Jasper Main Street has brought home four awards for continuing to fulfill the downtown district's revitalization vision.The awards were presented at Main Street Alabama's fifth annual Awards of …
Jasper Main Street has brought home four awards for continuing to fulfill the downtown district's revitalization vision.
The awards were presented at Main Street Alabama's fifth annual Awards of Excellence program at Lake Point State Park, where 50 projects or individuals in Main Street communities were honored across the state.
Main Street Alabama President and State Coordinator Mary Helmer presented Jasper Main Street with awards for Excellence in Fundraising (Jasper Main Street Endowed Fund); Excellence in Planning and Public Space (streetscape phase one); and Excellence in Architectural Design (Harbins). Jasper Mayor David O'Mary was also presented with the Alabama Main Street Community Award.
Jasper Main Street Executive Director Mike Putman said the awards ceremony was part of a three-day lab with workshops to help strengthen Main Street communities. He discussed each award's significance in detail, starting with the fundraising award for the Jasper Main Street Endowed Fund, which was established to ensure the efforts of Jasper Main Street will be continued for decades to come.
"We decided to start an endowed fund so Jasper Main Street will be funded forever, and we had three years to come up with $50,000, and we came up with $51,000 in three months," Putman said, adding that it will be at least a decade before the money can be touched for future use.
Jasper Main Street's planning and public space award for phase one of the downtown streetscape was presented based on a number of trees that were planted to beautify the district. Putman said O'Mary was recognized with the community award for his efforts with the streetscape.
"He's been so supportive of Jasper Main Street," Putman said. "The city did all the in-kind planting of the trees. He's funded a mural, and he comes to me with projects, but he doesn't come to me with projects that he's not willing to help me with.
"Mayor O'Mary has such an open door policy that I can usually call upon him and he can assist me with any project that I need assistance with. He's very pro-downtown revitalization."
The streetscape was also made possible through Friends of Downtown Jasper.
Harbins, a new business downtown that features home, garden and gift items, was honored for their architectural design. Putman said he is amazed with their revitalization of their space, located at 510 17th Street W.
"They have outdoor furniture, other nursery plants. It's a real cool space," Putman said. "They went in there and renovated it, and did a lot of the work themselves, fairly quickly."
The Harbins business is owned by Jeremy and Ashley Harbin.
Putman said Jasper Main Street will continue with great momentum through the remainder of 2018 and beyond.
One upcoming project includes the landscaping of Stanley A. Wade Park, which is a partnership with the Kiwanis Club of Jasper. The area will also have a gateway sign to downtown.
Just this past week, artist Missy Miles started working on a new mural on the back of the Burton building downtown, which will be the largest mural to date in the district.
A downtown map is set to be installed in the coming days near Pinnacle Bank's downtown branch. Putman said the map will be used for wayfinding in the district, and is a partnership between Jasper Main Street and Pinnacle Bank.
The map will also light up and be visible at night.
Putman said Jasper Main Street is also preparing for phase two of the streetscape project, and the Christmas retail campaign for the district is being organized.
"There's just people thinking creatively and putting the community first before their own agenda," Putman said. "When you bring consensus to a group, those visions turn into realities."
The executive director said he is thankful to everyone who continues to support Jasper Main Street, and he said the awards prove their mission is working.
"It says that this whole army of board members, committee members, Jasper Main Street members and contributors, we all share the same vision," he said. "It is truly a big village effort. It's a community effort."