Welcome to Heart of the City

Heart of the City is a 501(c)3 non-profit community service group (think “Friends of Fort Atkinson”) which encourages sustainable development, the preservation of existing and treasured civic characteristics, and active participation of the citizenry.  It is devoted to increasing sustainability in our homes and communities through education, volunteer efforts, and engagement with neighbors and civic leaders.  

NEXT MEETING is Monday February 12  7pm

We will be voting on the Big Heart Award, and electing board members and officers.

INCREMENTAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT is still on our minds. There will be a conference in Fort April 12 2018. On January 31, in Madison, the Incremental Development Alliance is having a free presentation from 4:30-6:30 as a prelude to that. Register using the link.

STRONG TOWNS WEBINARS February 1 and 15- Library
Please join us for two Strong Towns webinars which we will share with you in the Niedecker Room at the Dwight Foster Public Library from 11:55 a.m. until 1:10 p.m.

The first will be held on Thursday, Feb. 1, and is entitled Gross Negligence. Chuck Marohn will explain why we need to rethink the way we address pedestrian safety issues, and how that would make streets safer for everyone and make our towns more economically productive in the process.

The second will be held on Thursday, Feb. 15, and will feature Walkability expert, Jeff Speck. Marohn and Speck will discuss the need to slow down cars and focus on creating great places for people in our cities and towns. They’ll also talk about practical ways to take action to make this a reality in your community, whether you’re an elected official, a city planner or someone who cares about the future of your neighborhood. Speck’s book, Walkable City – How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time, is beloved by planners, leaders and residents of cities big and small.

SOLAR INITIATIVE UPDATE  Just a reminder that we are organizing a program for residents in Jefferson County who are interested in purchasing solar for their home and/or business. Our plan is to host a number of Solar Power Hours throughout the County where the program will be fully explained and anyone who signs up to participate in a purchase will be eligible for a free solar assessment and cost analysis before the work begins. We are forming an advisory committee who will approve a contractor for the work. The more people who participate, the lower the cost will be. If you or any of your friends or acquaintances have any questions, please contact Frankie Fuller at 608.445.0809 or frankiefuller10@gmail.com. We can add your contact information to our e-mail list and keep you abreast of our progress until the program is formally announced.

Here is an article about effective economic development for smaller cities by N. David Milder of DANTH, Inc., Downtown Revitalization Specialists. Milder is nationally recognized for his expertise on the new normal for downtowns, the deliberate consumer, multichannel retailing and niche revitalization strategies.

Fort Farmers Market-  a great place to support the local economy and healthy foods while enjoying community and music.  Heart of the City shares a space with the Cafe Carpe at the market, which runs Saturday mornings from 8 to noon from May through October in the parking lot across from the post office, and on the first Saturday of January through April from 9 to noon at the lower level of the Fort Atkinson Club.  Proceeds support our projects. Please stop by to chat and purchase.

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The urban forestry workshop and film series are now past, but the need for a healthy urban forest and a response to the emerald ash borer remain. Information on dealing with the emerald ash borer is available at the city website.

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