Within the last few years, citizens have been rallying to make Jasper a better place. Small business owners, educators, police officers, firefighters, medical personnel, religious leaders, artists, musicians, and a number of others have all contributed to the growth of Jasper in a unique way. Here are just a few reasons that our little town is being rejuvenated:
Main Street is a four-point business plan to bring revitalization to downtown areas. The four points include design, organization, promotion, and economic vitality. “This program is about the people defining who they are by revitalizing the downtown area and filling empty storefronts with businesses that are a good fit for the community,” says Mike Putman (above). Jasper is one of 16 cities in Alabama that are a part of the Main Street Program.
Missy Miles began working on this Revolutionary War mural on September 16th and completed the piece on October 8th. The mural is based off of a painting that hung in the White House, but includes changes (such as the flag, uniforms, cannons, ships) that are accurate to the time period.
Also, as you drive through downtown Jasper and pass by the corner of 19th Street and 3rd Avenue, don’t forget to check out the beautiful mural outside of Ken Guin’s law office. These murals help to amplify Jasper’s downtown beauty and uniqueness.
Happy Moon Studio (above): Happy Moon Studio is a petite working studio and retail gallery space located on the 2nd Floor of the Blanton Building in Historic Downtown Jasper. Happy Moon carries beautiful pieces of art as well as handmade jewelry from selected local artists. Visit the studio to peruse the little free library, to make your own projects, or to just learn more about art and wellness.
Art and Soul: Art and Soul is a brand new studio that carries an assortment of unique gifts created by local arts and craft vendors. Stop by and browse the booths or sign up for an art class. The studio offers a variety of classes, including paint parties for both adults and children, after school art classes, birthday parties, and private parties.
City of Jasper Animal Shelter (above): The City of Jasper Animal Shelter— located downtown—is a no-kill shelter. Over the last year, the shelter has made several improvements including newly constructed outdoor kennels, and has also received a grant for the spaying and neutering of their animals. The shelter treats and medicates dogs as needed, and starts all puppies on their shots as soon as they arrive at the shelter. The City of Jasper Animal Shelter has formed great relationships with rescue groups both in- and out-of-state, and has provided a great place for community members to adopt a furry friend.
12th Avenue Park: Jasper’s new 12th Avenue Park, which includes an off-leash P. A. W. (Pets Are Welcome) Dog Park, provides a place for citizens to safely exercise and socialize their pups. But the park isn’t just for dogs—it also includes a 1-mile run/walk trail, an advanced disc golf course, and fishing docks. The 12th Avenue Park is located on 12th Avenue, off of Walston Bridge Road.
This time next year, the NEW Walker High School will be opening its doors. If you haven’t had a chance to see inside this massive and architecturally beautiful facility, check out the newest edition of 78 Magazine, on shelves this week! Photo by Al Blanton
Walker Area Community Foundation is about building a community that works together. The foundation’s model is the very definition of synergy: the creation of a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. The Foundation is a collection of people’s hopes….their dreams…..and their aspirations to build a better society. Leaders of the Foundation realize they have the opportunity to influence lives and to shape the future of Walker County. Here are three ways WACF is doing just that:
Youth Leadership Walker County. The WACF partners with the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County and Bevill State to offer 40 high school juniors the opportunity to learn about their community through a series of active workshops on a variety of leadership topics.
Plan for Walker County. Community leaders and residents throughout Walker County have put together a plan for Walker County including priorities around Healthy Lifestyles, Recreation Opportunities, Building Our Workforce, Building Infrastructure, Vibrant Communities, Branding & Imaging and Collaboration & Implementation.
Bankhead House & Heritage Center. The Bankhead House & Heritage Center, owned and operated by the WACF, is a place where residents, artists, historians or tourists gather to experience a diverse range of exhibits and events. With a focus on art, history, plays, concerts and culture, the Heritage Center showcases our community’s many talents, history, and future. And the best part…it’s free to the public. Photo courtesy of WACF
Jasper’s Annual Foothills Festival is a free music festival held in Historic Downtown Jasper. The goal of the festival is to celebrate the Walker County community as well as its cultural heritage. National and local musicians perform, hundreds of vendors set up booths, many downtown shops and eateries are open, and locals can bring their kiddos to the free petting zoo and kids’ activities. Photo by Tyler Woods
The restaurant business has been a key factor in helping downtown flourish. Check out these unique eateries around Jasper: Black Rock (above)
New shops have been popping up all over town. From gifts to furniture to whimsical home décor, find the perfect item at one of these specialty shops: Elizabeth Garner Interiors (above)
In addition to specialty stores, new boutiques have opened over the last several years. Whether your style is simple and sophisticated or a little more unique, you’re sure to find the perfect addition to your wardrobe at one of these boutiques: Bare Bones Cargo (above)
These are all great reasons why Jasper is growing, but we’re not done yet. Hopefully, the citizens of Jasper will continue to work together to make our town the best it can be! 78
Photos by Blakeney Cox unless otherwise noted. Give us a like on Facebook!