Event dates and volunteer and donation opportunities are in PINK.
As the DRC nears our six month anniversary, I want to thank everyone who has contributed to our cause in both tangible and intangible ways. It’s been a learning experience as we’ve tried different projects and programs and seen what works and what doesn’t and got a feel for our individual and collective strengths and weaknesses. This knowledge will serve us well as we transition into the next phase of our organization.
The DRC is now officially an incorporated non-profit corporation thanks to accountant (and former resident) Nick Eels and his firm. We are now waiting for the IRS to approve our 501c3 status. Our legal non-profit name is The Town of DeKalb Revitalization Corporation but we will continue to informally use “DeKalb Revitalization Committee.” The next step will be to formalize our board and elect officers. I’ll be reaching out soon with more details and an official organizational meeting date and time.
I’d also like to celebrate the soft launch of our website www.IBelieveinDeKalb.com. It‘s a work in progress but we’ve done a lot of work on it lately.
* If you want to be part of our board, send me an email: DeKalbRevitalizationCommittee@gmail.com
While we formalize our structure and mission statement, we have some on-going and upcoming projects that will continue as planned. Here are the items currently in the works:
Hermon vs. DeKalb Rocksnake Building Battle
Earlier this summer, we laid down the gauntlet — whichever town could build the longest snake of painted rocks by Labor Day would win a trophy for their town and bragging rights.
At last count, Hermon was smoking us but with another week or so to go, hopefully we can come from behind to win!
DeKalb Main Street Planners Project (aka DeKalb in Bloom)
Our first subcommittee, the DeKalb Area Garden Club (helmed by Rose Edward), launched last spring with the first four planters along Route 11 in DeKalb Junction with wildflower donations from Tanner Creek and rocks and sand from Willard Management in Hermon. We decided to replace the wildflowers with annuals and during the process of transplanting, it became obvious that we need to amend the soil. When we remove the annuals this fall to replace them with mums, we need to look at removing some of the overly sandy filler with good quality, richer soil.
* Donations of mums and potting soil for the existing four planters are needed.
We have ten additional planters to be placed along the corridor that I purchased as an advance to the DRC. We are offering three different levels of sponsorship to offset my cost and pay for the initial soil, pot filler, and commemorative brass nameplates. As we’ve struggled to coordinate volunteers, we are encouraging levels one and two to place the onus of watering on the sponsors. We have had five sponsors sign up thus far. I anticipate a Garden Club event in September to place the new planters, amend the soil in the existing planters, and plant fall mums.
* Donations of sand & rock filler are needed for the new planters.
* We have a total of eight planter sponsorships still up for grabs.
* Volunteers are needed for our fall planting event.
Email DeKalbRevitalizationCommittee@gmail.com to help.
DeKalb Community Garden
The Community Garden has been a big learning experience on the importance of communication and getting your ducks in a row before you launch. Coordinating volunteers for weeding has been tough but I think we now are on the right track. We put out this flyer below to let people know we had produce available and people have been picking things.
* We can always use volunteers to pull weeds, pick ready crops, or water on arid days.
HD Little Libraries Program
We are thrilled to announce that the seventh Little Library (built by our own Cayce Salvino!) has been placed at DeKalb Town Hall and will be ready to go shortly. This library was to be placed at Pipeline Park but out of concerns of vandalism, it’s now at Town Hall. We hope to continue this program this fall with HDCS to place even more throughout the community.
Our eighth library appears to have been misplaced at HDCS but hope to locate it as soon as school is back in session.
* We could use a volunteer or two to occasionally check in on the libraries to see if they need to be restocked or repaired. I keep a cache of new books at my house.
* The library at 86 Main in Hermon desperately needs some TLC to adjust its doors.
HD Business Registry & Expo
DRC members have been working all summer to compile verified information on all businesses in Hermon, DeKalb, and Richville with the goal of this registry to be published on the town websites, the DRC site, and as part of a hard-copy Community Guidebook that will serve as a local resource as well as a potential marketing tool to entice new businesses and encourage tourism.
As part of this project and our continued efforts to support local business, we are exploring holding a Hermon & DeKalb Business Expo in October. This would be a day-long event where all local businesses and service providers will be allowed to set up a table, sell their wares, give out free samples, hand out business cards, and network with other community entrepreneurs while gaining new customers. Our hope is to also encourage the reformation of a Chamber of Commerce - perhaps a joint-town venture. Small businesses are stronger when they work together and a profitable, sustainable economy in DeKalb is good for everyone.
The expo would be free or minimal cost just to cover any expenses. I am waiting to confirm the venue and date. I will let everyone know. We’d like to make this an annual event.
* We could use help with business info verification as well as word processing and design help. It’s mostly a matter of editing the existing list and making sure it’s consistent formatting, spell-checked, and such. It’s easy work but a lot of work and if we had one or two more folks even give us an hour or so, we could knock it out fast.
* If the event does move forward, we could 3-4 people to help coordinate. If you have experience with craft/vendor shows, even better as I do not.
Back to School Assistance
Tami French and Cut N Edge Salon is once again donating free haircuts to children in the community. As part of her efforts, she’s also collecting individually wrapped snacks for teachers to distribute. To assist through DeKalb Cares, we created an Amazon Wishlist as well. So the public can drop items off with Tami or send them via Amazon.
* Please donate if you can.
Earlier this week, I announced plans to hold a Halloween Decorating contest in the hamlet. The response was so good that it was expanded it to the entire township.
* We could use help with securing donations for prizes, figuring out the entrance process, rules, and selecting the judges. Please let me know if you can help.
I am in talks to pair up with Applewood Orchards for a Harvest Festival. Hope to meet with them soon and see what we can come up with. Also, I’ve been speaking with the Scouts about helping them resurrect their Hermon Haunted House. All depends on how many bodies we can get to help.
HD Joint Parks and Rec Committee
In speaking with community members, one of the complaints we heard over and over was how there’s never anything to do and when there is an event or activity that residents don’t hear about it until it’s too late.
For the past six months, I’ve been doing my best to publicize local events and activities through the Facebook group and through press releases to the local media and town clerks. This Community Calendar will soon be a part of this website as well. It is a tremendous amount of work - especially because local organizations aren’t communicating or coordinating with each other.
In the coming month or two, I hope to hold a meeting with representatives from local governments, fire departments, organizations, venues, churches, clubs, and HDCS to form a joint HD Parks and Rec Committee. From this meeting, I hope combine efforts in order to better sync our efforts including organization, coordination, volunteer recruitment, and publicity.
* If anyone is available to help me creating the community calendar on the site, creating flyers, or sending press releases, please let me know.