Stanton Placemaking Action Plan

Stanton is a community on the rise. Since 2010, the community has collectively completed over $39 million in enhancements. Financially supported by both public and private partners and driven by visionary leadership and engaged residents, Stanton is poised to continue on its path to becoming a choice community for both businesses and residents.

Stanton’s businesses and 637 residents enjoy the community’s small town charm and safety as well as the community’s proximity to amenities found in Omaha, just an hour away. Still, for the community to truly flourish, it must offer its own amenities that will attract and retain people and jobs. By embarking on this placemaking effort, Stanton is taking the first step in doing just that.

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Community Visioning

Public input is the foundation of every community development strategy or action plan. For many communities, this means holding an open house or two and being happy if twenty residents show up. Stanton, though, falls on the other end of the spectrum. During the visioning session, a staggering 175 residents shared their hopes and dreams – ideas big and small – for the community’s future.

Housing is an overarching concern for many community members. The existing housing stock is older, and there are not many choices when it comes to the kinds of housing available. Residents said the community needs a mix of apartments with modern amenities, more ranch-style homes, and ADA-accessible homes.

Residents want to see a mix of amenities for people of all ages. They’d like to strengthen the connection to Viking Lake and to Red Oak with a trail. Residents also mentioned a swimming pool, splash pad, trampoline park, tennis courts, and a disc golf course.

Additionally, people want to access the arts in their community. This could be through concerts in the park, dance lessons, painting classes, or public art. Residents also expressed the desire to expand the downtown architecture throughout the community.

Stanton residents noted the need for before and after school programming beyond what the Viking Center offers. Community members want to see opportunities for adult education, for expanded science, engineering, math, and technology (STEM) offerings at the school, and for training in the skilled trades. In the same vein, residents pondered how to attract entrepreneurs and noted the need for entertainment opportunities in the community. Residents believe that the community’s location gives area businesses ready access to larger markets but feel that it is tough to recruit new talent to Stanton.

A complete summary of the visioning session can be found in Appendix A. Additional community input can be found in Appendix B and Appendix C.

Action Plan Description

A quantitative and qualitative data review guided the process of paring back the community’s dozens of potential projects to a manageable number from which to start. At this time, capacity assessments were conducted for each of the projects, ultimately leading to seven placemaking projects that have the potential to ripple through Stanton for years to come.