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501-C3

In Downsville, a 501-C3 was created and authorized by the state to oversee and organize enrichment programs and projects for the rural village area. It should be noted that 15 – 20% of the people in Union Parish are below the poverty rate, and many of the areas like Downsville are sparsely populated, with most retired locals or farmers residing there. That’s why it’s necessary to have the 501-C3, in conjunction with the city council, to help the municipality improve and set an example vis-a-vis the “Gateway to Green Living” goal and mantra. If you are unsure of what exactly a 501-C3 is, think of it as an entity that can accept donations and start projects, but it nonprofit in nature and completely nonpolitical.

The 501-C3 is called the “Downsville Area Enrichment Association,” and current projects include annexation of city limits from Ouachita and Lincoln parishes, Bryan Park’s development, and moving the Hester House.

The mission statement is simple, but encompassing the long-reaching goals of the 501-C3: To preserve, protect and restore our region’s cultural and natural resources, mindful of local environment, history and community aspirations that lead to a green, sustainable future.

Preservation, “green living,” and community development are major goals for the Downsville Area Enrichment Association.

Members of the 501-C3 include
Walter Ballard, president
Bill Bryan, vice-president
Cathy Butler, secretary
. . . and board members Mike Toft, Anne Ballard, and Reggie Skains. Shelby McDuff also sits in on meetings as a representative of AmeriCorps*VISTA, with the interests of the Bryan Park project in mind.

Goals for the 501-C3 include:

  • Develop/Design a website for marketing our green community (Summer 09)
  • Develop a Master Plan for the Village – La Tech Architecture (2009-10)
  • Write Grants for Hester Home, Bryan Park (2009-10)
  • Attend Green Conferences, Seminars, Workshops (2009-10)
  • Programs and Future/Current Projects include:
    (a) the Sports Complex, (b) Hester Historical Home/Museum, (c) Alternative Energy, (d) Bryan Park (of course!), (e) Green Building, (f) Community Center/P.O., (g) Hwy 151 Trail, (h) Recycling, and (i) the local School

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