2017 Strategic Doing Results & Next Steps – Jewell County

February 14, 2018

The forth Jewell County Strategic Doing was held at the Mankato Community Center on February 13, 2018.  This is a continuing yearly strategy through the Dane G. Hansen Foundation.   Twelve people were able to attend the 3:30 p.m. meeting with an additional eighty people able to view the meeting through Facebook video.


Starting Ideas

When the 2017 Strategic Doing was started, ideas were grouped into five different areas which included Community Clean Up, County Identity/ Marketing and Promotion, Health and Wellness, Parks and Recreation, and Human Needs and Assistance.  At this meeting, committees under each of the topics gave the most recent updates of their group work.  Additionally, there was time at the end of the meeting for those with new ideas, not yet covered in the conversation, to be inserted.

Jewell’s Jim Dooley listens intently to reports at the February Strategic Doing meeting in Jewell County.

Community Clean Up

From the Community Clean Up initiative, the First Impressions Program through K-State Research & Extension Community Vitality Specialist, Nadine Sigle, was implemented in Jewell County Communities.  Formoso, Burr Oak, and Jewell have all participated in the program which gave citizens ideas of areas of improvement and reaffirmation of things in the community that are objects to promote even more.  Mankato is considering the program currently.  Additionally, this committee wanted to target a clean-up that could also impact the rural areas of the County.  A Countywide tire clean-up was discussed where citizens could bring in old tire piles and a place could be provided for recycling.  This idea is still being developed at this time.

County Identity/Marketing & Promotion – Tourism Booklet to come out in 2018

Under County Identity/Marketing & Promotion, it was expressed that Jewell County doesn’t have a unifying identity to rally behind and as many rural communities, we find it hard to brag about what we do have.  From

columbian mammoth capitol of Kansas Jewell County

this initial conversation, this committee decided to first focus on tourism in the county.  A renewed group


calling its Jewell County Tourism has been started and their first project is to develop a Jewell County-produced tourism booklet.  This booklet will have the most up-to-date information on annual events, tourism calendar, and will showcase positive stories from Jewell County.  The 2018 booklet will also relay the story of the “Mammoth” discoveries that have happened throughout the County.  In the Jewell County area, there have been many Columbian Mammoth bones discovered, a higher amount than many other places in the State.  This could potentially become part of the unifying brand for all County communities.  They can be reached at jewellcountytoursim@gmail.com.

A Mammoth Idea

This Mammoth idea then spilled over into the Entertainment, Arts, and Culture committee.  Playing on the success of the Robert Turner Concert Summer Concert Series and the construction of the new stage in the Mankato City Park, funding and planning is almost complete for a Mammoth Music Festival this summer over Father’s Day weekend.  This event will not only feature a slew of bands but will also include performance acts and kid’s activities.  For more information or to volunteer with this committee, please contact Committee Chair, Tammy Finnell through the Burr Oak or Mankato libraries.

Getting Healthy

The Health & Wellness Committee has been working through efforts with the Jewell County Health 365 Coalition, a regional health grant administered through the Jewell County Health Department.  More information about this group can be obtained at www.Facebook.com/JWCO365/.  Volunteers are being sought to help maintain the community garden plots in Mankato this summer.  This produce will then be donated to the community, senior center, and food bank.  If you or a group that you are involved in would like to help with this program, please contact 785-378-7036 or contact the Jewell County Health Department.  Additionally, private gardeners can donate excess produce from their summer gardens through the “Gardening for the Greater Good” donation bins located in spots in the County.  Give what you can, take what you need.

Additionally, this group has been working on walkability of towns, trails, and wellness centers.  There is currently an on-line fundraiser going on at ProjectWeKan.com to raise enough money to get a potential trail surveyed at the Mankato City Park.  Go to ProjectWeKan.com to donate or donations can be sent to PO Box 154, Mankato, KS 66956.  Also, in this strategic doing year, crosswalks were placed across the highway in Mankato and Jewell.  Trail signage was printed and placed in the Jewell City Park directing people to the already existing trails at Lake Emerson.  Wellness Center ideas are being worked on in Mankato and Jewell.  A Dane G. Hansen sponsored intern is coming to Jewell County this summer to further develop these plans.  A community day care facility is part of this conversation as it was specified as one of the needs in the initial strategic doing meeting of the year.  Also, in the mix is talk of a Jewell County Recreation Commission that could help maintain youth programs, adult recreation, and wellness centers.

Assisting our Elderly

The last committee covered Human Needs and Assistance.  This group has been working to get an Assisted Living established in Jewell County.  With a potential provider/builder identified, the committee is working now to fundraise enough money to complete the $250,000 community down payment to secure the facility.

Next Steps

Strategic Doing is continuing program from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation that we are blessed to be a part of.  Committees are encouraged to continue meeting, to develop projects out of their work, and to apply with priority status to the local and main Dane G. Hansen funding rounds.  Additionally, funding for non-Strategic Doing ideas can be pursued at any time as well.  The local Dane G. Hansen committee has a spring round and fall round.  The spring round grants will be due May 1st and the process should open online at http://jewellcountykansas.com/dane-g-hansen-foundation/ starting at the beginning of March.  The main Dane G. Hansen fund can be accessed the first day of every month and application can be made at danehansenfoundation.org.  In the 2018 Strategic Doing year, the plan is to have another “starting” meeting that will talk about the “State of the County”, where we have come from the 2017 Strategic Doing year, and new and additional ideas that should be pursued during the 2018 Strategic Doing process.

For more information, please contact Jenny Russell at Jewell County Community Development, 785-378-7036 or jccda@nckcn.com.

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