What is the aim of having a Junior DDA?
The aim of the Junior DDA is to foster community involvement among high school students. The program offers students the opportunity to participate in community projects located in downtown Wayland, thereby instilling a sense of ownership, place, and accomplishment.
What are the parameters of the Junior DDA?
The program is primarily limited by the students' creativity and imagination. They can opt for fundraising, soliciting sponsorships, applying for grants, working in pre-approved areas, creating innovative technology, among other such activities. However, all projects must gain approval from the DDA board before implementation.
Who comprises the Junior DDA?
The Junior DDA comprises of the LOC (Leaders of the Community) program at Wayland Union High School students who will spearhead the decision-making and development of all projects. Students are encouraged to seek opinions and ideas from the student body and can recruit volunteers to execute their projects. The Director of Main Street Wayland DDA will be present at all times and can provide guidance and support for the students.
In 2022, the Junior DDA program was initiated. As part of their first project, the students explored downtown Wayland and identified enhancements to the mini-park to increase its appeal. Some of the additions included a firepit, chairs, hammock poles, and string lights on the trees. The TAG grant, sourced through Allegan County Community Foundation, provided funding for this project.
In the second year of the program, drawing inspiration from their summer travels, the students decided to create an Art Alley in one of Wayland's alleyways. They installed outdoor art cases and lighting, designed for exhibitions by both artists and residents. Additionally, the TAG grant provided funding for this year's project through Allegan County Community Foundation.