay connected to them.

    One example is the recently formed Granite City Grocery Facebook page that connects you with their efforts to establish a community-based cooperative grocery store in downtown Barre. By friending their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/granitecitycoop you can show your support by donating money to matching grant funds for an initial feasibility study, express your interest in eventually becoming a coop member, get information on an upcoming Public Listening Forum, or purchase a ticket for the family-friendly Harvest Celebration at the Old Labor Hall on Oct. 19.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg. It would be impossible to list all the ways to stay connected with Downtown Barre. But no matter how you choose to do it, get connected, get involved, and be proud to be a Barresian.

    Dan Jones is executive director of the Barre Partnership.
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