Idea Salon looks for community involvement to improve South Bend - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Idea Salon looks for community involvement to improve South Bend

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South Bend residents gather for Idea Salon to discuss ides to improve the city South Bend residents gather for Idea Salon to discuss ides to improve the city
The Emporium in South Bend was the site of an Idea Salon where the 100 Ideas Project was being discussed. Landscape architect Jonathon Geels started a blog where he posted one idea for one hundred days on ways to better the South Bend community.

On Saturday evening, he asked that community members join him in a discussion about his ideas and other ideas to benefit the city. He says the key to making improvements in the community is to have a collaboration from the residents.

"My vision for South Bend is that it becomes a vibrant city that the people here feel empowered to participate and show their own ideas and make things happen," Geels said.

His blog sparked enough discussion that he decided to hold a public forum for residents to share and discuss ideas. “It's been a bit overwhelming,” Geels said about the community response. He says even if people were against some of his ideas, it is still important that people are engaging in conversation about them.

Sara Stewart, who is the Executive Director for Unity Gardens, was in attendance. The donations collected at the Idea Salon will go to Unity Gardens which is an organization that demonstrates how the community must come together to better South Bend.

"These simple kind of meeting things where people who want to make a difference in their community, maybe don't know how, different creativity's mix and all of a sudden we have a whole recipe for success," Stewart said.

Geels says he hopes to have more meetings where the community can focus in on specific ideas, not 100 like in Saturday's gathering, and push to make South Bend a better city.

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