City Engaging with Residents in Hagerstown through Social Media

City Engaging with Residents in Hagerstown through Social Media

"The downtown movement used some of the feedback that they got for this board when they were planning pop-up shops, so for example, you'll see some different ideas for types of retail that people want to see, or kids activities, an ice cream shop was a big one, and so those things became a reality over the weekend."
HAGERSTOWN, Md. - If you've been in downtown Hagerstown recently, you may hear a piano being played by a stranger, or you may have found a piece of chalk to write down an idea on a public board.

This type of public art is all part of a bigger discussion board used by the City of Hagerstown to connect with residents, and allow those residents to engage.

And the question being posed most recently on the discussion board: What are your dreams for downtown Hagerstown?

Some things, like public art, are dreams becoming reality.

"The public pianos were actually an idea submitted as part of public art projects. We currently have two pianos that are painted and we'll be putting them out on, around the city," said Erin Wolfe, communications manager with the City of Hagerstown.

This all stems from Engage Hagerstown, a website which allows residents to voice opinions, ideas and even concerns.

"The city is aware of our challenges, and the website is one way to address those challenges, together, with the community," said Wolfe.

She said they've received mostly positive feedback, and just like the public chalkboard people can write on in downtown, they're looking to really apply a lot of these ideas.

They also say this type of connection and collaboration with the community will continue.

"The downtown movement used some of the feedback that they got for this board when they were planning pop-up shops, so for example, you'll see some different ideas for types of retail that people want to see, or kids activities, an ice cream shop was a big one, and so those things became a reality over the weekend,” said Sarah Nelson, Planning and Outreach coordinator for the City of Hagerstown. “And some of the other things we're seeing, we're sort of keeping a running list of things that we can see that have broad community support for, as our efforts continue in the downtown."

You can visit the Engage Hagerstown website, and sign up for an account. City officials said residents who use the site will be rewarded through a points system, and the more you engage, the points you earn. They said you can cash those points in for things like reusable bags to use at the farmers markets, gift cards, or even things like a pizza party.

So now the question remains, how will you engage?

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