Pine City Library Expansion Project
Pine City's Public Library was the busiest library in the East Central Regional Library system, having the most circulation of materials but yet it was the smallest library of all 14 system-wide. The problem faced was finding a way to expand the library and doing so when there were other master facility needs in the community including a new fire hall and water treatment plant, and in the midst of a recession with joblessness at a high in Pine County.
Thankfully, an opportunity came about when Peter Hudson (who married into a former Pine City family, the Boos), put forth a matching pledge of $200,000 in hopes the community would raise the rest on its own accord. The community immediately responded, rolled up its sleeves and went to work. First thing was first, the City Hall offices which were then co-located in the same buildling as the library, relocated allowing the library adequate room to expand. That was the first of a long list of cooperative efforts to take place in making the new and improved library a reality. The new library more than tripled its space, growing from 2,600 to 8,500 square feet.
Waterville Community Connections
Waterville Community Connections is a group of volunteers that are interested in staying active and productive in our town for the benefit of the entire community. We want to encourage all people in town, the young, the elderly and the in between, to find a project to participate in. Since we were awarded a Horizons grant, our group has expanded to more than downtown beautification. Our flowers on main street are thriving still and we have expanded into more projects. We have greated a friends of the library group to set up summer reading programs for kids, a barrels of hope project to provide holiday meals for those with nowhere to go, a ride around town for seniors that still live in their homes but no longer have cars, a community garden to foster sustainable agriculture and encourage gardening, a 2nd annual Sakatah Arts Experience to get visibility for local artists, craftors, musicians and give kids an opportunity to participate in kite making, tie-dying, puppet shows and sidewalk art. Through the efforts of our group we were able to complete phase 1 of a new Waterville sign.
The Pine Poker Blog (Pine City)
A Web log (hereafter called a "blog") for the Greater Pine City Area was able to be created thanks to the City's involvement with the Horizons Program that began in 2008 in Pine City. The program was funded by the Northwest Area Foundation. Several local people contribute to the content of the blog which was relaunched in 2011 as the "Pine Poker". It is entirely community driven and serves a need in the community as more and more people participate in it and come to rely on it for useful information and as a way to connect with the Greater Pine City area.
This blog was intended prod the conscious of Pine City, to be used by its readers as a place for civil, thought-provoking and high-quality public discussion. The name "Pine Poker" revives the name of an former newspaper in town that ran off-and-on from 1897 to 1966. Its tagline is "Bright-at times witty--community news, citizen produced".