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Old 02-07-2009, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Way on the outskirts of LA LA land.
3,040 posts, read 10,537,176 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GypsySoul22 View Post
Somewhere families and/or adults who are not Seniors could meet and socialize apart from the school.

In our area there are 2 or 3 Senior Centers. Very little for anyone else..

Our son is not academic or sports minded, so we rarely run into other parents.
A club for families would be nice.

My husband and I are in the process of starting an Asberger's Support group to hopefully meet parents and kids with the same issues we face/socialize outside our family.
There are several churches in my area that could be similar to what you are seeking for families. Many of the people I know here are people I've met at either the church I belong to, or one of the other churches that I've visited over the years. We have a time of fellowship for about an hour before services each Sunday, and that's one of the best times to meet and greet others in the community.

My children are also not into sports, so we don't participate in any of those types of activities on a regular basis. My daughter is in the band, though, so I occasionally get to meet other people that are involved. Most of the parents I've met, I've met at the school during other activities, such as Open House or Back to School night. I also allow my kids to have their friends over regularly, so I can meet their friends, and their friends' parents. I think the key to doing so is staying involved in the lives of your kids, as you've suggested with the Asperger's Support group.
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Old 02-07-2009, 12:49 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,853 posts, read 30,803,493 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slamont61 View Post
Our small town is NOT thriving. Todays economy has put the squash in any development. We aren't simply taking it sitting down though, we have several Action Groups in progress and many of us in the community are taking Leadership Training Courses. The energy is abuzz among us. We do have a few "Action" groups putting rubber to the road so to speak. With all the talk and enthusiam, I am coming up blank on what type of event or development that could be tackled by such a group.

Lets face it todays economy is trending downward and bringing new life to a small town isn't easy. We are trying to develope a Farmers Market for the Summer Months (one of the action groups) simply because we have farmers growing crops in our area. This is something that has been tried but failed. (used to happen in AM hours but new group is shooting for the afternoons)

Those of you living in rural areas must be experiencing about the same thing. If you could change something of suggest one improvement in your Small Town, what would it be? What would make a difference in your day/life?

Any ideas would be most apreciated.
It seems that in small town and rural America, the only way you are going to pry people away from their favorite reality show is to have something that involves their children. There have been NUMEROUS attempts in this area to "encourage" community participation, none of which have been successful.

The only two other areas that might be of interest are food (preferably free and lots of it), and celebrities, but I think you are going to have to find a way to play the kid card if you really want to elicit some interest.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 02-07-2009, 02:11 PM
 
Location: The mountians of Northern California.
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Tell us more about your town slamont61. Are you very rural? Are you on a highway. Are people driving through there for hunting, fishing, boating at a local lake? What is your area known for?

I live in a town of 11,000, though it might be a little higher then that now. We are the largest city in the county, and there are just a few tiny towns that surround us. We are 100 miles from any city. But we have 2 state highways that intersect in the middle of town. So the summer months are the bread and butter months here. We are surrounded by lakes, reservoirs, hunting areas, 4 wheeling areas, etc.

About 5-6 years ago some local guys made a dirt bike race track. Now there are dirt bike races just about every weekend in the good weather. That brings thousands of people through town every year. Our area also recently starting hosting a cycling run, a trail for the Boston Marathon, and a tri-athlon held at a local lake. This brings in thousands of people in May and October. Just before and just after the busy summer season.

Another idea which won't bring many people to town, but might amuse the locals are getting them involved in geocaching and letterboxing. These are treasure hunting type activities. With geocaching you use a GPS to find hidden treasures. Little containers are hidden and have a logbook for you to sign once you have found it. Then you go online and log your find at: Geocaching - The Official Global GPS Cache Hunt Site

With letterboxing you use clues printed off the internet to find the hidden boxes. Each person has a handmade or store bought stamp, kind of like a personal signature. Once you find the hidden box, you take your stamp and stamp it in the letterboxes' logbook. Then you take the stamp from the letterbox and stamp it into your personal logbook. We live in a rural area and we found that we love letterboxing. Letterboxing North America Atlas Quest: A Letterboxing Community

My grandparents live near McMinnville, Oregon. This city had a huge letterboxing event in their local parks a few summers ago. Everyone that found the letterboxes and stamped the correct stamps into a special logbook, was given an entry to a prize. If I remember correctly, the prize was a membership to a gym, year passes to the air museum, etc. Alot of people participated.

