30 groups from the Stroudsburg and East Stroudsburg area get to interpret their hometown in a new way.

It's called "The Stroudsburg Area Map Room Project" and it's happening at East Stroudsburg University.

Each group's map will be part of a traveling exhibition.

The popular saying "follow your heart" is exactly what participants are tapping into to create their 10-by-10-foot map of the Stroudsburg/East Stroudsburg area. 

Art & Design Associate Professor David Mazure at East Stroudsburg University explains, "These aren’t navigational maps that you would use to get around the area. They’re for organizations to define who they are."

30 groups have been invited by East Stroudsburg University to be a part of "The Stroudsburg Area Map Room Project."

Mazure says, "Our first two pilot groups was the retired faculty of East Stroudsburg University, the Pocono Arts Council. We have a local running group. We just finished with JT Lambert Middle School’s seventh graders."

Mazure got the idea from visiting the Office of Creative Research in New York City who did the St. Louis Map Room Project and the results inspired him to do it here. Mazure received an over $7,000 grant from the university because the project fit with its strategic plan for community involvement. 

Mazure says, "I saw how it brought people together and how people got to see the area from different perspectives which really broadened their knowledge of the people they live, work and play with and that it really was the first step in teaching tolerance and an understanding of people."

The Monroe County Planning Commission is working on their map today and there’s a lot of green being painted in.

Open Space Coordinator Fallon Horan for the Monroe County Planning Commission says, "Our main focus was the parks and open spaces. There’s a lot of greenway planning going on within Stroud Region, there’s a lot of really neat connections emerging throughout the Stroud Greenway that we’re working on numerous projects with the municipalities at the moment so we really wanted to highlight that."

They're also highlighting historic features like the Dansbury Depot and services they care about.

Program Coordinator Lee Schuler of Monroe County Vector Control says, "We wanted to make some of the government buildings a focal point just because we are a government office so I started with the courthouse and we’re going to outline other municipal buildings."

Their map and the rest of the community groups, once completed, will all be put together in a traveling exhibit and interactive website.

Horan says, "It will be really interesting to see other people’s artist renditions of the areas that we very often make technical planning maps for."

In the meantime, you can track the progress and what groups are involved at stroudsburgmaproom.com.