Courthouse photo by Anna Riback
                              Courthouse photo by Anna Riback

The League of Women Voters of Brown County is a nonpartisan cadre of local men and women committed to education and improvement of Brown County, State and National government.  Everyone is welcome to participate. 

Meetings are held at 10:00 am, the second Monday of every month, in the lower level of the Brown County Public Library.

Democracy is not 

a spectator sport!


Join LWVIN as we celebrate 95 years of public vitality!
September 26, 2015 at the historic Athenaeum Indianapolis.



JULY 23, 2015

On July 23, at 6:30 p.m. the Brown County League of Women Voters will sponsor a Community Conversation on Wellness and Heritage Tourism (and living!) in Brown County, to be held at the Brown County Public Library. Members of the panel will include Professor Chris Flook (focus on Indiana’s small towns), Jim Schultz (Peaceful Valley Heritage and Salt Creek Clean-up), Tom Tuley (Salt Creek Trail), Commissioner Diana Biddle, CVB Director Jane Ellis, Arts and Entertainment Chair Cathy Martin, Lee Edgren (Winter Wellness), and Andrea De Tarnowsky, T.C. Steele Historic Site. 


Several League members had been involved in the 2008 Vision 2020 discussion, on the Health and Wellness, the Environment, Community and Economic Development, and Arts and History Focus Groups. In the Fall of 2011, the League sponsored three Vision 2020 Community Conversations on Wellness and Heritage Tourism. They focused on Brown County's many natural assets: the State Park, Hoosier Forest, lakes and forested areas with trails, waterways and outdoor adventure, and  its cultural and historic assets: the T.C. Steele historic site, Nashville with 70 historic sites, artist galleries and studios, stores with arts and crafts, and more. An outcome of these has been the Inventory of Brown County Assets: Natural Cultural, Historic, which was presented to the community in 2013. 


It is now time to evaluate what has been accomplished in the County by all its residents and what more we want to do that has been laid out in Vision 2020.  We also seek to “check back” with the community to ensure there is general agreement that this reflects the overall vision. 


The National Trust for Historic Preservation defines “heritage tourism” as traveling to experience the places, artifacts, and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present. It includes visitation to cultural, historic, and natural resources.  “Wellness tourism” is defined as travel for the purpose of promoting well-being through physical or spiritual activities, seeking discovery, fulfillment and transformation through positive engagement with people, culture and nature.  


Planning for integrated wellness and heritage tourism development includes identifying local or regional points of interest, developing or organizing those points of interest for visitation, ensuring that local government supports a legal and regulatory framework, and developing promotional and informational materials and guides for distribution to travelers and tourists through a variety of marketing methods, that reaches an array of audiences of all ages and demographics.


Most important is an integrated development approach, that optimizes all Brown County has to offer tourists in these areas, and also benefits those who live here full- or part-time.  It needs to do so not only by preserving, protecting and enhancing our wellness and heritage assets, but by showcasing these in a way to maximize revenues and new potential for local entrepreneurship.


A non-exhaustive list of Community Accomplishments since 2010: 


• Brown County History Center

• Salt Creek Trail (Phase I)

• Access Brown County 

• ADA Studies and County Plan

• ADA Studies and County Plan
• Indiana Arts and Entertainment District Designation
• Home Repair Grants (2)
• Community Volunteer Network
• Mountain Bike Trails
• EMA-EMS Building
• Brown County Playhouse (Reopening)

• Howard F. Hughes Community Center


Background:  How is Brown County perceived today? What changes or improvements do we want in Brown County for the future? How can Brown County efficiently and effectively prepare to meet the future?  As Brown County’s Vision 2010 was winding down, these were the questions that catalyzed a Needs Assessment and new visioning project for 2020 called "Brown County 2020: A Vision for the Future."  This document does not so much lay out a specific action plan, as set forth the guiding values of the community with ideas of how these might be reflected and implemented.  The underlying vision of V-2020, grounded in community input and many meetings of interested parties and stakeholders, informed a newer initiative in 2013, titled "Leading Brown County."   This latter document, to be read in conjunction with Vision 2020, was designed to assist leaders to identify and capitalize on strategic opportunities. We urge all interested parties to consult both "Vision 2020" and "Leading Brown County," available on the website of the Brown County Community Foundation – under Resources.

2020 Leading Brown County FINAL10-28-14


COMMUNITY CONVERSATION AUGUST 13 6:30 p.m. at the library
Revisiting Vision 2020

Brown County State Park Then and Now-Vistas, Trails and Historic Structures, Historic District, Mountain Biking, Deer Run, Salt Creek Trail, Nashville, Tourism as Economic Development tool and Bicentennial project.

September 24, 2015
Arts and Music
More information to come

Brown County League of Women Voters,
Aug 17, 2014, 8:12 PM