Top 3 Vibrant Communities | June 15-19
June 19, 2015 by Blandin Foundation
To lift up local community leadership in rural Minnesota, every Friday Blandin Foundation will post the Top 3 Vibrant Communities based on timely news coverage and reader submissions.
- Bigfork: In rural communities, personal safety is oftentimes cited as a key benefit, but it is also something that can be taken for granted. So when the Bigfork Volunteer Fire Department needed to update their “Jaws of Life” equipment to better serve accident victims, they never expected the outpouring of support from the community. After a total of 3,700 letters were sent out, 600 donations came back and with the added support of local businesses and organizations, they were able to purchase the $36,000 equipment. Read the full story at Western Itasca Review.
- International Falls: “It really takes a bunch of people coming together to figure our how to get into homeownership.” — USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer. To celebrate National Homeownership Month, Landkamer visited three new homeowners in International Falls to award them with USDA’s 2015 Homeowner of the Year award. Partnering with USDA and Kootasca, the three homeowners completed a Homebuyer Workshop and secured a low-interest loan . “We need to ensure the continued economic sustainability for Minnesota’s rural communities by providing affordable living,” said Landkamer. Read the full story at the International Falls Journal
- Cuyuna Lakes: Already a key destination for Minnesota mountain biking enthusiasts, the Cuyuna Lakes Trails will get a $600,00 boost from the Minnesota Legacy Omnibus bill to begin phase one of their Master Vision for Trails (including making the trails entirely one-way and developing a beginner trail). Tremendous community support made this happen, said Aaron Hautala, president of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew. “The time spend in hearings, writing letters of support, and lending voices to our cause truly made all the difference, and was time well spent. It is a wonderful example of how a region works across party, city, county, and chamber lines to make incredible things happen. We’re all in this together, and we will all win together.” Read the full story at the International Mountain Bicycling Association website.
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