How We Live Together - Relates to goals on culture and the arts; events, sports, and programs; recreational facilities; tourism; greenbelts, parks, and environment; and clean air and water, recycling.

  1. Culture and Arts
    Our Goal: A region that encourages, promotes and supports superior quality arts and cultural activities through education, the availability of ample, diverse and accessible events, quality facilities, youth programs, promotion of individual artists, and outstanding financial support.

    Recommended Strategy: Create a unified arts lobby involving organizations from the five-county region such as the arts councils, arts auxiliaries, arts business councils, business committees for the arts, art departments, artists, chambers of commerce, travel and tourism bureaus and representatives from established arts organizations to study existing arts facilities and programs and to determine the need for additional facilities and programs, including arts education programs.

    Recommended Action to Begin Implementing the Strategy: Solicit nominations from or involvement from area arts leaders (including staff, boards and councils) and arts support groups for individuals to serve on a task force to form a steering committee to develop a unified arts lobby. “Feed the goose that continues to lay the golden egg!!”

    Return Expected for Our Region: Deeper appreciation, usage, knowledge, participation in and funding of existing regional arts organizations, fostering the creation of facilities and programs where needed in the five-county region. When arts are flowering; people are participating; tremendous benefits: educationally, economically (economic development), and culturally for everyone residing in or visiting the five-county region, raising the tax base and bringing positive recognition from outside the region

    Other Strategies to Accomplish Our Goal:

    • Create, expand and support arts education programs for young people, fostering a greater appreciation of the arts through the training of teachers and through linking education and the regions’ arts programs.

    • Expand the Montgomery Partners in Education program to the five-county region.

    • Develop a marketing plan to promote existing arts facilities and programs.

    • Develop a regional educational and promotional campaign on the need and importance of public and private financial support of the arts.

  2. Events, Sports, Programs
    Our Goal: A region that provides a wide variety of cultural, recreational, entertainment and sports opportunities for all ages, all income levels, all ability levels and all areas of interest.

    Recommended Strategy: Build a new centrally located, state-of-the art, multi-functional civic arena and renovate existing facilities that would attract a greater variety of sports and entertainment sought by citizens and visitors to the River Region. Through a dedicated governmental entity, utilize incentives to create private/public partnerships that will bring the project to fruition.

    Recommended Action to Begin Implementing the Strategy: Form a task force to do a presentation to the Montgomery Downtown Riverfront Development Commission, or any other city that might form a commission, asking them to embrace this expanded project.

    Return Expected for Our Region: A facility to host a variety of sports and entertainment will enhance the quality of life in the region. Hosting sporting and entertainment events will generate economic return, benefiting regional citizens and businesses.

    Another Strategies to Accomplish Our Goal: Governmental officials, citizens and businesses working together should consult with outside advisers who have succeeded elsewhere in raising funds, developing community cohesion, and building and maintaining the desired types of programs and facilities. Provide tax incentives for private business when appropriate.

  3. Recreational Facilities
    Our Goal: A region that has family oriented, multifaceted cultural and recreational programs and facilities that offer affordable, wholesome events and activities for all.

    Recommended Strategy: Conduct a feasibility study to determine the types and locations of facilities needed; estimate the cost of providing the land, building the facilities and developing the programs; determine the government/private funding needs and sources.

    Recommended Action to Begin Implementing the Strategy: Form task force to determine what we have and what we need.

    Return Expected for Our Region:
    Increased likelihood of obtaining funds and funding, as well as support from the community, benefiting the people in the five-county region.

    Other Strategies to Accomplish Our Goal:

    • Seek federal grants to specifically address funding for cultural, recreational and economic programs.

    • Recruit private organizations such as Boy Scouts, churches, YMCAs and others to build, operate and maintain recreational

    • Seek involvement from for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations to build and operate facilities

  4. Tourism
    Our Goal: A region that continually develops and promotes its dynamic history, culture, and multi-faceted heritage as a tourist destination.

    Recommended Strategy: Create a regional tourism board and/or independent convention and
    visitors’ bureau to coordinate the promotion of events, attractions, and other tourism opportunities, in addition to assisting in the development of a master plan for new and historic, cultural, recreational, and ecological attractions.

    Recommended Action to Begin Implementing the Strategy: Montgomery Convention and Visitors Bureau and Envision host a meeting for all regional tourism partners.

    Return Expected for Our Region: Improved communication, coordination; better promotion of attractions;
    economic impact increase due to tourism growth; tax revenue increases; consolidation of resources, benefiting the region as a whole, due to increased revenue and a better quality of life through more attractions and an improved hospitality industry, as well as businesses and local governments.

    Another Strategies to Accomplish Our Goal: Encourage the City of Montgomery to renovate and expand the Civic Center as a convention center to encourage growth, tourism and new business.Develop a stable source of funding for youth education and activities.

  5. Greenbelts, Parks, Environment
    Our Goal: A region that preserves its natural resources and has interconnecting hiking and biking trails both in the city and county, more sidewalks, and numerous, diverse, well-maintained, accessible parks and green public areas.

    Recommended Strategy: Develop a regional inventory of natural resources and manmade features,
    to serve as the basis for the regional master plan for an efficient, multi-modal transportation system and for the development of codes for environmental preservation, urban forestry and beautification.

    Recommended Action to Begin Implementing the Strategy: Bring together stakeholders to begin the process of developing the strategy. Engage trail/advocacy organizations. Hire a grant writer to get money to begin education program.

    Return Expected for Our Region: Improved quality of life: improved physical fitness, pleasant environment
    to live in, ease of business recruiting, reduction of accidents, independence for children in a safe environment and a positive economic impact, benefiting the entire community, businesses and individuals.

    Other Strategies to Accomplish Our Goal:

    • Establish a regional consortium to attract regional funding and to develop a detailed regional master plan of proposed and existing parks, trails, recreational spaces, green spaces, nature centers and trails along the Alabama River.

    • Encourage city and county governments to establish a tree commission and to plant flowers and trees at expressway exit ramps.

    • Encourage neighborhood associations to work with city and county departments to beautify and clean-up their areas and to work with city street departments to increase sidewalks.

  6. Clean Air and Water, Recycling
    Our Goal: A region that creates and maintains the cleanliness of its communities and environment, including the quality of its waters, air, waste management and recycling efforts.

    Recommended Strategy: Create a permanent public relations campaign, planned by community groups and involving all media, to instill in all citizens the importance of a clean environment with pure, quality air, water and land.

    Recommended Action to Begin Implementing the Strategy: Engage the elected officials of the region to endorse this plan. Have the city councils, mayors and county commissions of the region formalize and endorse a compact to promote these environmental initiatives.

    Return Expected for Our Region: A Better plan for economic development; a cleaner, more environmentally friendly region, benefiting our children and their children.

    Other Strategies to Accomplish Our Goal:

    • Establish mandatory region-wide curbside recycling programs, which will be overseen by individual cities and that include education and incentives to reduce landfill waste.

    • Establish auto and truck emissions standards and require all licensed vehicles to be tested.

    • Develop an anti-litter and illegal dumping policy with vigorous enforcement