Announcing Your 2022 Strongest Town Contest Final Four


The Elite Eight round of the Strongest Town contest featured some very hot races. Voting closed yesterday and after more than 5,300 votes were tallied, four communities have come through to the next bracket.

A huge thank you goes out to everyone who cast their votes, and, of course, to the towns and cities that competed in this year’s Elite Eight. It’s a great testament to the strength and resiliency of each of these communities to have moved this far through our annual tournament.

And so, here are your 2022 Strongest Town Contest Final Four:

  • Durango, CO, (60%) outlasted feisty White Salmon, WA, (40%) in the Western Showdown.

  • Norwood, OH, (58%) topped Taylor, TX, (42%) in the Small Town Smackdown.

  • Yellow Springs, OH, (51%) pulled the win out over Frankfort, KY, (49%) in a hard-fought Heartland Rumble.

  • Jasper, IN, (51%) was too much for a resurgent Champaign, IL, (49%) in the Midwest Mashup.

These four winning communities will return on Monday, March 28, when we post podcast interviews with a representative chosen by each town. The interviews will be hosted by our Program Director, Rachel Quednau, who also hosts our Bottom-Up Revolution podcast. Stay tuned to see who can rise to the Championship round from your 2022 Final Four, semi-final, head-to-head brackets, featuring:

  • Durango, CO vs. Norwood, OH,

  • Yellow Springs, OH vs. Jasper, IN

Durango is a tight-knit Colorado community featuring active transportation culture in the San Juan Mountain Range. This surprising mountain town will present a fascinating contrast to Norwood, an Ohio city of porches and parks, with a fine school district and a community that counts on amazing volunteer support and spirit to move it into the future.

In the other semi-final matchup, get to know Yellow Springs, which started an Uplift Yellow Springs program to support fellow citizens during the pandemic, built out its own broadband utility, and is known as a Bicycle Friendly Community and a Buckeye Trail Town. They’ll be up against another formidable Midwest powerhouse in Jasper, Indiana, which formed the Heart of Jasper, a diverse group of organizations that leverage existing assets, transform those in need, and instills new energy through creative programs and collaborative leadership with its solid Impact Jasper community investment plan.

We’ll post the semi-final podcasts and links to previous round entries on our site March 28. Check back to cast your votes and to choose the Championship Round of this year’s Strongest Town!

Here is where the full bracket stands now:

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