The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce and its partners have worked to shine the spotlight on Nacogdoches. The result is several major awards for the community. Here are recent examples:
100 Best Communities for Young People
In 2008 Nacogdoches County received the distinguished award of “100 Best Communities for Young People” by America’s Promise Alliance. The Alliance was founded by General Colin Powell and his wife, Alma, to improve the lives of children. The selection committee began with over 300 applications. America’s Promise looked at areas across the community that helped provide the Alliance’s Five Promises to young people. The Five Promises are: Caring Adults; Safe Places; A Healthy Start; Effective Education; and Opportunities to Help Others.
Nacogdoches County was selected as one of the 100 Best because of the community's multiple efforts to help its young people succeed and the way the county has involved youth in its decision making.
A prime example is the County Youth Board. This board helps county extension agents determine which programs to implement, reviews the educational impacts of programs, determines how to reach new youth audiences, and helps decide whether task forces or coalitions are needed to address priority issues.
The community is equally committed to ensuring its youth learn about the community while discovering different career options.
The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce and the City of Nacogdoches partner to organize the Leaders of Tomorrow (LOT) Crew. LOT takes eighth-graders on once-a-month full-day field trips into the community to learn about health care, higher education, manufacturing, natural resources, military and other career paths. The City of Nacogdoches Parks and Recreation Department provides staffing and coordination of the LOT program.
GO TEXAN Certified Retirement Community
Nacogdoches is one of the first three Go Texan Certified Retirement Communities.
The GO TEXAN Certified Retirement Community Program is a certification and promotion program provided by the Texas Department of Agriculture. To become a certified retirement community, Nacogdoches completed a rigorous application process including a retiree desirability assessment. Each application is reviewed and scored by an independent advisory committee comprised of volunteers who are experienced in various aspects of community and economic development.
The GO TEXAN stamp of approval ensures each certified community has demonstrated that it can meet the living, employment/volunteer, health, entertainment, education and safety needs of its citizens and visitors - all the things that make Texas a great place to retire. About four dozen Texas communities have achieved the certification.
Film Friendly Texas Community
A partnership of the City of Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce and the Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) created effective film guidelines that help speed permits and cuts through red tape.
Main Street Director Sarah O’Brien is designated as the point person for film location inquiries. The Chamber and CVB assist as needed.
“This means filmmakers and location scouts have a fast-track to locate shooting sites, get permits, find accommodations, service providers and answers to many questions,” said Bruce R. Partain, President/CEO of the Nacogdoches County Chamber.
Partain has worked as a location scout for several productions, and says every project is different. “But they all have this in common," he said, "they need answers and solutions quickly."
By creating city Film Guidelines, filmmakers are able to know policies on use of public properties, learn insurance requirements, secure location agreements, and have assistance on notifying property owners and tenants. “If there are fees or incentives, they’ll have information up front,” Partain said.
Heart and Stroke Healthy City
The Heart and Stroke Healthy City Recognition Program is based on proven interventions that have made a significant difference in increasing physical activity and better eating habits, as well as reducing tobacco use, and decreasing response time to heart attacks and strokes.
1. Cardiovascular disease and stroke ongoing public information campaigns are provided in the community.
2. Physical activity areas are designated, safe, accessible and promoted.
3. Healthy food options are accessible and promoted.
4. Public schools (grades K-8) comply with all legislated components of a coordinated school health program and daily physical activity and high schools offer an evidence-based health curriculum. Worksite wellness programs are available to the majority of employees.
5. A comprehensive tobacco control program is in place that includes a 100 % smoke free city smoking ordinance.
6. A plan is in place to reduce disparities in CVD and stroke.
7. Training programs are in place to improve the rate of bystander CPR and use of AEDs.
8. Defibrillators (Manual and/or Automated External) are available to first responders and the emergency system of care maintains a rapid response time for cardiac events.
9. Stroke is treated as a medical emergency in the community and appropriate acute stroke treatment protocols are in place.
10. Health Sites in the Community Promote Primary and Secondary Prevention of CVD and Stroke.
Healthy Nacogdoches Coalition
Mission: The Healthy Nacogdoches Coalition is a committed group of community advocates who facilitate positive change to improve the health of the Nacogdoches Community.
Vision: Members of the Nacogdoches Community will embrace a healthier lifestyle.
The Healthy Nacogdoches Coalition will work to meet the following objectives:
- Promote policies and environmental strategies that increase physical activity, promote nutrition, and decrease tobacco use in Nacogdoches.
- Achieve and maintain Heart and Stroke Healthy City Recognition from the Texas Council on CVD and Stroke.
- Support ongoing chronic disease prevention and health promotion programs.
Tree City USA
The Tree City USA program has been greening up cities and towns across America since 1976. It is a nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees.
To qualify as a Tree City USA community, Nacogdoches meets standards established by the Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters. Nacogdoches is committed to keeping four core standards of sound urban forestry management: maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day.