BLACKFOOT – Last Friday, members of the Blackfoot Planning and Zoning commission selected the top 20 submissions from fourth-graders in the area with their pieces that answer the question, “What’s good for Blackfoot.”

Chairman Ron Ramirez was absent Friday due to personal issues that were unforeseen but expressed gratitude for the rest of the commission’s efforts to make time to select the finalists.

The art contest has been held as a way to see what the future generation of Blackfoot residents has in mind for what Blackfoot needs and what Blackfoot should move away from. The hope is that there may be some unique visions for Blackfoot that will be able to be included in the future visions of the town.

The P&Z commission first heard of the idea when Ramirez suggested it during a meeting earlier this year. He said he had heard of other areas trying the idea and the results of the contest helped shape their comprehensive plans as well as provided local officials some insight of what the younger generation sees as important and what they feel as unimportant. Both Rexburg and Sugar City had outstanding response from their communities and made steps toward the responses to incorporate them into their future planning.

The commission reached out to the elementary schools in Blackfoot to ask if the fourth grade classes would be interested in participating in the contest. Each of the schools expressed interest in participating, but had to have the dates moved back because of Idaho standardized testing schedules. Now that the selections have been made and the top 20 are on display, members of the community are invited to take part in the voting for their favorite pieces. Voting forms will be available at the Candy Jar and will allow people to choose the top five. The top five will receive a monetary award based on placing and the ideas will be brought into the discussion about the future view of Blackfoot.

All of the students, not just the top 20 and ultimately top five, who participated in the future visions of Blackfoot have been an integral part of a bigger process and should also be recognized for taking the time and putting forth effort to provide their view of Blackfoot’s future.

Voting will be accepted through May 15, and winners will be announced shortly after.

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