GIRARD, Kan. — A non-profit organization is on a mission to revitalize the Girard downtown square.

They’re calling themselves the “Girard Main Street Group” and they have five points of focus: planning, organization, design, promotion, and economic vitality.

The plan encompasses the four blocks surrounding the Crawford County Courthouse and extends an additional block in each direction.

Established two years ago, they’re taking a cooperative approach involving the community to implement strategies combining the historical past with sound economic development strategies for the future.

The group formally introduced themselves to the community today (Friday) to share ideas and receive feedback about what to do with the three empty lots the group purchased.

“We felt like if we could go ahead and get Girard Main Street where it needed to be and start working on these three lots that are empty, that’s gonna just help bring in more economic development. It’ll bring in some more stability to the businesses that are already here and just grow from the inside out to the other businesses in Girard,” said Jessica Ripper, Girard Main Street Group, Executive Director.

The group has already had an impact on the square through grants to seven businesses totaling nearly $100,000.

Those grants went towards repairs to the interior and exterior (of the grant recipients).