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Community Impressions


The Community Impressions Program

Community Impressions helps communities learn about their strengths and weaknesses through the eyes of the first-time visitor. The results from a Community Impressions visit might lead to community action immediately and in the future.

Volunteers from two similar communities agree to do unannounced visits and then report on their findings. Participants become “secret shoppers” for the day to discover what they can about their partner community. They follow common procedures and document their visit.

These fresh perspectives can make people see things in their community they might not see themselves.These can lead to simple changes that will make big impacts in the community.

Communities often have difficulties viewing their surroundings as others (customers, visitors, potential residents and businesses) see them. Our views are skewed by over-familiarization, a lack of differing perspectives and expectations, and a reluctance to be completely honest with our neighbors when dealing with difficult issues, such as the appearance of buildings, customer service, and maintenance of public facilities.

To learn more about Community Impressions, contact Jodi Bruns at 701-210-0445

Community Impressions in Hankinson, ND (Wahpeton Daily News)

Ignite: Community Impressions Program - YouTube Video (5.26 min.)

NDSU Extension's Community Impressions program is based on the University of Wisconsin-Extension First Impressions program.