In late February 2018, I will begin serving as the new Colorado Main Street Architect. The Colorado Main Street Program is housed in the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), Division of Local Government (DLG) and rests at the absolute heart of DOLA’s goal to “Strengthen Colorado Communities.”
Having grown up in a small town in Oklahoma, improving the quality of life in rural communities is something I care about deeply. My love for rural community development really blossomed during my 6 years with the Oklahoma Main Street Program.
Since its kick-start in 2011, the Colorado Main Street Program has been providing high-quality, state-wide support to their 19 Main Street America™ communities, while also providing outreach to other "Affiliate" towns considering the Main Street Approach.
There is incredible potential for the future of the Colorado program. My recent experience with Oklahoma Main Street is a major asset, as I am now primed to consider alternative angles to lead Main Street regeneration at the state-wide level.
Mountains of Opportunity
Those of you that know me understand how much I love the mountains. Although I first began rock-climbing at Robber's Cave State Park, located outside Wilburton, OK, in high school, I really caught the bug while working at Cheley Colorado Camps in Estes Park during college.
Since then, occasional trips into the high peaks to fish, hike or climb have provided a balance in my life, helping me find reverence and inner strength. Now a father, my love of wild places is a fundamentally important part of life that I want to share with my children, and now I can.
My wife loves the outdoors too. She and I have been planning to move our family to the Denver/Golden area for the past couple of years. Initially, we were going to wait until I vested in my retirement with the State of Oklahoma, but when the opportunity to transition to Colorado Main Street appeared, we knew the time was present. Actually, since a family vacation to Golden last summer, we had already been hunting homes and found one before the position was announced. I call it providence.
I have a lot of confidence that great things await in the Centennial State. I can say with absolute certainty that this move is an answer to prayer for my family. We will miss so much about Oklahoma, especially our friends and family. I will personally miss the Main Street towns and wonderful people that make them great, but I know that Main Street is a nationwide movement and that our paths are all intertwined.
On the other hand, I am excited by the opportunity to serve the Mainstreeters of Colorado. I have the conviction that I will again find a deeper paradigm in my work and build a strong connection to the people across the state of Colorado.
I hope you will take a minute to visit the Colorado Main Street Program's webpage and learn more about the communities and resources available. There is a lot of joy in my heart for the future!
Our Common Journey
Thanks for reading! I hope that you will take a moment to subscribe to the blog. I write (almost) weekly, posting most Thursdays. I can promise adventure and to be responsive to your questions and ideas.
What is Green Heart Town all about? Simply put, it is a real place (inside of each one of us) where we can ponder the idea of renewal as something we each influence in our homes, neighborhoods, and downtowns. By being a little smarter with our resources today, we can all live our lives to the fullest and pass along a legacy to future generations.
Moving Main Streets
Next week, the Lucas family will officially be Coloradans. Although I plan to get back into some of the topics from before the holiday break, I look forward to writing you about everything great that lies ahead.
In this new chapter, I expect to find a lot of rich insights about the land, the people, and myself as I transition from one state program to another. I hope you will subscribe to Green Heart Town and then join along in our community to challenge yourself (& the rest of us) to live our lives to the fullest by leaving things a little better than before.