A Lansing State Journal article from last week (July 1st edition) details the exodus of residents who are leaving the Mid-Michigan area. The article contains a list of population trends from census data from 2000 to 2008 that shows significant percentages of people are leaving Lansing and other nearby communities. The most surprising to me is the number of individuals that left the City of DeWitt (273). This translates into a 5.8% loss of population for a community that was selected as one of the best places to live in America by CNN/Money Magazine in 2005. Much of this loss of population can be attributed to the sour economy that Michigan has been experiencing for the last decade or so. However this does not excuse the citizens of DeWitt and other mid-Michigan communities to become complacent. The City of DeWitt is blessed with outstanding schools, strong neighborhoods, parks, quality downtown businesses, and a very low crime rate. These are all part of the appeal of DeWitt as a great place to live and raise a family. Many of these qualities evolved over time and were byproducts of hard work, good governance, and excellent timing. There is NO guarantee this fortune will last in the not-too-distant-future. We cannot assume the City of DeWitt will always have these tremendous assets unless we (all community members) do what we can - no matter how modest -in promoting it as a viable place for people to live, work, and play.
Members of the DeWitt Creativity Group (with some help from Loretta Spinrad) are attending Michigan Makes Movies Expo in Novi, Michigan on July 12th. Loretta, a local realtor, was generous enough to supply the DCG with nice brochures that highlight attractions of the DeWitt area for families/businesses looking to relocate. The DCG will use the brochures to convince film production companies to consider the DeWitt area as a prime location for shooting movie/television scenes. Our efforts at networking with film production companies may at least make some of them consider the DeWitt area as a potential location for future productions. This is a fairly modest effort to try to stem the loss of population but it will help to promote the community as one that is forward thinking and trying to take advantage of the recent flurry of film production that is currently taking place in other parts of Michigan. We are also hopeful students will make quality contacts that may translate into job shadowing and/or employment opportunities.