Top 3 Vibrant Communities | May 2 – 6
May 6, 2016 by Blandin Foundation
1. Cross Lake: Two years ago Cross Lake residents came together to forge the path to their community’s future through the Boomtown Initiative. This year their boom will get a little boost as the Minnesota Design Team, “a professional organization that helps cities identify future direction by creating a visual perspective,” comes to town. The Minnesota Design Team will work with the community to “develop a strategy to build on its 2014 goals, identify new ideas and bring plans to fruition.”
2. Comfrey: When Comfrey’s small-town grocery store was on the brink of folding nearly a decade ago, the city stepped up to keep its doors open, using the Economic Development Authority as a board of directors. Recently, a buyer who recognized the importance of the grocery store’s role in the community stepped up to fill the community’s plate.
“I’m very keen on this concept of reviving strong local grocery stores in towns around Minnesota,” said Mike Wegner. “On the one hand it harks back to an old idea — a village or town store — but also it is very much about the future.”
3. Lake County: Minnesota’s outdoor playground just got a little bit bigger as Lake County maps out the path for a 50-mile mountain-biking trail. The trail concept grew out of a comprehensive plan that Lake County developed with the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission.
“It’s rugged. It’s steep. There are awesome views of the lake and behind (inland),” Eide said. “The niche is a backcountry, wilderness trail. It’s something that doesn’t exist in the Midwest on a large scale.”
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