Monticello Community Catalyst

Monticello Strategic Doing Workshop

Do you want to continue to be directly involved in shaping the future of Monticello and in moving the needle on the ideas and projects outlined in the Monticello Community Survey results? Join us at the upcoming Monticello Community Catalyst Strategic Doing workshop on Monday, March 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Sadie Johnson Community Center! Check in and breakfast will be from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. with the workshop beginning promptly at 9 a.m. Lunch will be provided.

During the workshop, citizens of Monticello will utilize the Strategic Doing process to develop immediate, impactful small wins and goals to create transformation in their community.

Follow this link to RSVP for the Monticello Strategic Doing Workshop!

Monticello Community Catalyst Community Information Video

Want to learn more about the Community Catalyst program and the Strategic Doing workshop? Watch the recording of our public information meeting with CCED Director Shelby Fiegel!

 Click here to view the recording.

What is the Community Catalyst program?

Monticello has been selected as one of five communities in Arkansas to be a part of the Community Catalyst program which is assisting five Arkansas communities in Entergy’s service territory with grassroots citizen engagement and technical assistance training to develop small, actionable community and economic development goals and to serve as a catalyst for longer-term economic development engagements and priorities.

This program is facilitated by our team at the UCA Center for Community and Economic Development in partnership with Entergy Arkansas and the Stennis Institute at Mississippi State University.

This program involves engaging the community at a citizen level to understand the needs and goals of the community and how to achieve those goals through citizen-led community development efforts. Monticello has already completed their community survey and will be hosting a workshop utilizing the Strategic Doing process to put the priorities lined out in the survey into action. Strategic Doing enables people to form collaborations quickly, guide them toward measurable outcomes and make adjustments along the way. Strategic Doing enables leaders to design and guide new networks that generate innovative solutions. In Monticello, this process will be utilized to create citizen-led community development efforts based on the results of the community survey (outlined below).

Monticello Community Survey Results

Monticello received 525 responses to the community survey which represents roughly 5.6% of the Monticello community. The survey received responses with diverse representation of ages, employment status, employment industry, and included folks in Monticello city limits (53.4%), outside of Monticello city limits and within Drew County (34.8%), and both outside of Monticello city limits and outside of Drew County (11.9%).

The survey collected information about the community and asked key questions that will help shape the future of Monticello including the community’s personality, community focus areas, and specific projects that the citizens of Monticello think need to be addressed.

As a part of the Monticello Community Survey, citizens were asked “Which words best describe the personality of your community?” This question revealed how internal stakeholders at the local level perceive the city of Monticello. The top words used to describe Monticello included: Small Town, Traditional, Rural Living, Family Oriented, Hunting/Fishing, Friendly, Down Home, Laid Back, and Stable.

The next part of the Monticello Community Survey asked citizens about the most important focus areas for the future of Monticello. A clear top six focus areas emerged from the data that included: (1) Job Creation, (2) Education and Workforce Development, (3) Healthcare, (4) Youth and Family Activities and Services, (5) Downtown Development, and (6) Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development. These focus areas will be crucial to the development of new initiatives through the Strategic Doing workshop.

While the identification of the most important focus areas for Monticello to capitalize on for the future will provide a clear direction for the community, citizens were also asked to share specific projects they want to see completed. The survey received 393 open responses that were categorized and grouped to form the projects and opportunities below. The top five projects and opportunities citizens shared included:

  1. Attracting Business and Industry: Respondents voiced a desire for more industry and retail businesses in hopes of bringing more jobs. Respondents also mentioned a desire for a better variety of restaurants and stronger support of existing small businesses.
  2. Youth and Family Activities: There was an expressed need for more kid friendly activities including the ideas of an arcade, minigolf, festivals, and a community theater. 
  3. Bike and Walking Trails: Respondents mentioned bike and walking trails to encourage exercising. Trails would also be another activity for children and families to participate in.
  4. Lake Monticello: Respondents shared the need to restore Lake Monticello. The lake could be a great place for outdoor recreation and contribute to the beautification of the town as well.
  5. Community Center: Respondents mentioned a need for a community center for community education and recreation. Mentioned potential for an indoor basketball court and pool.

Monticello Community Reports

Monticello Walk Audit

A walk audit was conducted in downtown Monticello in partnership with Dave Roberts of Crafton Tull on June 3, 2021. A walk audit assesses a specific area in the community to consider place-making concepts and solutions for circulation (vehicular, pedestrian and bike), parking, universal access, low impact development concepts, way-finding, beautification and community character improvement. Before the audit, Monticello community leaders attended a virtual meeting with Dave Roberts to discuss the plans for the audit and to go over basic placemaking and infrastructure concepts that would be a part of the audit. 

There were 10 community members that were a part of the walk audit in Monticello and the audit culminated in a report to be used for creating priorities and for strategic planning efforts. You can find the Monticello Walk Audit report here.

CDI 2021 Monticello Advanced Year Report

The CDI 2021 Advanced Year traveled to Monticello, AR to work directly with community leaders to develop a high-level assessment of the community. The Advanced Year conducted online research, interviews with community leaders, an online focus group, a driving tour, and informal interviews with residents during the week of CDI 2021 (August 2-6, 2021).

Through their work, they shared a community presentation that outlined key opportunities and the city was provided with a report that they can utilize in future planning efforts.

You can review the 2021 Monticello Advanced Year Report here.


If you have any questions about the Community Catalyst program please reach out to Shelby Fiegel at

Click here to learn more about the Community Catalyst program.