Other areas have local park/state park contests. If you visit certain parks during the summer and have a participation log either stamped by the park rangers, or a special punch on the park page, you could have an entry to a contest.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:12 AM
 
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Start a local Arts Council if you don't already have one, You can contact your state Arts Council and they will help you, they will assist you in bringing year round entertainment in your community that meets your definition of cultural enrichment , the upper midwest is a rich and inovative area for cultural arts. Rural Arts organizations can also focus programs on Natural preservation, Historic preservation as well as the cultural arts. There is an organization in Kansas that did just what you are trying to do, to energize, inspire and motivate people about the rural lifestyles, I think they are the Kansas Sampler festival organization you can get funding to bring someone from that organization to your town as a consultant. They are in Inman KS, a very small town with a big cultural org. Some thing else you could do is start a community based Free University .

Last edited by thriftylefty; 02-10-2009 at 10:04 AM..
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Minnesota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tambre View Post
Is there anything that your town is known for? You could have a street fair/ festival surrounding your town's claim to fame.

There is a town in Vermont that has a yearly "trike race" down the hill through town. The tricycles are fashioned of old bathtubs, boats, whatever, and decorated with funny flags, etc. There must be only three wheels, otherwise, anything goes. People dress up in costumes, have friendly mock rivalries, with a master of ceremony announcing each contestant, and the partying starts around noon, with the race in the early afternoon. Vendors make teeshirts, have food booths, etc. The trikes are all non-motorized and there are prizes to local establishments, for different funny categories. This is meant to be a totally creative, fun type competition. Not sure how something like this would work out in your area, but just an example of the saying "it's never too late to have a happy childhood".
Sebeka has a small river running through town, the Red Eye river. In any city it would be called a creek. Each summer we have the Red Eye River Days which is a weekend long community event highlighted by a community parade. Participants are local or from the surrounding communities and the even is well attended. Out side of Hunting Season, this is it. We're pretty much dormant the rest of the year. In 2009 a group is organizing a Mud Run, our first and we hope it will be a success. On Saturday Evening there is a Street Dance complete with Live bands and a Beer Tent run by the Local Fire Department.

Red Eye River Days is a load of fun but it is our only anual event where we all turn out in great numbers.

Sebeka was once the Creamery Center of Minnesota. The town supported two full operational Creameries, one owned by Land O'Lakes and the other a local Co-Op. They like the Rail Road are long gone from today's Sebeka. Before Dairy Farming put Sebeka on the map we were but a logging camp and a stop for the long journey to Wadena for the local Farmers and thier oxen teams.

We have a city park that has over night camp facilities. Water and Electric hook-up and Shower Facilities, not to mention a dump-station. The park has a few historical buildings from Sebeka's distant past that are open to the public all summer long.

Today Sebeka might simply be known for the cheaper Gas. That's hardly stand-outish in today's economy where gas once aproached the five dollar mark and is now down near two dollars or less.

A previous post touched on the subject of change. Heck yeah the locals are resistant to change. Can you blame them? We are a small community, our city has a population under 700. Any change can be drastic to the town's demographics let alone quality of life.

However what I'm touching on is Sebeka's Future. If we don't make it attractive to our children, create jobs and commit to our community, they will all leave once the graduate and Sebeka will be nothing but a bunch of Senior Citizens left over from a time when Families were our strength. I can't sit by and watch that happen. I want Sebeka to remain a wonderful place to reside. I want to see community pride, not pitty. Today's economy is very hard on the small business community. We need those businesses to be successful so that they can remain, so that jobs can stay put. We walk a fine line today between poverty and prosparity. I'm looking to place something on the prosparity side of the ledger. I want Sebeka to HAVE a future.

