Over the last year, I’ve noticed some positive developments in the psychology of this town. Some interesting things are happening downtown. A Community Improvement Plan (CIP) is in the works for the downtown core. The excellent mywelland.com has taken off. The Black Lantern Experience, a group of artists about to celebrate their first anniversary, exhibits regularly. A civic-minded guerilla park has been established, and more is in the works. Like-minded citizens are connecting with each other and discussing paths out of the rut this town has been in for far too long. There’s no doubt Welland still suffers from classic rust belt decay, but some signs of hope appear to be emerging. Richey Piiparinen, Director of the Center for Population Dynamics at Cleveland State University, suggests a “healthier collective psychological state” is necessary in helping rust belt towns “let go of the past so there is more to ruin than fear and emptiness, but rather: resilience and opportunity.” If the people I’ve met over the past few months are any indication, this psychological shift just might be starting to happen in Welland.