31 May 2011

pocket park.

As a part of Community Pride Day on Monday, May 23rd, Darcy Dahna's Landscaping class along with the amazing efforts of Joann Kaiser (who helped collect all the donations to make this happen) created a pocket park in an empty space on our downtown Square.  A few years ago, the building that used to occupy the space burned down and the space has been just that ever since...a blank space needing much attention.

I couldn't be more happy and proud of the outcome!  It is just what needed to happen in that spot--a little attention paid.

I'd have to admit since the pocket park appeared I have heard concerns about what would happen if someone were to ruin it, but we can't let ideas like that stop us from creating great neighborhood spaces.  We must do it anyway.  When we live in fear, we do not live at all.  So live on Windom!  Keep moving forward despite the "what ifs."

Thank you to those who donated and were so thoughtful in making this pocket park happen and making Community Pride Day a success:

Jill at Pamida

Steve/Mike at Schwalbach's Ace Hardware

Mary at Runnings

Jeri Maras

Geri Burmeister at Windom Area Hospital

Angie and Scott Zamzow

Lori Collin

Dave Derickson at Split Rock Landscape

Darcy Dahna's Landscaping class

Tracy Schramel

Amanda Hunter
Gary Vanderwerf

Rachel and Jim Axford and 8 girls who pulled trees with their bear hands!!

Dave Bucklin at CC Soil and Water

City of Windom

Jesse Kolander

Craig Zimmerman

Duane Kaiser

25 May 2011

rural learning.

The Rural Learning Center and their blog, Reimagine Rural, have been a huge inspiration for me in the last few months.  This place is incredible and gives me hope for the future of rural and the future of Windom.  As you know I have been writing since last summer and doing much research about community revitiatilization and Reimagine Rural talks about all the things I think about for Windom between its potential and capabilities.  Anyway, I couldn't be more humbled when they asked me to submit a guest post.  What an awesome opportunity!  Thank you Mike at the Rural Learning Center--you are an inspiration for me and Windom.

Check it out: http://reimaginerural.com/

23 May 2011

happy community pride day!

So of all the awesome things Finding Windom has been a part of Community Pride Day was my absolute favorite!  The day was amazing.  The weather was perfect for a morning of community clean up and the afternoon exhibitors out did themselves.  The younger kids were beaming with excitement getting to climb on and sit inside firetrucks, dump trucks, street sweepers, snow plows, ambulances, the list goes on.  And our indoor exhibits by local groups and organizations were a delightful surprise of games, infomation and fun souvenirs.  And the older kids were pleasantly surprised to find out community service is not only easy, but neccessary for our community to thrive. 

I can't find the right words to completely explain how wonderful the day was.  The purpose of the day was accomplished.

I also can't tell you how grateful I am for all the support of the community in order to make this day a success.  I hope it becomes an annual event.  Thank you, thank you, to all those people who helped make this day, Community Pride Day 2011, a day to remember in Windom's school's history!

17 May 2011

sounds silly, but true.

Community Pride Day is quickly approaching!  I'm looking forward to it.

I can't express how important it is for our community to promote business and opportunity to our future, our students.  This is why I couldn't be more excited about Community Pride Day. We need to throw away this idea that our students have to leave our wonderful city in order to be successful.  And when these students do decide to stay in Windom or come back to Windom, we must embrace them, not question their decisions.

Here is an article someone shared with me, and I want to share it with you.  It sounds a lot like the purpose of Community Pride Day.  Pretty cool if you ask me. 


12 May 2011

hello, friend.

I know, it's been awhile since my last post.  I feel like I've been neglecting friends, and I don't like to neglect good friends. I'd have to say I don't like going this long without filling you in on anything.  Let me tell you that just because I haven't posted in a few days, doesn't mean I took these days off from my commitment to make my community a better place.  In fact, it is the exact opposite.  My time has been limited and I've been absolutely exhausted from all the great stuff going on right now. And this nice weather always creates a bigger to-do list, right?  I know, excuses, excuses.  I'll try not to let it happen again, and don't get me wrong I'm not complaining because this is fun stuff we are talking about here...

So let me fill you in:

Community Pride Day is coming on May 23rd.  I can't wait to tell you about how the day went because it is going to be great!  Thanks to all those people who have helped plan and prepare for this awesome event.  And also a thanks to all those who are participating!  I hope it becomes an annual event.

www.findingwindom.com is in progress and will be launched in the very near future.  Great news!

I'm starting the process, today, with the City to gather ideas to strategically plan some achievable goals for the city.

The Little City That Would campaign is continuing with much help from Citizen Publishing.  Hopefully you are starting to see a pleathora of The Little City That Would logos around town.

So much fun stuff to do, so little time! 

Finding Windom together,

05 May 2011

your heart and your head shouldn't be so far apart.

I've had two nights of strategic planning meetings for the community of Windom this week.  I couldn't be more excited that Windom is taking action to start moving forward.  One of the nights this week was with the city council and one night was with MIRC (MN Intelligient Rural Communities).  Two seperate nights, two seperate ideas, but both ideas must fit and work together. 

While my excitement for the planning stages is geniune. I'll have to admit, I'm nervous the goals to enhanceWindom's quality of life will be too big, excitement will dwindle, become too overwhelming and too costly for action to take place.  We can't let that happen!  While it is always good to dream big, we have to remember that small pieces to a puzzle, when put together correctly, create a bigger and lovely picture. 

And community development efforts should never cease.  Our job is never done.  We should never dust our hands and say, "this is good enough, we are done now." It must keep evolving and progressing.

So, as Finding Windom helps the the city council start collecting ideas to create concrete goals for Windom's future, we must all keep in mind, small is big and big is doable with small steps.  We will have to prioritize, while thinking about the past, present and future.  It won't be easy, but that is what makes it worth it.  Windom is worth it-our home and community is worth it.

How is it said? And I can't remember who said it, but it is something like this: it is a wise man who plants a tree whose shade he knows he will never sit under. 

Okay, end of pep talk. 

Wait, one more thing: I'm really looking forward to getting my hands dirty to bring these "strategic plans" into the most important part of it all--ACTION.  Actually, I liked what Karl (MIRC man- for lack of a better definition) said at the MIRC meeting, "Everybody would talk about fishing, but nobody would take you fishing."  I think it's a good time to start fishing people.

Speaking of fishing (okay this really doesn't have anything to do with fishing, it was just a good transition), we are looking for plants, benches, large pots, potting soil and rock to landscape a "pocket park" in the empty, sad lot between the Connection and Lily's Nails on the west side of our downtown Square.  Darcy Dahna's high school landscaping class is helping to landscape the lot or soon to be pocket park with donated materials on Community Pride Day on Monday, May 23rd.  How great would it be to have a spot to sit, relax, and enjoy beautiful downtown Windom?  Any donations of materials would be greatly appreciated!

Okay, now its the end of my pep talk.

02 May 2011

seems like a crazy idea.

This is an article regarding Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities intiative to get rural communities to fully embrace the internet.  In case you didn't already know, Windom is a community receiving lovely benefits from the MIRC initiative. 

Seems crazy that people still think they don't need to embrace the wonderful world of broadband.  It also seems crazy people used to be able to smoke on an aircraft too. I know, it isn't compariable, I just had to go down memory lane...

Take a look, it's an interesting read...