Mainspring of Ephrata works to grow economy and build community across all areas of the Ephrata Borough. We are an independent charitable organization that closely partners with the municipality to fulfill the objectives of the 2014 Comprehensive Plan and to improve the quality of life for the community through increased economic opportunity.
We take a multi-faceted approach to developing these opportunities that are a continual work in process. From the events that we coordinate, to the community spaces we help bring to fruition; to the preservation of our historic buildings, and the new opportunities we partner with local investors to create, the team is in a constant state of forward motion.
Our three core programs focus on Physical Development, Business Development and Community Events. To make strides in each of these areas, Mainspring focuses on the following five-year goals:
- Promote Ephrata as a recreation destination;
- Preserve our historic buildings and develop a vibrant downtown area; and,
- Create a safe, clean, and green downtown area.
Read about the goals that help us achieve our initiatives:
Promote Ephrata as a Recreation Destination
Ephrata Borough has over 322 acres dedicated to parks and recreation, earning the rank of the highest parkland per capita in Pennsylvania. The last decade has seen the addition of several area attractions that help to bring people to our area. Now, Mainspring is working with the municipality, residents, and conservation organizations to preserve the Ephrata Mountain by investigating the Mountain Springs Recreation Preserve. Mainspring is proud to have been involved in the development of the following recreational areas.
Mainspring works with local government and special interest groups to turn our public spaces into destinations that offer residents and visitors opportunities to connect with our picturesque resources.
Preservation & Increased Vibrancy
Our beautiful town offers deep sidewalks lined with remarkable buildings showcasing the history behind Ephrata. Mainspring works with property owners, businesses, and preservation organizations to ensure that items of architectural importance are protected and treated with the proper care for years to come.
We are working to make Ephrata a place where companies want to come to do business. Attracting and keeping a healthy mix of businesses from services to retail stores to restaurants, and beyond is core to establishing a vibrant downtown district. Simply installing a retail shop in an empty storefront does not yield the results we all want. We need to create the opportunities that will attract investors and businesses. The concept of ‘placemaking’ in community development capitalizes on a local community’s assets, inspiration, and potential. The intention is to create public spaces that improve vitality and promote people’s health, happiness, and well-being. Designing areas that businesses can use as a springboard to thrive is the key to both attracting businesses to invest and the individuals that will buy their goods and services that help them thrive.
Mainspring has established several committees that meet to specifically tackle these business-focused goals. Many of these teams are made up of business owners, allowing them to meet each other and form relationships over common goals that have lasting benefits for all.
- Established Economic Vitality Committee.
- Established the Business Recruitment and Retention Committee.
- Secured Façade improvement grant and established Committee to guide funds.
- Continued outreach to area businesses to forge stronger bonds and economic opportunities.
We’ve also expanded on our monthly “Party on the Plaza” to begin with First Saturdays that focus on Main Street businesses and allow them to capitalize on the increase in foot traffic.
Additionally, Mainspring works with government and private organizations to secure grants and resources that assist business and property owners in maintenance, business loans and mentorship.
A vibrant community is – at its core – a healthy, supportive, and resource-rich environment for all. It is a community that inclusively taps human, economic, and natural capital to thrive and grow together. With over 14 different events held throughout the year, Mainspring fosters a vibrant atmosphere by providing a myriad of ways for our residents and visitors to mix and mingle with local businesses helping to create community while showcasing our entrepreneurs.
Create a Safe, Clean and Green Downtown
Ephrata has great bones, footage of our scenic downtown is consistently featured in movies and TV shows. Keeping our downtown area safe is just another part of our mission. Mainspring is working to realize traffic calming measures while we work to increase lighting on side alleys to provide safe access to the abundance of public parking available off Main Street.
- Implement traffic calming and safety measures on Main Street;
- Turn public parking into a positive asset; and,
- Develop anchor buildings into mixed use housing.
If you are interested in helping Mainspring reach our goals, please let us know by signing up to volunteer for any of our many initiatives.