“Heart of Scottsville” aims to revitalize the downtown square

"Heart of Scottsville" organization works to preserve downtown Scottsville
Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 7:21 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The “Heart of Scottsville,” a nonprofit formed through Main Street America, has worked for over 20 years to create a hub for business owners and residents alike.

The nonprofit has planted trees, built sidewalks, and worked to restore and preserve many of the historic buildings that make up Scottsville’s downtown square.

“Twenty years ago, twenty-plus years ago, the downtown really needed some revitalization, and it looked completely different. It kind of looked like the crossroads in the middle of nowhere,” said Ada Beth Oliver, owner of Oliver Creative and design chair for Heart of Scottsville.

Scottsville Mayor and former director for Heart of Scottsville, David Burch, believes that through this program, the community can draw in more prospective business owners and their families.

“That’s what, I think, a lot of folks want, you know, is to have their families close but to have the opportunities to work, to worship here locally. And we’re getting there, that’s our goal, is to make it a place where you wanna come and live,” said Burch.

As a business owner and community leader, Oliver believes that through the city’s initiative to grow, a new generation of business owners can continue to make Scottsville their home.

“We’ve always been a place for small businesses to thrive,” said Oliver. “And I think what’s really cool and really special to be a part of is the next generation seeing that and wanting to have their business here.”

Along with restoration and beautification projects, Heart of Scottsville has organized community events to begin bringing families together on the square. Local nonprofits have partnered to put on events like First Friday Festivals, farmer’s markets, and concerts.

“It’s been really neat to see the nonprofits here actually come together and combine resources,” said Oliver. ”We have the Chamber of Commerce, the Heart of Scottsville, the Arts Council, and even the Train Depot organization that are just really deciding that it’s time to come together and combine our efforts into something amazing.”

Mayor Burch believes that the project is about more than just personal gain, but about leaving a legacy to be proud of for future generations.

“There are just so many people involved, and we have a mission to improve this community and make it the best place it can be,” said Burch. “A lot of the things that we’re doing, we won’t benefit personally, because it takes time as we move forward and build a foundation, and improve the foundation of what’s been laid here before.”