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COMMENTARY: ACTION Park Rapids setting New Year's resolutions

New Year's celebrations are over and everyone is putting away the decorations for another year. People are going back to work and their routines, but what about the New Year resolutions we all made on New Year's Eve? Did you write them down? Can you actually reach those goals this year? Will you look back at an accomplishment or a puzzle: what was that resolution again?

One group in the area does know how to set goals and see them come to fruition. For the last two years, Actionable Collaboration Together Implementing Opportunity Now (ACTION) Park Rapids Area has helped several working groups meet every 90 days to report their progress on their plans to improve the community and to set a new 90-day plan.

This process of writing our goals out as 90 day plans, then posting them for the community to see and reviewing them in a large group meeting has produced many improvements in the area, such as the Sculpture Walk at Red Bridge Park, welcome signs in Ojibwe in many of the local businesses, progress on a dementia-friendly community, a Community Volunteer website up and running, the Park Rapids Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Initiative group presenting several projects for a trauma-informed community initiative, Hubbard County Coalition of Lake Associations (COLA) providing the schools and community education with water-related classes, and a branding effort expanding us from "Park Rapids area" to "Heartland Lakes."

Other projects are in the works, too. A new group was formed in November to address house availability in the county. Check these plans out at parkrapids.com/actionparkrapids. You can see the minutes of past meetings, the new plans posted and register for our next meeting. You can also see news articles from past efforts.

Our next meeting is Thursday, Feb. 7 at the Park Rapids American Legion, 900 First Street East. Registration and morning treats/coffee start at 8:30 a.m., with the meeting starting at 9 a.m. Register on the website (parkrapids.com/actionparkrapids) or call the Chamber of Commerce.

The agenda is to review the process, share progress and road blocks, share possible solutions and then go into our working groups to create or update the next 90-day plans.

Plan to stay until noon so that we can all hear the summaries of updated plans, especially from new working groups. New groups with new ideas are welcome — just make sure to register.

Find ways to lend your expertise to improve opportunities here in the Heartland Lakes area on Feb. 7. Or you can connect with others to help implement a new idea you bring to the group that benefits our area communities.

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