News Flash

Community Development

Posted on: July 23, 2020

Stevens Point Strategic Planning & Online Survey

The City of Stevens Point has teamed up with Clive, Iowa-based Alchemy Community Transformations and CREATE Portage County to conduct a strategic planning process focused on addressing local challenges and developing a vision for the future.

Together, Stevens Point, Alchemy and CREATE will develop an action plan through creative placemaking, a collaborative and locally-driven approach to building strong, vibrant communities.

The goal of this process is to help Stevens Point spur economic development and population growth through the creation of cultural and entrepreneurial amenities, concepts, and catalytic projects. Working alongside local and regional partners, Alchemy’s placemaking process will include:

  • Community visioning and stakeholder outreach
  • Quantitative and qualitative community assessment
  • Strategic plan development
  • Implementation objectives and recommendations

The community visioning and stakeholder outreach phase will begin with an online survey designed for Stevens Point residents and stakeholders, to learn about their perspective on the city and its future. 

The survey can be taken at:

What Makes Stevens Point Unique

Alchemy and CREATE will work with the City of Stevens Point to ensure they can leverage all necessary tools to achieve the community engagement and consensus required to develop an effective strategy. This will include face to face dialogues through interviews and focus groups, two community visioning sessions, and the online survey.

The visioning sessions will be held via Zoom and are open to the public. The City of Stevens Point website will post information and links to the sessions, which are scheduled to be held on:

  • Wednesday, August 5, 2020 from 5:00 to 6:00 pm
  • Thursday, August 6, 2020, from 8:00 to 9:00 am
  • (See Zoom Instructions Below)

"We already know that Stevens Point is the best place in Wisconsin to live, work and play!” said Mayor Mike Wiza. “In order to preserve this quality of life, while building a vibrant plan for the future, the City is launching the process of creating our first ever strategic plan. The plan will be our decision-making roadmap for the next 5-7 years, with a goal of supporting community resiliency and a strong sense of place. We look forward to working with our consultant, Alchemy, during this entire process."

While countless rural communities across the country face challenges similar to Stevens Point’s, what sets the city apart is the eagerness to find innovative solutions and take action to shape the future of the community, build an equitable economy, attract and retain top talent, and improve the overall quality of life.

“Alchemy believes that Stevens Point already has all the right pieces in place for success, including a top university, progressive commitment to environmental sustainability, unique amenities and attractions, and strong local leadership ready to take action. The key is leveraging these assets to develop a plan with long term, sustainable economic impact while making the community a better place to live, work and play,” said Libby Crimmings, Vice Principal, Community Placemaker at Alchemy.

The process will take approximately seven months, and will be guided by a prominent steering committee made up of local public and private leaders. The final deliverable for Stevens Point will be a custom website with a unique domain including all information gathered, the full action plan with steps for implementation, and appendices with custom business models.

About Alchemy Community Transformations

Alchemy’s method is a people-centered approach to building strong communities. Their goal is to learn a community’s needs, help address its challenges, and provide a comprehensive strategy, engaging their partners when and where their expertise is needed.

The Alchemy team brings a proven track record of diligent and thoughtful assessment of available resources within a community in a collaborative and transparent manner. In their 3+ years as a team, Alchemy has delivered over 25 step-by-step action plans across 16 states and 1 Canadian province with communities ranging in size from as few as 80 people to the tens of thousands. For more information on Alchemy’s process and services please visit:

About CREATE Portage County

CREATE Portage County has become a leading voice in the field of small-city, people-centered community and economic development. Established in 2004 as an arts advocacy organization, CREATE learned quickly how to leverage the arts and creativity to attract and support people with big ideas. They launched an innovation center to grow those big ideas and to accelerate creative ventures in the arts, business, and community impact. CREATE is helping communities unlearn the economic development model that lured big businesses and big box stores, decimating small and local business in the process. Their work is about culture change, nurturing communities that welcome and believe in all people. For more information on CREATE Portage County, please visit:

Strategic Plan Visioning Sessions

August 5, 2020, 5:00 pm
August 6, 2020, 8:00 am 

To participate via telephone: 

1) Dial on your phone: (301)-715-8592
2) When prompted dial the Meeting ID: 862 9722 9499 #
3) Press # again to be a participant in the meeting.
4) Hold until the meeting starts. 

To participate via online zoom platform: 

1) Go to 
2) Click “Join a Meeting” in the upper right-hand corner.
3) Enter Meeting ID: 862 9722 9499
4) If you haven’t downloaded the Zoom program, do so now. 

Please note: The Chairperson may mute any participants during this time to help create an efficient meeting. Those participants will be unmuted to provide public input when called upon within the published agenda.

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