1 May 2017
Plant your tree!
Each year, the Wall Economic Development Corporation is invited to attend the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development Conference (SD GOED), which took place the last week of April. This annual conference gives WEDC the opportunity to meet with economic development colleagues from across the state, share ideas and best practices, and celebrate successes. It is a fantastic opportunity to share Wall’s story.
During the SD GOED Conference, we had the opportunity to listen to Keynote Speaker Simon T. Bailey (http://simontbailey.com). Mr. Bailey spoke about engaging our gears and shifting to brilliance. He shared a Greek proverb which essentially said, “Men and women plant trees whose shade they may never live under.” This quote truly stuck with me and seemed to perfectly describe WEDC’s work.
Sometimes, it is difficult to be patient when it comes to the work of economic development. Housing, business retention and expansion and community development can all be complex, multi-pronged challenges that are not solved overnight. However, with the help of the community, WEDC is working hard to plant trees that will grow into solutions for these issues.
Let’s take the upcoming Mailbox Project for example. Each year, WEDC, the City of Wall and the Wall-Badlands Area Chamber of Commerce work together to give every graduating senior a mailbox. The mailboxes have each student’s last name and Wall, SD on the side. The mailboxes are filled with letters from the community as well as notes and items from local businesses. The goal of the Mailbox Project is to show students that the community cares about them and wants them to return someday! Will we see the shade from this tree in a month? Six months? A year? Maybe not. Will we see the shade from this tree in 10 years when a WHS graduate finishes college, starts a career and family, then decides it’s time to move home to Wall? Maybe! This Mailbox Project may play a tiny part in such a big decision, but it will be a reminder that the community will welcome them home when the time is right.
Another example of how WEDC is trying to plant trees to help grow Wall’s future is the Marketing Hometown America project. The Marketing Hometown America project planted many tiny idea trees that will grow into astounding trees of change, progress and growth in the community.
How can you plant trees? Share your Story & Build Connections!
Deb Brown and Becky McCray from Saveyour.town speak about sharing your story and gathering your crowd. In Deb’s recent newsletter, she said to create change in our communities we need to tell our stories over and over. We need to be the connectors and champions of our community.
How are you telling your story? How can you share with others what amazing, innovative things you are doing in Wall? What if you shared this with one person you walked by in the grocery store, or the family sitting across from your table while you are out for dinner? Could you share how amazing the Wall High School Spring Play was this weekend? How about sharing how caring our community is, and how we come together to support one another in good times and in bad? Did you take your family to the Badlands National Park during free fee week because it’s less than a ten-minute drive from your house? Did your neighbor let you borrow your lawnmower because yours wasn’t working? Did you take your kids and dogs on a nice walk on the bike path over the weekend?
These are all tiny stories that show why Wall is a great place to live. Don’t forget to share your story. You never know who is listening!
Plant trees for not only the community’s future, but your future by building connections! WEDC and the Wall Chamber of Commerce are hosting a Coffee & Calendars event at 12 pm, Thursday, May 4th at Kodiak Coffee (basement of the Wildlife Museum, Main St.). The purpose of Coffee & Calendars is to provide a relaxed platform for anyone and everyone to come together and simply share what is happening in your business, organization, class, etc.! This is a fun opportunity to share your story and build connections with community members!
If you enjoy photography, you will have a chance to build connections on May 16th during the Wall Photo Walk. The Wall Photo Walk will begin at 4th Avenue Floral with snacks and socialization. Then, the group will walk around Wall discovering flowers and other beautiful scenes to photograph. This is a simple way for community members with similar interests to come together to enjoy scenery and conversation.
If you want to share your story, but don’t have time to attend events - no problem! You can simply call or email WEDC at 605-279-2658 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We will help you spread the word about all the awesome things you are doing. We can put your events on the community calendar and share your story on social media.
If you start planting your trees now, imagine the future we could grow together!
As always, thank you for being such a great community. It is because of you we have it all in Wall!
WEDC Executive Director