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COMMENTARY: Get ready to take ACTION on May 2

Every 90 days, a group of forward-thinking citizens convene at the Park Rapids American Legion for a three-hour ACTION Park Rapids session. Work groups share their accomplishments since the last meeting and work on their goals for the next 90 days. New groups bring ideas for collaborative projects and interested individuals attend to hear what's happening in Park Rapids.

All are identifying areas of opportunity, offering guidance in creating work plans as well as developing strategies to accomplish project goals. The knowledge and skills of everyone involved are helping to achieve and complete the plans.

This countywide initiative has been meeting quarterly since February 2017. The overall goal of ACTION Park Rapids is to help the greater community create their future through strategic, collective, and sustained civic effort by working together to eliminate redundancy, create collaboration and implement change.

Work groups are identifying, agreeing on and implementing initiatives for a variety of issues consistent with the vision for the future of our community.

More than 50 90-day ACTION plans have been written over the last two years. Work groups focus on the arts, basic needs, business, education, health, seniors, volunteers and youth. They continue to identify areas of opportunity and change.

A sampling of current 90-day plans include career/college readiness, arts branding, addressing housing availability, creation of a dementia friendly community, a youth community action plan and public support for the Heartland Itasca Spur state multi-use trail.

Some completed plans have developed the arts sculpture walk; helped establish the Park Rapids K-9 unit; established a volunteer network, Volunteer Heartland Lakes; created the 2019 ACEs summit and provided the framework for programs to educate youth and adults about protecting lakes and rivers.

Who attends these quarterly meetings? Business owners, non-profits, the Park Rapids schools, service clubs, healthcare providers, social services, local and county government and interested individuals are represented.

The three-hour general session is held quarterly (February, May, August, November) on the first Thursday of the month at the Park Rapids American Legion. The next general session is Thursday, May 2, 2019. Coffee is available at 8:30 and the meeting begins at 9 a.m. There is no charge to attend.

Do you have interest or expertise in one of these plans or just want to learn more about what's happening? Join us on May 2. To register, go to parkrapids.com/actionparkrapids. While on the website page, all plans, meeting information and instructions are available for review. For more information, call the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.

Get involved, be part of the ACTION!

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