Willmar Design Center Becomes First Accredited Main Street Program in Minnesota

Beverly and Carol Accept Accreditation Certificate at Preservation Awards Gala, 2013

Beverly Dougherty and Carol Laumer of the Willmar Design Center accept WDC’s accreditation certificate at PAM’s Preservation Awards Gala, 2013.

The Willmar Design Center (WDC) is the first nationally accredited Main Street program in Minnesota. WDC achieved this by meeting all 11 accreditation standards which measures not only if a program is active in Main Street’s Four Points (Design, Economic Restructuring, Promotion, and Organization) but how well a program manages itself, its overall health, effectiveness in the community, management of resources, and planning for the future. Accredited programs continue to evolve organizationally to meet new challenges. Recognized cities may use this title in marketing their community. Minnesota Main Street currently has five Designated Main Street Programs.

Accreditation eligibility is evaluated each year by a team of statewide downtown revitalization leaders from Minnesota Main Street. All eleven standards must be met in the evaluation year in order to be accredited.

Designation vs. Accreditation

While state coordinating programs like Minnesota Main Street “designate” which commercial district revitalization programs are eligible to be considered Main Street® programs, the National Trust Main Street Center determines which of those programs meet the higher standards of accreditation. Main Street programs meeting these standards are proven to accomplish more for their districts, have increased program longevity, and have achieved an overall standard of excellence.

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