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Guest Column: Share your expertise with ACTION Park Rapids

A countywide initiative, ACTION Park Rapids Lakes Area, will mark its one year anniversary on Feb. 1, 2018.

During 2017, close to 100 people from different sectors of the community have met quarterly to identify areas of opportunity and change in nine specific areas: the arts, basic needs, business, education, health, seniors, volunteers and youth.

Businesses, non-profits, the Park Rapids Schools, service clubs, healthcare providers, social services, local and county government and interested individuals are represented.

The goal 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 the community.

Assisted by nationally recognized strategic planner and facilitator Jodi Pfarr, participants have identified and been working on specific, 90-day plans in a variety of areas.

Pfarr has led the participants in the process of identifying areas of opportunity, offering guidance in creating work plans as well as developing strategies to accomplish project goals.

The three-hour, general session is held quarterly (February, May, August, November 2018) on the first Thursday of the month at the Park Rapids American Legion. The meeting provides time for work groups to meet, present progress reports to the general session, ask for help from other groups and offer suggestions. The knowledge and skills of everyone involved is helping to achieve and complete the plans.

A sampling of current 90-day plans in progress include Panther Tracks resource directory, a Hubbard County COLA program with youth to protect lakes and rivers, Becoming a dementia-friendly community, creating a trauma-informed community, creating a community-wide volunteer website and an arts sculpture walk.

The next general session is Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018 at the Park Rapids American Legion. Coffee is available at 8:30 a.m. and the meeting begins at 9 a.m. There is no charge to attend and a free lunch is provided.

Do you have interest or expertise in one of these plans or just want to learn more about what's happening? Come join us. To register, go to 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!