MAPPING Success Stories


Population: 1,443  

Completed MAPPING in 2013 

  • Created a community theme of “Discover Durand Charm” and had a logo created.
  • Applied for and received federal non-profit (501 C3) status.
  • Started Friday Night Frenzy, which is held the first Friday of each month and encourages shopping and socialization downtown. Businesses stay open until 8:00 PM and family friendly entertainment is provided.
  • Filled empty storefront windows with information about community events & installed Durand Business District signs.
  • In order to increase school and community collaboration, they partnered with the local paper to include a story about the local school in each weekly edition.
  • Held an alumni football game as a fundraiser and generated more than $4,300 for community projects.
  • Hosted a Peace Corps Fellow (Matt Wolf) to help with implementation of MAPPING goals and hired him in 2015 as director for  Durand Charm.
  • Started an adopt-a-pot program to beautify downtown.
  • Fulfilled the need for a public library, by staffing the school library and expanding hours and programming to utilize it as a public library as well.
  • Received a grant of $15,815 to establish a sound garden (musical play equipment) in a local park.
  • Commissioned a mural featuring local history (pictured above).
  • Applied for and received a USDA RBEG grant for $85,000 with a cash match by the City of Durand for an additional $85,000.  The grant funds were used to beautify the business district.
  • Organized a number of community education classes
  • Collaborated with the City of Durand on a new city website.
  • Installed new ‘Welcome to Durand’ signs.


Population: 734  

Completed MAPPING in 2011

The MAPPING program validated a vision for our community to ensure Martinsville remains a great place to call home for years to come.  The organization of six  Action Teams (Festivals & Events, Environmentally Friendly, Education, Housing, Downtown Revitalization and Industrial/Economic Development) has been instrumental in the focus and success of our efforts.   We have seen an increased level of involvement in the community and organizations are working together to promote the betterment of our community.” – Norma Calvert, Community Champion, Martinsville

  • Won a 2012 Governor’s Hometown Award for their population recognizing the community development projects they have undertaken.
  • Hosted a Peace Corps Fellow intern to assist them with high priority community development projects.
  • Expanded the capacity of their afterschool program.
  • Development a mentoring program, matching Martinsville High School students with successful college graduates from Martinsville.
  • Organized a summer reading program at the local library.
  • Through numerous fundraisers, grants and donations (over $100,000!) the group built an amphitheater which has become a focal point for the community.
  • Provided breakfast at the Teacher’s Institute Day, and took funding requests from teachers for educational projects. They funded two projects with proceeds from previous fundraisers.
  • Held a Heritage Days National Road Festival, featuring artisan demonstrations and booths, an equine parade, and entertainment.
  • Completed a mural downtown.
  • Held two city clean-ups to improve the appearance of the city park, cemetery, and downtown business area, as well as assist elderly residents with moving unwanted items to the curb for the city-wide clean-up day.
  • Set up a one day household hazardous waste pick up.
  • Collaborated with the county farmer’s market to promote local foods and pursue LINK use at the farmers market.
  • Made a visual presentation to the city council on properties in Martinsville that need to be addressed, and offered the assistance to clean-up of unsafe and unsightly housing and property.
  • Added success stories to the city website that highlight successful Martinsville alumni.
  • Started a recycling program in Martinsville.
  • Turning Linn Park into a botanical garden by labeling all plants and partnering with master gardeners.
  • Held a dinner etiquette program for high school and junior high students.
  • Coordinated a family cooking night course to teach 30 minute recipes, easy family dinners, and healthy desserts.
  • Held a “farm to table” dinner.


Population: 6,207

Completed MAPPING in 2015

  • Organize a cardboard boat regatta each summer.
  • Established a program to connect elementary school teachers with regular, in-class, community volunteers.
  • Each fall, Hillsboro hosts a European Style Harvest Market with a variety of vendors and entertainment.
  • Hosted a pop up coffee shop that spurred the development of a bricks and mortar coffee shop.
  • Created an adopt-a-pot program and decorate the flower pots for each season.
  • Developed an educational video on the common core being implemented at area schools.
  • Hosted a Peace Corps Fellow.
  • Established the “awww yeah!” campaign to highlight the positive things happening at Hillsboro Schools in the newspaper, on radio and on the Facebook page.
  • Cleaned and remodeled a local stage and began offering a summer concert series each summer.
  • Crafted a promotional website at
  • Hosts an annual back-to-school Luau and pool party.
  • Organized a very popular holiday celebration ‘A Storybook Christmas’ featuring a new holiday book each year with volunteers dressed up as characters from Christmas books.
  • Volunteers planted 22 trees in Challacombe Park.
  • Organized a chili cook-off with a grand prize of $1,000 for the Harvest Market.
  • Working with area schools to provide training for teachers and students in computer coding.
  • Developed a community garden.
  • Worked with the City and MCEDC to bring fiber connectivity direct to homes in Hillsboro and add free wifi throughout downtown.
  • Hillsboro initiated the Hillsboro Community Development Corporation, a for profit group focused on housing development.
  • Recieved $370,000 in Housing Rehabilitation Community Development Block Grant funds from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
  • Coordinated a family cooking night course to teach 30 minute recipes, easy family dinners, and healthy desserts.
  • Held a “farm to table” dinner.


Population: 734

Completed MAPPING in 2011

“The IIRA MAPPING program was key in helping Stewardson recognize and enhance our current resources, identify and develop a plan toward new goals to improve our community, and unifying us around a common vision and purpose. We are forever grateful to the MAPPING program, what they have done for us, the resources they have provided and continue to provide, and the relationships we have formed through the program. Well worth the investment and then some!” – Jim Carroll, Community Champion, Stewardson

  • Held impromptu bake sale as their first MAPPING fundraiser (complete with ape mascot) – raised $400 in 2 days.
  • 2011 Governor’s Hometown Award winner for yearly haunted barn event attracting ~ 900 visitors and raising ~$4,000.
  • Formation of community organization—COWS (Community Organization Working for Stewardson).
  • Created community development fund with Shelby County Community Foundation; received a donation of a downtown building – twice!
  • Hold annual “Hoofin’ it to the Cow” 5K – over 200 runners participating each year.
  • The local hardware store donated the materials and labor to create a “Santa House” where the community hosts pictures with Santa each holiday season. The small “house” is repurposed seasonally for Easter, 4th of July and Christmas.
  • Host an annual Trail of Lights, featuring homes decorated for the holidays.
  • Created and distributed business survey to 1400 residents in greater area.
  • Hosted a Peace Corps Fellow Intern.
  • Received a $2,500 America’s Farmers Grow Communities Grant from the Monsanto Fund.
  • Installed new welcome signs at entrances.
  • Held numerous community events and fundraisers, including:
    • “Meet the Beatles” concert, brining over 400 people to the park
    • The Stewardson Snowflake Social to raise funds for local food pantry
    • Victorian tea party for mothers and daughters
    • Little Miss and Mr. Stewardson contests
    • Periodic scrap metal drives
  • Stewardson gives monthly beautiful yard awards and established a garden club that plants flowers and trees in town and maintains them.
  • Stewardson created professional marketing materials for the village, including; a website, video, and brochure.
  • Created a welcome program and welcome baskets for new community members.
  • Maintains a web-based community calendar, an electronic newsletter called the “Stewardson Moos Letter”, and implemented text marketing so community members can be updated on community events via text.
  • Have built 10 Little Free Libraries for their community and hold an annual tour. (
  • Hold an annual  Jeep Poker Run event.
  • Featured on WCIA News in the “Our Town” segment.