Byways 101

Part 3: Public & Community Involvement

Skill Builders: Review Examples Of Byway Vision And Mission Statements

The following examples of different byway vision and mission statements may help you in developing vision and mission statements specific to your own byway.

Example: Woodward Avenue (Michigan), Woodward Avenue Action Association

The Woodward Avenue Action Association (WA3) is an economic and community development organization working to enhance and improve the visual, economic, functional and historic character of Woodward Avenue through a local and regional effort. Woodward Avenue’s 27 miles traverse eleven communities and two counties in metro-Detroit, and include some of Michigan’s best assets—from thriving business districts to some of the world’s most historic sites.

The WA3 works to bring business people, residents, community leaders, elected officials and stakeholders together to identify opportunities to strengthen and enhance Woodward’s economic and historic potential.

Vision Statement
Woodward Avenue will be a premier business, cultural, recreational and educational location in the metro-Detroit area. The 27-mile corridor will be easily traversed via dependable, state-of-the-art public transportation. Surrounded by vibrant neighborhoods, Woodward Avenue will be a vital corridor where people identify with its history and want to maintain its importance into the future. Woodward Avenue will symbolize a partnership among business owners, property owners, institutions and local governments.

The vitality of Woodward Avenue will be reflected by:

  • A variety of robust commercial uses;
  • A home to renowned attractions and events;
  • Attractive roadway, storefronts, buildings, signage and median plantings;
  • Easily located attractions and businesses with sufficient parking;
  • Increased patronage of businesses, attractions and events;
  • A user-friendly corridor that provides mobility to visitors and residents.

Example: Illinois River Road (Illinois)

The mission of the Illinois River Road is to provide a living museum without walls that will enhance people’s experience of the nature, history, archaeology and other intrinsic qualities of the byway, while providing and maintaining unique recreational and educational experiences for visitors and residents, and sustaining local communities’ economies and quality of life.

Example: Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway (New York)

The mission of Seaway Trail, Inc. is to increase tourism revenues and to enhance the economic well-being and quality of life in the Seaway Trail corridor by managing and marketing it as a leading scenic byway.

Example: Lakes to Locks Passage All-American Road (New York)

Vision Statement
Through the partnership of public, private and nonprofit organizations, the scenic, historic, natural, cultural, recreational, and working landscape resources of Lakes to Locks Passage are managed in balance with economic development and tourism promotion. Implementation of the Byway Corridor Management Plan has shown the world that the region possesses the character of multiple regions that are unified by a shared heritage, and provides a quality of life for its residents, and an experience for its visitors, that is surpassed by none.

The mission of Lakes to Locks Passage, Inc. is to further the appreciation, recognition, stewardship and revitalization of the natural, cultural, recreational and historic assets of the communities along the interconnected waterway of the upper Hudson River/Champlain Canal, Lake George, Lake Champlain, Chambly Canal and Richelieu River.

Example: Mohawk Towpath (New York)

The Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway seeks to increase awareness, enjoyment and linkage of the wide variety of scenic, recreational and historic resources along the Mohawk River and Erie Barge Canal corridor from Waterford to Schenectady. The Byway is a regional partnership of communities that will balance the promotion of local interests with the protection of heritage resources.

Example: Wisconsin Great River Road (Wisconsin)

Wisconsin GRR Visioning and Strategic Planning Exercise following the America’s Byways Resource Center Power Workshop
August – September, 2004
Prepared 10-09-07
These notes are consolidated from the meeting notes, flipchart notes and strategic plan to show the progression in thinking as this group moved from using a mission in lieu of a vision to their first vision; this was followed by a final vision that described the unique qualities of the GRR in the Mississippi River Valley.

Mission Versus Vision – Definitions

Mission = A broad general statement of purpose—the purpose of an organization or a business. It specifies the organization’s reason for existence and establishes the scope of the organization’s activities. Missions can usually be stated in a sentence or two and can often be stated as a slogan.

Vision = A compelling mental image of your desired future. It describes a credible, attractive future in a given endeavor (e.g. the byway community). Visions must be strategic to anchor our plans and actions in the context of our specific environment. They must be lofty in order to inspire commitment and action. Visions should stretch us beyond our current state but cannot be pie-in-the-sky, which is merely an illusion.

Wisconsin MRPC Mission Statement: (post 2000 version after designation)

The Wisconsin Mississippi River Parkway Commission exists to preserve, promote and enhance the Scenic, Historic, Recreational, Cultural, Natural and Archeological Resources of the Wisconsin Mississippi River Valley, to foster tourism in the River Road Corridor, and to develop and enhance the National Scenic byway known as the Great River Road.

The Commission seeks to coordinate activities with communities, local and State units of governments and planning agencies and to cooperate with the other nine Mississippi River States and Province of Ontario that comprise the National Mississippi River Parkway Commission (MRPC).

Following the first working meeting on August 18, the vision that was developed for testing by members said:

Form #1: The unique natural and cultural characteristic of the Great River Road Corridor will be enhanced and preserved and increased growth and usage will be accommodated.

Form #2: Our vision for the GRR is to enhance and preserve its unique natural and cultural characteristics and to accommodate increased usage and growth.

The final version was adopted after members field-tested the forms above with a cross section of folks encountered in normal work activities.

Vision (as published)

The ever changing experience of traveling through the un-glaciated landscapes and historic river towns embraced by towering bluffs and the mighty Mississippi will be enhanced and preserved and allow increased usage and growth of the corridor to be accomplished.

The Wisconsin Mississippi River Parkway Commission as a commission as well as individually, will increase its power of advocacy while effectively working together with various agencies, counties, communities and volunteer groups for the good of the whole corridor and the development of the uniqueness of the communities along the corridor.

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