In January 2022, we received a grant from the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation (AAACF) to engage the community in planning a project: “Historic Webster Village: The Hub for Healthy and Fulfilling Aging in a Rural Community.” We set about to collect data–survey data, focus group data, and interview data–to determine what people living in Webster Township believe is needed most to support such a Hub.
The data was analyzed to begin developing a 5-year plan for the WTHS Historic Webster Village. Many organizations (Community Coalition: Northfield Township Library, Whitmore Lake DDA; Kindred Spirits: local historical society leaders; Huron River Watershed: Chris Olsson; Webster Township Supervisor John Kingsley; Whitney Farmstead; Huron Valley Woodturners; Dexter Wellness Coalition; 5 Healthy Towns Foundation; Dexter Garden Club; 100 Women Who Care; Kaleidescope) are working with WTHS to support the development of this plan. The plan encompasses intergenerational involvement as well and to this end, several youth-oriented organizations (Dexter High School National Honor Society, FFA, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts) in Chelsea, Dexter, Saline, and other surrounding communities are involved in supporting activities and services to our aging residents.
We hosted a “Big Reveal Ice Cream Social” on June 26, 2022 to share our data with the community. Approximately 150 people attended to enjoy a performance by Mr. B and his boogie-woogie piano while enjoying ice cream sundaes. Attendees then stopped by our 7 historic buildings to learn what the data suggested we host in each one as well as on our village green. They also suggested additional ideas. We are well equipped to move forward into our third quarter of planning with these funds.
Meanwhile, we received several other grants for which we applied: $500 for a sign for our village and $5,000 for a 20′ x 40′ tent from the Dexter Wellness Coalition and 5 Healthy Towns Foundation; $10,000 from 100 Women Who Care to support program development for Year 1 of our strategic plan; $3,000 from the Kiwanis of Ann Arbor for purchasing a sound system.
We are tremendously thankful for the support the following organizations provided to the Webster Township Historical Society:
- Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation
- 5 Healthy Towns Foundation / Dexter Wellness Coalition
- 100 Women Who Care
- The Kiwanis of Ann Arbor