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City and County Leaders Gather to Launch City's Future Plan

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Springfield and Greene County leaders are looking 20 years into the future. They kicked off a new vision for growth tonight at the Field Guide 2030 kickoff party. The Field Guide 2030 looks at community improvement goals.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. --  Springfield and Greene County leaders are looking 20 years into the future.  They kicked off a new vision for growth tonight.

It's called "The Field Guide 2030."  It's a strategic plan and vision that looks at community improvement goals.

The plan has taken around three years to build and has involved hundreds of people.  It was recently adopted by the Greene County Commission and Springfield City Council.  Now, city leaders are ready to move forward.

"The plan is pretty much complete," says City Manager Greg Burris.  "And now the real work begins."

City leaders are celebrating and preparing for the planning of Springfield's future.

"Really this takes Springfield to the next level," says Burris.  "If we are able to do what's in this plan, we become the next tier city."

"A lot of work has gone into this," says Field Guide 2030 Chair Mark McNay.  "And to have city council and county commission adopt the plan at the major goal level is a very significant step in the process"

The new 20 year vision for the city of Springfield focuses on social issues.  The guide is made up of 13 chapters with four themes including sustainability, civic engagement, regionalism and minimizing poverty.
 
"At the end of the day, it's about economic development and growth," says McNay.  "It's about finding a good environment and creating a good environment for our citizens to flourish."

The Field Guide 2030 looks into public health, public safety and diversity-- issues people throughout the community want to see improved.

"We already have a really good quality of life here," says Burris.  "There are a lot of people moving to this area, so we need to take the challenges head on and build on our strengths and that's what this plan does."

The 20 year vision is broken up into five year action plans.  City leaders are now ready to hit the ground running to make Springfield an even better place.

"We recognize that a vision could be very large and can change dramatically," says McNay.  "That's why we tied it down to a five year action plan and we hope to get together every five years and renew that vision and refine that vision."

Those involved with the project say the next step is to work on the public's engagement to help make sure this plan happens.  Those in charge of the plan will be creating a website where people can pick their passions to help make this happen.

During the kickoff tonight, Mayor Bob Stephens proclaimed February 6 "Mark McNay and Robin Melton Day."

46-year-old Robin Melton was a co-chair of Field Guide 2030.  She passed away in a plane crash north of Willard in September of 2012.

Melton was recognized as one of the Springfield Business Journal's 20 most influential women in business.  She was the owner of a local environmental consulting firm and was involved in many development projects in the area.
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