Yellow Springs
Community Information Project

Project Plan


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Executive Summary

Planning Considerations
and Criteria

Project Plan

Implementation Plan


A1 - CIP Proposal

A2 - CIP Budget

B - Planning Process

C - Forum Participant Survey

D - Forum Workshop Reports

E - Yellow Springs Brainstorming Session

F - CUPA External Perception Survey

G1 - Website Analysis Report of Findings

G2 - Website Analysis Appendices

H - Marketing Charette Report

I - Ideas Sort

J - Community Asset List

K - Cultural Corridor Description



Planning for this project began in July of 2005 and continued for about 4 months. The lengthy and complex process entailed soliciting and gathering the relevant information, ideas and opinions necessary to formulate a comprehensive and effective plan. Detailed information concerning the process is presented in Appendices A and B.

The Planís objective is to develop and communicate a message that will attract more visitors to our village, attract more residents to our neighborhoods, attract more students to our educational institutions and attract new and existing employers to grow here. CIPAC recognized that a key element to meet the project objective is encouraging visitation. If we can attract visitors who are exposed to the unique and wonderful benefits of this community, some of those will find us a "good fit" for their interests and personalities. These are the people who then are good prospects for home purchase, job search, or learning opportunities

As a communications project, the CIP Plan must accomplish its direct purpose of initiating and enhancing positive communications about the community. Because of limited resources, this plan is devoted to specific actions and efforts which will lead to that end. While many excellent ideas were generated, some of which show great promise for facilitating economic expansion and population enhancement, many were beyond the realm of the communications mission of this plan; however, in order not to lose the value of these ideas, we do make suggestions about how they may be implemented primarily by others. All concepts and suggestions are included in Appendix C, D and E.

To set the stage for the planned activity to move to the next phase, it is necessary to review the basic concepts developed during the initial phases of the project.


For a small community, Yellow Springs has assets that rival major cities. These assets are what make us special and what attract visitors, residents and businesses. They are listed in detail in Appendix J. Below is a description of the major categories of the special things Yellow Springs has to offer.

  1. Recreation Attractions

    As clarified by the External Perception Survey, we are perhaps best known for our recreational opportunities. Glen Helen, John Bryan State Park and Clifton Gorge come to mind immediately as destinations to hike, picnic, play games, camp or pursue a wide variety of other outdoor activities. For cyclists we have the Little Miami Bike Trail, a paved trail that connects communities from Cincinnati to Springfield. In addition, the Gaunt Park fields and swimming pool, the skate park and the John Bryan Community Center are amenities that offer other unique opportunities. Finally, the walk-ability of the community and bicycle-friendly streets contribute to making outdoor pursuits a primary attraction of Yellow Springs.

  2. Shopping/Eating/service Attractions

    Many unique shops and service businesses have found a home in the community. Some of our restaurants have developed a reputation and attract patrons from well outside Yellow Springs. This community is a place to find the unique gift or delicious meal that can not be found at a mall. If we can reach the niche buyers who want our special product or service, we can increase volume in current business and attract new ones to the community.

  3. Cultural Events/Attractions

    We are still known widely for the Shakespeare productions offered by Antioch in the 1950ís. We have one of only two art cinemas in the Miami Valley. We have an internationally recognized chamber music group and local musicians of all types. We have talented artists, actors, writers, filmmakers and dancers that make their home in Yellow Springs because of the creative nature of the community. We have workshops and lectures conducted by both local and national experts.

  4. Education Facilities/Opportunities

Educational opportunities and facilities in the community are both broad and deep. Spanning the range of early childhood to elders and personal private tutorial to major public lecture, education here is very rich. Quality stands out with very low student/teacher ratios, and award-winning schools.

There is a full spectrum of higher education opportunities with college and graduate studies available within the community and access to 14 other higher education facilities within a half-hour commute. Faculty and staff of the regionís educational institutions have disproportionately selected Yellow Springs for their personal residence and/or place of retirement.

