MARS — The future of Mars awaits — or so says Mars borough.
The borough is searching for citizens to participate in a series of community workshop focus groups with Chatham University graduate students this month.
“We're not trying to pitch any one particular position,” said Mayor Gregg Hartung. “It's really to have a healthy conversation.”
Interested parties can participate in one of three workshops aimed at creating a vision for the borough. Hartung wants to encourage more “community ownership” by offering citizens a chance to talk about economic development, social development, infrastructure, transportation, housing, land use and zoning.
Hartung approached a class of Chatham graduate students to ask if they would be interested in helping the borough create a sustainable, engaging future. Hartung specifically challenged the class to produce a survey that would help citizens recognize what they want for — and from — Mars.
Each focus group will have the opportunity to complete the survey and participate in discussions about the community's strengths and weaknesses.
“(We want) to allow people to share and think about what they'd like to see in a small town,” Hartung said. “Why not ask the people?”
Workshops are free and open to the public. People are welcome to attend each session.
“However many we get, we'll be pleased,” Hartung said. “It's whatever people want to make it.”
The first workshop is from 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 9 at Penn Mar Plaza. The second is from 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 16 at Mars Public Library. The third is from 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 23 at Stick City Brewing Company.
Each session will have four to eight graduate students present.
Chatham students will also have a table Saturday at Mars Applefest.
Visit the borough website marsborough.com or Facebook page for more information about participating in a focus group.