Information sought for county website
By Stephanie Taylor Ferriell, Senior Staff Writer, [email protected]
Information is being gathered for the Come to Crawford website, a collaborative project of the Community Foundation of Crawford County funded through a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.
Enrollment is free, and information will be shared publicly for at least two full years beyond enrollment.
Christine Harbeson, executive director of the Foundation, said organizers have a very broad view regarding who will be included on the website.
“We want businesses, nonprofits, schools, restaurants, churches,” she said, ticking off some examples.
The goal is for the website to serve as a clearinghouse of sorts, a place where residents and visitors alike can go to find out information about local resources, events, meetings and activities.
“It will be a virtual convening place for Crawford County,” Harbeson said.
The invitation for inclusion on the website is open to all county businesses and organizations, as well as those that serve Crawford County but do not have a physical location in the county.
Harbeson said information will be cross-referenced because many entities fall under more than one category.
“We’re actually the managers of the grant, but this website is for Crawford County by Crawford County,” said Harbeson. “It’s not just about the community foundation; we’re just one of the collaborators.”
The idea for the website came from the Hometown Collaboration Initiative and the broadband access grant effort. During meetings for both, the need for a website with information for both residents and visitors was discussed.
“Something was needed to unify our county and that would be used by the county and help our No. 1 industry, that is tourism,” explained Harbeson.
“People can come here and can take in the cave and canoes, stay in a cabin and use a meeting place,” she said.
Harbeson hopes businesses and organizations will work together to make targeted package deals for visitors.
Harbeson said once the website is up and running, the hope is that everyone will use it. There’s no event too small to promote, she stressed.
“Even if it’s a neighborhood yard sale, that’s great. We want you involved,” she said. “This is not a case of it’s only for this town or area. It’s for the whole county as well as businesses and entities that serve Crawford County.”
Current plans are to launch the Come to Crawford website by the end of May.
To obtain an enrollment form, call the CFCC at 812-365-2900.