The Wyoming Business Council has named Basin and Byron the winners of the Placemaking Challenge and awarded a total of $17,500 to the communities so they can develop their temporary exhibitions into permanent projects.
Basin will use its $10,000 grand prize to enhance its boat ramp area with a gazebo, barbecue area and fire pits to enable overnight camping and encourage longer stays by tourists enjoying the nearby off-road BLM trails.
“Sometimes small towns get overlooked, so this was a great opportunity provided to our town by the Wyoming Business Council,” said Rebecca Bates, who managed Byron’s placemaking project. “It was fantastic to see our community come together and really take ownership of this project.”
Byron is using the money to continue improving the Riverview Park with playground equipment, a new basketball court and fencing.
The Placemaking Challenge encouraged Wyoming communities to think creatively about how to bring vibrancy to underused public places. Communities were required to complete a training in the Placemaking method and then provided $1,000 to install a trial version of their project and gather community feedback.
That feedback was critical to the success of the project, explained Barbara Anne Greene, of Basin.
“So many people had never been to the boat ramp area, or hadn’t been there in years,” Greene said. “We were pleased by the input and the increased activity in the park.”
Both Basin and Byron demonstrated that a little push from local leaders is sometimes all it takes to get the whole community behind a project. Byron has already accomplished its original goals, explained Rebecca Bates, but thanks to community participation, improvements at Riverview Park are expected to continue.
“It’s been a neat thing to see so many people come forward to offer help or donate more to the park,” Bates said.
The Business Council offers in-person placemaking trainings for communities and grants worth up to $5,000.
For more information, visit wyomingbusiness.org/placemaking.