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PlanET Kickoff Celebration Launches Regional Planning Effort

October 12, 2011 | More News

PlanET Kickoff Celebration

Rain may have forced Plan East Tennessee (PlanET) officials to move their Kickoff Celebration indoors, but it couldn't dampen the enthusiasm of the standing-room-only crowd who attended the event. Gathered in the auditorium of the East Tennessee History Center, local mayors, congressional representatives, and residents of the PlanET area learned about the current status of PlanET, heard stories from three of their neighbors, and made plans to get involved in the future.

Plan East Tennessee is a regional partnership of communities working toward a shared vision and seeking ideas about protecting resources and addressing challenges regarding jobs, housing, transportation, a clean environment, and community health. Their goal is to create long-term solutions for investments in the region and to define the next chapter in its rich history, leaving a legacy of optimism and opportunity for future generations. The five-county planning region includes Anderson, Blount, Knox, Loudon, and Union counties.

After opening remarks by Knoxville Mayor Daniel Brown and a status update by Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan, the program turned to the stories of individual East Tennesseans bridging three counties and three generations. The common theme of all the stories: how their communities and their personal connections to them made a difference in their lives.

J.V. Waller of Union County spoke of how modernizing transportation affected the residents of Union County and opened small communities to neighboring cities and counties, allowing his parents to meet. Lifelong resident of south Knoxville, Melissa Knight shared her story of partnerships in both her professional and personal life and how a simple sidewalk brought a sense of community back to her neighborhood. Roshni Dave, a student at Oak Ridge High School, related how her community rallied around her family in a time sorrow and instilled in her a desire to give back to her community.

Videos of each story are available on the PlanET website.

What's next for PlanET? A regional forum series will be held in each county the week of November 14-21, 2011. Interested residents are encouraged to attend a forum near them and become a part of the planning process.

To stay informed about upcoming events, use the links below to follow PlanET.

Posted 10-12-2011, written by Sarah Powell