Henderson residents have a well-defined sense of civic duty and as such, the town is full of organizations determined to continue growing and improving this beloved town.
While you might recognize the names of these groups and boards and probably even known a member of a few of them do you really know what it is they do?
In this first installment, we'll delve into Main Street Henderson.
Forty years ago a national Main Street revitalization effort was formed to preserve, revitalize, and promote historic downtown areas. Texas jumped on board with the project and since its inception, Texas has been operating the Texas Main Street Program (TMSP) through the Texas Historical Commission and as everything is bigger in Texas the state boasts that the TMSP is the largest and oldest in the nation.
The Henderson Main Street program has been an official Texas Main Street program since 1988.
The Henderson Main Street Project's mission is to utilize volunteers and public-private partnerships to revitalize and maintain the downtown business district. They work to create and maintain an attractive historic environment that is economically viable.
The project's vision is to have Henderson's historic downtown district serve as a regional marketplace and gathering place; enhancing resident's quality of life and meeting the needs of residents and merchants, as well as tourists and visitors.
Reflecting the mission of TMSP and in accord with the National Main Street organization, Main Street Henderson utilizes a four-point approach.
Organization: Building partnerships among various groups in the downtown area by establishing a strong, committed volunteer base that advocates for the downtown district and high quality of life in Henderson.
Promotion: Creating memorable experiences by focusing on unique shopping, dining, and services found within the downtown district and promoting the essence of Henderson's authentic community assets and history.
Design: Focusing on the physical elements of downtown such as storefronts, signs, landscaping, and public spaces; targeting infrastructure and building improvements that lay the groundwork for physical transformations that are both functional and attractive; and, advocating for the preservation and protection of community architectural treasures.
Economic restructuring/revitalization: Identifying new market opportunities for the downtown area; redefining the district's niche in the marketplace; and, supporting current businesses while nurturing new endeavors that respond to changing customer needs.
The Main Street Advisory Board is made up of citizens of Henderson who have a vital interest in the success of the downtown Henderson area. The board is appointed by the City Council and anyone interested in serving should contact the City for more information.
Currently serving Henderson through their Advisory Board affiliation are
Leon Harris, serving as President, Gabriel Gearheart, Vice-President, Susan Camazine, Secretary, Leigh Ann Morris, Tammy Hillin, C.J. Warner, and Carol Young. Ex-officio members are Laura Wilkerson, Main St. Manager, Suzanne Cross, Tourism Coordinator, John Fullen, Mayor, Buddy Gresham, Preservation Chairman, Jay Abercrombie, City Manager, Billy Hughes, Community Development, Cheryl Jimerson, City Secretary, James Nicholson, Downtown Association, and Kirk Kimbrell, Parks Director.
Henderson Main Street is responsible for the creation of the city's beautiful pocket park, Alley on Main, and the ongoing upgrades regularly made to this scenic gathering spot.
The always enjoyable, annual Mardi Gras event is yet another Main Street brainchild.
For those interested in participating in Henderson Main Street programs, visit their website at www.mainstreethenderson.com