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Submitted by: JERRY ASHLEY, Lyons Main Street Program

Now halfway through the third year of operations, The Lyons Main Street Program has been designated as an accredited National Main Street Program for the second year in a row by meeting the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Trust Main Street Center. Each year the National Trust and its partners announce the list of accredited programs that have built strong revitalization organizations and demonstrate their ability in using the Main Street Four-Point Approach methodology for strengthening their local economy and protecting their historic buildings.

"We congratulate this year's nationally accredited Main Street programs for meeting established performance standards," says Doug Loescher, director of the National Trust Main Street Center. "Accredited Main Street programs are meeting the challenges of the recession head-on and are successfully using focused, comprehensive revitalization strategy to keep their communities vibrant."

The organizations' performance is annually evaluated by the Western Erie Canal Main Street Program which works in partnership with the National Trust Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet 10 performance standards. These standards set the benchmarks for measuring an individual Main Street program's application of the Main Street Four-Point Approach to commercial district revitalization.

Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as developing a mission, tracking economic progress, and preserving historic buildings. For more information on the national accreditation program, visit www.preservationnation.org/mainstreet/about-main-street/the-programs/national-programs.html.

In addition to the national accreditation, the Lyons Main Street Program will be a featured program in an upcoming national magazine article reflecting the partnerships that have been formed to celebrate fall harvest each year with the LMSP's "PumpkinPalooza!". Author Carola L. Hartley, Executive Director for the Bridgeton (New Jersey) Main Street Program, penned an article on building partnerships that features the partnerships the LMSP has groomed to bring all of Lyons' businesses and organizations together for a day of Lyons-only fundraising.

The story will be the lead article in the August/September issue of Main Street Now! and will bring national attention the efforts of the LMSP to demonstrate that community revitalization requires on-going partnerships and the volunteer efforts of many. Over 1,400 volunteer hours were logged by LMSP volunteers during the last calendar year completing projects that encompassed everything from community cleanups and weeding/planting to small business assistance, consultations and low-interest loan programs. 2010 estimates of the value of volunteer hours reflects amounts ranging from $21.36 per hour by independentsector.org to $28.04 by philanthropy.com or a value of $30-$39,000.00 in community investment last year alone.

For further information, please contact the LMSP at 315-871-4209 or http://www.lyonsmainstreetprogram.org/.


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