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FIT For Communities

By Staff | Sep 15, 2009

In 2005, over 500 residents of Emmetsburg gathered together to talk about the future of our town and put together a vision for Emmetsburg. This was the beginning of the Storm, and the energy of community action groups fired-up to make a difference. In 2006, on the first anniversary of the Storm, community members got together again to talk about the next steps for the future of our town. Building trails was voted the number one item desired for Emmetsburg, beating out 19 other choices submitted by attendees.

This is not uncommon for communities. In 2002 in a survey of recent home buyers sponsored by the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Home Builders, trails ranked as the second most important community amenity out of a list of 18 choices.

People like trails. Why is this important? If a trail can make a community more desirable, it can be the amenity that tips the scale to make a decision to relocate a family or business. Tourists might be enticed to visit the community and enjoy the safety and health benefits a trail can provide.

Each person who visits or relocates to Emmetsburg has a positive economic effect on our town. The effects trickle down from something as simple as a tank full of gas, a dinner in a local restaurant, or a retail purchase, to creating new homes and jobs or increasing the number of students in our schools. Trails can be very good for a community.

Find out more about Five Island Trails at a public informational meeting Thursday, Sept. 24, 7 p.m. in the Iowa Lakes Community College Auditorium.