Community Visioning

Hay Springs Students Cast a Vision for the Future of Their Community

Last Tuesday, the Hay Springs High School student council shared their perspectives about their community and priorities looking 10 years into the future. This activity was funded in part by a USDA-RD grant for the Northwest Nebraska Rural Prosperity initiative and facilitated by Craig Schroeder with the Heartland Center for Leadership Development.

Key themes that emerged from the students’ work included: appreciation for living in a closely knit small town with community support for youth activities, valuing local small businesses, desire for more activities for teens, community improvements including the golf course and parks, renovation and new uses for rundown buildings, more restaurants, and quality affordable housing. The students noted the annual Friendly Festival as an important community event and would like more activities for teens to participate in.

Regarding the future, the students expressed interest in more career and business opportunities in addition to agriculture, increased access to the local health clinic, and added educational options to prepare student for a variety of career pathways. They also envision construction of a sale barn, more restaurant options, a movie theater, bowling alley and activities including fishing tournaments, demolition derby, golfing and summer league sports.

The next step is to invite additional Hay Springs students to share their ideas with community leaders and together determine one or more priorities to begin work on.

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