The idea of “community” means different things to different people. The sharing of a physical space such as a neighborhood is a common, but shallow, definition. At its best, a community should evoke strong feelings of belonging, identity, and pride.
This powerfully emotional impact that draws us to and makes us want to stay in a community is what motivated us to create Gretna Heart and Soul. We believe that Gretna has the potential to be not just a good community, but a great one for everyone who chooses to make it their home.
What is Gretna Heart and Soul?
We are a grass-roots effort started by community leaders. Our goal is to help discover and articulate what the people of Gretna love about our community so that we may build upon those things today and in the future.
Gretna Heart and Soul will create a clear definition of what the people of Gretna value about this place they call home. The current and coming growth in our area creates an urgent need to define what this community is all about beyond a good school system or nice subdivisions with a few neighbors we meet when the warm weather brings people outside their homes. If we don’t define what makes Gretna a great community, it may get lost as new developments are created and new people continue to move here.
“We need to define the community in order to get what we want,
or we get the community we deserve.” ~ Dr. Kevin Riley
Gretna has a proud history and a strong foundation built over many decades, but the walls have gotten knocked by recent change and growth. As we navigate the certain growth for our community in the near future, Gretna must get clear on who we are and what kind of community we want to be. Otherwise, the Gretna we wake up to in 20 years may not look anything like what we hoped for.
How will it work?
Using a process called “Community Heart and Soul” developed by the Orton Family Foundation, those who live in Gretna will be invited to share their stories of what they love about living the in this community. The effort will aim to capture a broad sampling of stories from a diverse representation of those who live within the Gretna city limits and school district.
These stories will be used to distill a clear articulation of what the people of Gretna see as the “heart and soul” of the community. Once completed, this can be used by city, school, and business leaders here to ensure that the things that we love most about Gretna today can be preserved and amplified as we grow.
What will come out of this process?
At the end of this process, we will have created a set of “heart and soul statements” that reflect the desires and aspirations of those who live in our community. To ensure that these statements are more than just words, they will be supplemented by a series of specific community goals for each statement along with recommended action plans to ensure that these sentiments can be translated into results—today and in the future.
We are looking for individuals who want to be apart of defining the “Great Life in Gretna” and adding meaning and depth to a fast growing Metro area. Bringing a voice requires more than one person or group. It requires working to gather all the voices to be representative of all the voices in the Community. If you are interested in donating your time, talents or money, we can use your help.