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Tiger Talk: Great things happen when we work together

Big things are happening at Pine River-Backus and the surrounding community.

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Pine River-Backus Schools Tiger Talk

Spring is here! Well our Minnesota spring anyway. The snow is slowly retreating and we can even hear a few birds outside again. To me springtime is about new life, hopes of a bright future, and rejuvenating ourselves after the long Minnesota winter. As we enter this next season I wanted to share a little about partnerships, opportunities, and the many amazing things happening in our community.

Community partnerships and collaborations keep businesses and organizations in touch with our community, our needs and wants, and help to build a better and stronger tomorrow. I have been fortunate in my career to work with the Pine River - Backus Schools and City of Pine River. This has given me the opportunity to see some positive collaborations happen here in our community.

At PR-B we are in the process of updating our strategic plan. The school offered a simple survey to assess some of the positives at PR-B as well as to identify areas in need of improvement. This was followed up by more focused planning groups for both the community and PR-B staff to have direct input into the direction PR-B Schools will move forward. As one of the facilitators, it was great to see the enthusiasm, passion, and how much our community cares about the future of our school, our students, and our community.

Pine River City Dam and Park Renovations are still underway. These very visible projects have brought an abundance of excitement to our community as well as partnerships and collaborations between many state & local agencies, and the people in our community. As the main dam project is scheduled to be complete this spring/summer there's still work to be done on the areas around the dam. The City of Pine River has been working with a dedicated group of volunteer community members on park renovations. While the group is currently focused on the dam area we are starting to look at all the parks around Pine River. This will take a lot of work and a few years to come to fruition but, the partnership between the city and community members is working hard to make our park system and city a better fit for our communities needs and wants for the future.

Local Festivals, Events, and Entertainment also provide a great opportunity to be involved and partner in our community. Currently one of our biggest local events is Summerfest which is officially moving back to the last full weekend of June. This will combine the Cass County Fair week with our much loved parade, summer sales, and many community activities to fill our town with friends, family, and lots of fun. The Summerfest committee is a great example of partnerships and collaboration between the Pine River Chamber, local business, organizations, clubs, the PR-B School and more. It truly takes a village to put it all together but what makes it great is you and your willingness to help.

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Bike Friendly Pine River is a new movement in our community being spearheaded by the Pedal Pine River & Beyond group. The PR-B School, City of Pine River, local businesses, and many volunteers are all working together to help make Pine River a bike friendly community. Several businesses have applied to be a bike friendly business already and are working to make Pine River more attractive and welcoming to bicyclists as well as creating safe routes for walking and biking in our community.

These are just a few examples of the partnerships and collaborations happening in our community. Collaborations create unlimited possibilities, and help our community to grow and meet our needs. Partnerships enrich those involved and the community around them. It is important to volunteer and become part of your community. Your personal commitment helps to provide the many resources needed to create a healthy and successful community.

If you are interested in being part of any of these committees or partnering on other events or issues that are important to you give PR-B a call 218-587-2080 and let's work together.

Troy Gregory is Pine River-Backus Community Education Director

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