Envision Madison was a two-year project sponsored by Madison Economic Partners, Inc. Envision Madison was headed by a citizen based Executive Committee and had the partnership of the Idaho Transportation Department, the City of Rexburg, the City of Sugar City, Madison County, and Brigham Young University-Idaho. Over the course of the “visioning” process over 1,500 Madison County residents participated in events, workshops and online surveys.


The foundation they laid reflected the values they thought important: community, family, and education. It would be a place of gathering where their children and grandchildren could live, work, and raise families. We are the beneficiaries of their vision. In Envision Madison, we lay the same kind of groundwork for those who come after us.

Madison County is a rural county in Eastern Idaho that includes Rexburg, Sugar City, and other communities. Residents of this area face unique challenges as a rural community with a large and growing university: Brigham Young University–Idaho. The community relies, for much of its economy and sense of identity, on the University, and the University,
in turn, relies on the community to provide housing, employees, services, and quality of life.

Traditionally Madison County has been an agricultural community; today, our community is growing and changing as the University grows and  changes. Over the last decade Madison County has experienced  unprecedented growth, which has brought opportunities and challenges that were not Introduction dreamed of fifteen years ago. These  opportunities require us to ask some hard questions, questions that will affect the way our area develops for the next 50 years. How can the  community and BYU–Idaho best work together to accommodate student, faculty, and staff housing needs and create a vibrant community that everyone can enjoy? How can the area develop the jobs that will allow young people to stay in the community long term? What recreational opportunities will we create or enhance to improve our community and increase tourism? These are among the questions Madison County’s visioning process  explored as residents and their leaders worked together toward a vision for the future. Envision Madison is a community driven effort which helped identify and develop a vision for the future of Madison County.

The goal of Envision Madison was to bring the community together in a process that explored potential decisions to shape future growth. The process allowed community leaders to understand which planning strategies resonate with residents and stakeholders. These strategies served as the basis for a vision. The vision acts as a voluntary framework for the university–community relationship; to support planning how we grow our
cities, towns, and rural areas; for how we foster economic development; and for how we develop transportation in the community.