The old saying of "It takes a village to raise a child" has been proven over the years, time and time again. But what does it take to raise that village? How do you promote a city -- it's businesses, people, schools, activities, etc.? Who, in this village, takes on that responsibility to make it a better and great place to live? Well... it takes more than people realize.
Take, for example, the city of Blackduck. What did it take to raise this village once upon a time? It took not one, or two or even three entities to put Blackduck on the map. It took people who cared enough to do everything they could to make Blackduck a "great place for families" and it began years ago with a few people, a vision and three entities which today, still work together to make sure that this is a great place for families!
Blackduck Development Corporation
Its primary job, when it first began back in 1960, was for the civic betterment and development of the city of Blackduck. What does that mean?
It means that these visionaries were concerned enough that they wanted to enhance the standard of living of its inhabitants.
By the sale of debentures to the community, this group was instrumental in constructing the nursing home and the senior apartment building. This group provided and has continued to provide assistance and support to one of the communities largest employers -- Anderson Fabrics.
The BDC made available, the lots needed to build the apartment building across the street from the senior apartments.
Because of these dedicated individuals, Blackduck was able to acquire an ambulance service, doctor and dentist and a host of other endeavors that only make Blackduck a better and well-rounded place to live.
In order to get this idea of making "Blackduck a great place for families," the group needed to have the support of city and school before pursuing this.
The school was organized back in 1901 on First Street. A new school building was constructed in 1902 to accommodate the growing school enrollment -- 116 students were enrolled that year.
"Choice" and "technology" are key words to use when describing Blackduck School curriculum. Students have a variety of classes from which to choose and many classes incorporate some aspect of technology.
The Blackduck School has been proactive in keeping students in school by its curriculum, keeping the public current on what is going on in the school with meetings and mailings and has done a good job in promoting what the school and the community has to offer.
The BDC, the city and the school all have the same goal -- promoting Blackduck, to keep businesses and families here, to bring in new business and families, to grow in these tough economic times.
To accomplish this, the BDC hired Anchor Marketing to put together a plan for promoting the community and all it had to offer.
Anchor Marketing has developed a strategy that will not only promote Blackduck but allow for growth and development needed to keep the community, school and businesses growing.
Contrary to popular belief, Anchor Marketing is not now and never has been, paid for with taxpayer funds. The BDC pays for its services at no cost to the city or the school or any of Blackduck's taxpayers.
They developed a survey that was sent out to each household asking people about their views on how to make Blackduck better. While not all those who responded were positive, the survey served a purpose.
Those surveys showed what people in the community felt was most important. The school consistently ranked in the top five reasons people live in Blackduck.
Friendly people, atmosphere, safety and kids rounded put the top five. Activities and churches were other reasons people like living here.
Some of the negative phrases used to describe people's feelings were loss of business, no jobs and high prices on items. The number one phrase that kept coming back over and over again was the lack of things for kids to do.
There ARE things for kids to do in town and it seems that not many are aware of just how many things are out there for their kids to take part in. What is the answer? One possibility would be to have a youth coordinator who would take charge and bring the activities available for area youth and the kids themselves together.
As the Development Corporation realized the need for someone to bring the kids to the activities available and vice versa, they needed support from the city as well as the school.
Members of the BDC will be attending Blackduck School Board's meeting Nov. 14 to measure the school's level of interest concerning a youth coordinator.
Who better to know the needs of its students than the school and its administration and staff?
There are activities for the kids of this community to become a part of and enjoy and there are a lot of kids who are looking for something more fulfilling than hanging around town or sitting at home doing nothing.
In order to make this community what it can be, a number of things have to happen and everyone involved needs to work together. Only then can Blackduck become a "great place for families."