  1. Community Character

The exact nature of this community is hard to characterize but there is a feel to the place which might best be described as "soul." Some refer to us as "funky" or offbeat. Some describe a "caring community." Others note our outspoken, activist nature. It is all part of that special Yellow Springs ambiance which forms the character of our community. We are a "village family" with all of the contradictions, conflicts and deep caring that characterize that social unit.


With limited project resources, CIPAC recognized the need for a targeted outreach to focus resources on specific customer niches that would be attracted to Yellow Springs. Following is a summary of the niche markets identified and which are more fully delineated in Appendix H.

  1. Families Seeking Innovative/Alternative Education & Diversity

The excellence of our educational system and diversity of choices and population make this an attractive community for families who value special educational and social opportunities, so a primary target is educators, especially from Antioch and other area universities.

  1. Cultural Creatives/Innovators

The depth of offerings in our community for those interested in cultural and intellectual pursuits make Yellow Springs a wonderful community for artists and art lovers of all types as well as scientists, entrepreneurs and other forward-thinking individuals.

  1. MainStream Consumers of Small and Special Experiences

    Yellow Springs is home to one of the finest restaurants in Ohio, unique shops, beautiful natural areas, highly qualified physical and mental health practitioners, and a family-oriented activity destination, making it a likely attraction for what might be considered more conservative consumers from traditional towns.

  2. People with Strong Local Ties

    Life in Yellow Springs is so special and unique that many people do not want to leave when they have completed their studies at Yellow Springs High School or Antioch College. Others choose to return to raise their families. This is a group with an existing attraction to the community and with the means of being targeted through alumni contact, newspapers, friends and relatives.

  3. Social/Political Activists

Yellow Springs has always been known as a progressive community with residents who passionately advocate for their beliefs. People with alternative lifestyles and to whom diversity is important are also attracted here. National and global media created and consumed by social/political activists have consistently highlighted and promoted Yellow Springs as an unusually progressive and a "model" community.

  1. Lifelong Learners; Adult

The community offers educational, cultural and social activities for people of all ages but has an especially rich community of adults who are in continuous pursuit of knowledge and connection to the world. The McGregor School of Antioch University focuses a large and growing variety of higher and continuing educational opportunities solely on adult learners. In addition, there is an abundance of workshops and lectures conducted by both local and national experts that enrich the lives of all of our citizens.

  1. Outdoor/Nature Recreators

It is well known by locals, and confirmed by the CUPA External Perception Survey, that our natural amenities like Glen Helen, Clifton Gorge, and John Bryan State Park as well as the Little Miami Bike Trail, skate park and swimming pool are our best-recognized assets within the nearby region, making people with those interests an important niche market.

  1. Consumers of "Funky" Stuff

    Yellow Springs has evolved into a community known for its arts and crafts, unique clothing, natural and health food, and unusual books not readily available anywhere else in the area, making this a likely destination for people in search of such.

  2. Healthy Lifestyles

This is a health-conscious community as evidenced by the multitude of health foods available in stores and restaurants, large number of practitioners of natural and alternative medicine, the many bicyclists on our roads in all weather, and the incredible recreational opportunities for young and old. Individuals who hold health and well-being as a high priority in their life are likely prospects to find Yellow Springs an attractive location to visit and live.


Three primary modes have been identified as the optimum means to communicate our message and receive feedback about Yellow Springs. They are:

  1. Website

    For ever increasing numbers of consumers, the Internet is their primary source of information. A comprehensive website is essential for any community to inform and invite visitors and to maintain an adequate community communication network.

  2. Information Center

    There must be a central contact location to control the dissemination of information about a community to assure that all contacts are being handled in a timely, friendly and consistent fashion.

  3. Information Distribution Network

To enable visitors to understand all the community has to offer, it is essential to have a system of sharing information and customers among the businesses and event sponsors. The cross-promotional opportunities between the recreation attractions, local retail and service businesses and events would allow not only more sharing of customers but would attract even more attendees by promoting the entire experience of Yellow Springs rather than a single event.

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