Students voice expectations for the future of Warrenton

Emma Dixon, Photography Director

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Students who would like a voice in Warrenton’s development have an opportunity to participate in a project concerning the 25-year comprehensive plan. Students have been asked to voice their favorite things about Warrenton today, and what they would like to see in 25 years, to help the planning council. The town of Warrenton wants students’ input because they will be the adults in Warrenton 25 years from now.
Art department head Charlene Root strongly believes that all students should participate in this opportunity. She is offering a service hour for all NHS members who complete a project.
“I think it’s a fabulous idea to get input from students who will or may be the residents of Warrenton 25 years from now in 2040 [so they] can say, ‘I had a voice in how Warrenton has changed or grown,’” Root said. “The possibility that some of our students’ thoughtful responses will actually impact the planning council is monumental. After all, this is a ‘once-in-25-years’ opportunity.”
Student can create a pair of postcards; the first postcard is about the student’s favorite thing about Warrenton now, and the second postcard is about what he or she would like to see in Warrenton in 2040. Each 5×7 postcard must contain a brief written message on the back.Postcard submissions can incorporate photos, collages, or drawings. Alternatively, students can write a brief essay describing how he or she wants Warrenton to be in 25 years.
Denise Harris, who works for the Warrenton Planning and Community Development Department, believes that students should submit their input because they will be the community leaders of tomorrow.
“Since the comprehensive plan is a vision of the entire community, it is important for everyone to have input and a voice,” Harris said. “You live here, you go to school here, you have an opinion of what you value, what works, and what you would like to see different. In 2040, your generation will help hold the decision-making reins of Warrenton. Therefore, you should have input now. Like voting, participating in your community’s conversation about its future is an important responsibility.”
The comprehensive plan is a long-range, guiding document for the town of Warrenton that helps prepare the community for the future by examining how the town will look, feel, and function in 25 years. Town budgets and capital improvement plans are based on the goals and objectives stated in the comprehensive plan.
“The students of Warrenton will jumpstart the public engagement process for the greater community,” Harris said. “Through your participation, you become an ambassador for the comprehensive plan update. There is an opportunity to inform your family, teachers, and neighbors this process is taking place and encourage them to participate in upcoming surveys and meetings.”
Students who are participating must complete all projects by April 22 and submit their work to their teachers, who will forward it to Amy Acors, the social studies coordinator at the FCPS central office. The postcards and written submissions may be displayed on Main Street for people to enjoy. There is also a chance that some of the postcards will be turned into actual postcards and sold to the public.