Thanks to all for their valued input!!! Keep up the ideas, help me win this war.
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Old 02-10-2009, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Minnesota
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I love some of these ideas and can not WAIT to introduce some of the ideas to my team mates. Here is a little more about Sebeka and where we are:

Sebeka is a rural community with a population of just under 700 or so. We are located on US Highway 71 that runs from Great Falls MN all the way beyond Baton Rouge LA. There is a good deal fo through traffic on an undivided highway. We're 20 minutes from Wadena MN which is a whopping high end of the 3000's in the most recent Census. We are located due east of Fargo ND by an hour and a half and are West of Duluth by three plus hours. Three hours to the South East we can be in Minneapolis. The Fargo/Moorehead area is by far the closest major urban area, if you can call it that. For shopping at major retailers we have a few options, Brainerd MN an hour and fifteen minutes away, and Bemidji at an hour and a half.

Sebeka has a sister city Menahga eight miles to the north where spirt lake has a wonderful sandy beach in the summer time. Menahga has a slightly larger population. North from Menahga is Park Rapids, a tourist town of 3500 friendly people and a Main Street that seems trapped in time. Park Rapids is a wonderful 30 minute drive up a pine tree lined portion of Highway 71 and includes some very wonderful shops and resturants. Just north of Park Rapids is Itasca State park which includes the headwaters of the Mississippi River. If there is a finer State Park in the United States, I have not seen it.

Sebeka is a wonderful place to reside. We need to create or stimulate the area to make it more attractive for our Children in hopes that they too can find Sebeka and the surrounding area the same way that I see it.
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Old 02-10-2009, 11:01 AM
 
9,807 posts, read 13,686,634 times
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The problem Sebeka faces ( and many small rural towns) is " location, location,location"----

If there aren't JOBS within commuting distance, the town is going to lose population cuz you are only able to maintain population by attracting retirees.

This happens even in a booming economy.
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Old 02-10-2009, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Minnesota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marmac View Post
The problem Sebeka faces ( and many small rural towns) is " location, location,location"----

If there aren't JOBS within commuting distance, the town is going to lose population cuz you are only able to maintain population by attracting retirees.

This happens even in a booming economy.
That is A problem, not THE problem. We do have jobs we just need MORE of them. I was brought here for work and instantly became enamored with Small Town life. I see many of my neighbors that grew up here and left for greener pastures only to return because they missed it here. Besides the jobs it must appeal to the youth, it must excite them somehow.

We have a swing effect - several residents get in their cars and drive elsewhere for work while a bunch of folks from elsewhere are driving to Sebeka each day. This part is good for the area. We need to be able to attract Small Busnesses and we have to support them when the take a chance on us.

The future of Sebeka lies within our childeren and we need to find a way to make it possible for those who want to, to remain here. Tall tall order, especially in this economy. Tall order if the economy is thriving but a bit easier to accomplish.
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Old 02-10-2009, 11:22 AM
 
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you also have long winters up there, How a bout some thing for snow mobilers ralleys or relays, or a winter blue grass festival?
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Old 02-10-2009, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
4,128 posts, read 5,440,035 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thriftylefty View Post
you also have long winters up there, How a bout some thing for snow mobilers ralleys or relays, or a winter blue grass festival?
Funny you should mention that. Our area is covered by groomed snow mobile trails that are both mapped and marked. There are several clubs that meet regularly for rallys/runs and One I believe was done out of Menahga last week. We're snow-mobile crazy however it is limited to those with enough money to be able to have a decent sled. I would like to see an expanded "in town" presence to make the town more snow mobile friendly. Some areas even have a drive-up window specifically for snow mobiles. Our town is so small we have no fast food eateries, and the bank has the only drive-up window in town.
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