The new bridge is a symbol for Atchison
A 4-lane bridge on a 2-lane highway seems impractical in a way, but the Atchison bridge that opened in 2013 could very well symbolize the direction Atchison is headed. Years ago, visionaries saw promise in Atchison's future, and planned for growth and success. Thinking about the future and not just glorying over the past is a challenge in
small cities and rural areas. To borrow from Benedictine College, it’s a mindset of "Forward, always forward." It takes people who are open-minded yet grounded, able to collaborate with others yet mission-minded. And Atchison is brimming with those types of individuals.
Top photo by local Atchison photographer, Dustin Soph
A revival is underway in Atchison and it's exciting.
Besides the new bridge (which is getting quite famous because of the beautiful light displays), there’s the new hotel, the new YMCA, and hopefully a new airport. Retailers such as the hit store Backroad Atlas are bringing local shopping back in vogue and new restaurants like Chuck and Hanks are nearly overwhelmed with happy customers.
Rendering of $11 million YMCA scheduled to be open in Atchison in 2017.
The most exciting part? The community spirit.
The most exciting part of the Atchison revival is the sense of community pride that has blossomed in recent months. There is a spirit of excitement, loyalty, and positivity that makes one proud to be a part of Atchison. Groups such as Project Atchison, with their can-do attitude and service-minded goals, and community wellness organizations like Live Well, Live Atchison have united hundreds to help ensure Atchison is a great place to live both now and for future generations.
Engagement that's worth a fortune
The Gen-X and Millennial crowds are especially active in Atchison, in a completely unorchestrated manner. Key influencers in the community have a passion for positive change and a love for Atchison — and it’s making a difference. It's popular to be involved in the community in Atchison. It's the "in" thing to do. Community engagement on the level we are experiencing is gold for cities and towns. Big money gets spent all over the US to try to achieve what has happened in the past few years in Atchison, and it is occurring organically and successfully right here.
Atchison Globe coverage of Project Atchison volunteering to revitatilize local park trail.
Revival. It's contagious, and it's spreading.
The economic development and community spirit in Atchison is not only appreciated by current residents, like myself, it's attracting others. People are choosing to live here and move businesses here, and if they can't now - they want to. I know of several families and businesses that either want to move here or already have because of “what we have going on”. An organized group of residents that "Cash Mob" a local business at least once a month? Very attractive to a potential new business. And having major development projects like the hotel and YMCA speaks volumes to young professionals who are starting families and want a wholesome "bedroom community" to raise their kids.
Join the wave.
Visit a local downtown business. Go to a city commission meeting. Join Project Atchison. Visit Jackson Park and hike the trails. Atchison is active, progressive, and charging forward with a smile — and a wink for the naysayers who say nothing every changes.