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Welcome to Vibrant Village

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Vibrant Village. vi · brant vill · age. noun.

1. A town filled with creative, intellectual and economic vitality.

2. A place pulsating with life, vigor, or activity; a good place to live.

3. A lively on-line magazine of the same name: Vibrant Village.

Many of us dream of living in the perfect little town.

We long for a community where we feel safe to walk, ride our bikes, and maybe even leave our doors unlocked. The air's sweet to breathe. Crickets chirp us to sleep.

Our village is a charming place, filled with friendly people. There's a lively Main Street, with unique shops owned by local shop-keepers. Strolling from shop-to-shop or enjoying a favorite café is fun. Maybe there's a new art exhibit opening tonight.  We often run into friends and fall into easy conversation.

There, in our perfect small town, the neighbors are kind and friendly. We can count on them in times of trouble and share moments of pleasure. We know we'd do the same for them.

Something interesting is always going on in our town. There are poets and authors reading their work, plays, music, and events that fill our hunger for the arts. Some events are fund-raisers that we support to help others.

There are pretty natural places to exercise ourselves, our kids and our dogs. Walking, bike-riding, bird-watching, gardening, and volunteering may be part of our lives.

Other favorite activities are simple, community and home-based. Sharing a meal, taking part in a pot luck, hearing local musicians, attending a library lecture, playing scrabble or cards, watching DVDs together or having a far-ranging conversation beats the isolation of TV and video games.

Town flavor is spiced by its people

Artists, musicians and writers are tightly woven into the town's fabric. They're embraced and supported. And because our town is a joyful place, our joy spills over into welcoming people who come to visit, live or retire in our town. No one's a stranger here for long.

Frequently we can be found discussing and solving the town's—and indeed, the world's problems at a local coffee shop, pub or restaurant. Because we respect one another's opinions, even divergent political views can be expressed without the fur flying.

A Vibrant Village for each of us

Since some of us might have smallish budgets, finding a Vibrant Village that's affordable is important to us. We're hoping the real estate is reasonable to rent or buy, the property taxes aren't outrageous, and the utilities won't bankrupt us.

As far as weather, everyone's got their favorite clime. Some seek fireplaces and snowy winters good for snow-shoeing and ice-skating—while others dream of leaving icy sidewalks and slippery streets behind. Warm breezes and turquoise waters of the tropics draw many fans.

Others crave the clear water and pine shores of the Great Lakes. The crisp, dry air of the high desert proves popular with many. The tall-grassed expanses of the Midwest with endless sky and fleecy clouds have some plainly envious. For others, only four distinct seasons will do—even better if they're moderate. Who can fault the bright red and warm gold of Autumn leaves and warm summer nights perfect for porch-sitting?

Feeding our hungry minds — and our bank accounts

Because we like to keep our minds fully exercised, it would be great if there were a local college or university within hailing distance to feed our minds and spirits with classes, lectures and cultural performances.

A bustling economy with lots of well-paying jobs would be great, too, but we're realistic and know many small towns might not have these to offer. That's okay. We're creative and entrepreneurial. We just might want to launch or buy our own small town business. Or maybe we'll find out ahead of time what skills are needed and train to bring these with us.

Helping us find our personal Eden

But where is this perfect vibrant village? Where's the perfect place for us? And what are the hallmarks we can use to identify it?

Vibrant Village will serve as a helping hand.

Village Tours and Village Snapshots will take you to special towns we've identified as “Vibrant Villages.” Here you'll taste their flavor and maybe you'll decide to visit—or add them to your short list for a move.

Village Tales shares special characters, reflections and humor unique to small town life. Community explores sharing, making a difference and coming together in friendship and as a village.

Other sections will  explore Homegrown Heroes, pets, creativity, and more.

And we'll be bringing you the latest news and tidbits from small towns everywhere in Village News.

Count on us to dig deeper to let you know where innovation is taking place.

We're excited about New Urbanism projects, for example: the building of mixed-use compact, connected, friendly and walkable town centers.  A wise use of resources that's creating lively communities. And a great way to revive and re-use dying shopping malls.

Welcome!

We hope Vibrant Village helps you on your journey to find or visit your perfect small town. And, if you already live in a Vibrant Village, we hope you'll find some helpful information here on how to preserve, improve or present your special character to more people. Sharing of information is key.  Let us hear from you.

Thanks for stopping by. Life in small towns can be pretty special. We hope you find Vibrant Village filled with both information and inspiration.

So come sit down, kick off your shoes, have a cup of tea, and explore the world of Vibrant Village. There's one waiting just for you—a small town to live, love and cherish.

© 2010. Patricia Frank. All rights reserved.


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