• Bethany College kindly alerts us to two groups, one new and one returning, it will host in coming days. The first arrives Wednesday, April 25. The Ward Law Office of Wichita will hold a meeting for 17. It is coordinated by Stephanie Brock, daughter of Ken and the late Virginia Swisher. The second is on Saturday, April 28, during Lindsborg in Bloom. The Kansas RV Travel Association will hold a meeting for 50-60 people. Warm thanks go to the college’s director of campus activities Roxie Sjogren for working with us.
• Speaking of Lindsborg in Bloom on Saturday, April 28: It should be a busy day in many realms. A Topeka-area group of 30 from KTWU will be touring from 10-4 with the guidance of the Lindsborg CVB. At 10 a.m. see Lindsborg’s new flag unfurled in ceremonies at the intersection of Main and Lincoln streets. The Lindsborg Community Library book sale is from 10-4 and Raymer Society consignment art auction starts at 1 p.m. Reminder:: the 100 block of South Main is slated to be barricaded; however, the large lot on the south end of the block will be available for parking. We encourage all Lindsborg locations to put on their spring finery in advance with clean-ups, fresh decor and planted annuals. We also encourage everyone to take to the sidewalks that day with sales, games and activities that invoke spring (a one-day license has been arranged with the City). Volunteers will be using fabric to decorate downtown trees and arranging for music, performances and more. It takes just a little effort to create valuable engagement with residents and visitors.
BC's alumni relations and annual giving coordinator Erica Kruckenberg and the aforementioned Roxie Sjogren shared this morning preliminary thoughts for an exciting new phone for Bethany College students. It’s a bucket list of traditions and experiences both on campus and in the community. Students will be encouraged to knock these experiences off their bucket list and receive Bethany swag and other incentives for levels of participation. Photos of participation will be captured and shared. The app is in its infancy; if you’d like to suggest bucket list activities to Erica and Roxie, either on campus or off, we invite you to do so. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com More to come on this topic….
Ad Hockers also heard more about a planned dog park to be situated immediately west of the recycling area off Union St. on City of Lindsborg property that the Council has designated for this effort. The Lindsborg Dog Park Team has been working to raise the $30,000- $35,000 to fence and minimally appoint the dog park. Several fundraising efforts already have been mounted, including the first end-of-season “Doggie Dip” at the Lindsborg Municipal Pool. More efforts are ramping up. Suggestions are being sought through Facebook for a name for the park, which is to be decided by the Dog Park Team. (An amazing 91 options already have already been offered.) Mayor Anderson said donations to the cause will be tax exempt, with receipts provided by the City of Lindsborg, and grant ideas are being actively sorted and pursued. Plus, it just so happens that the Sept. 14 Makers Street art walk will be themed “Pet-tember.” More mojo. If there are questions about the dog park or you’d like to offer possible connections, please funnel them through Danyel Patterson (firstname.lastname@example.org) and her Dog Park Team colleagues.
Also in infancy are discussions about the next life/lives for the 15-acre McPherson County Old Mill Museum property. After 40+ years of ownership, McPherson County has said it will transition away from its ownership role, possibly beginning next year. Other museums in McPherson County have asked commissioners why their locations are not funded equally with the Old Mill operations — about $250,000 a year. Thus, the commissioners have launched conversations with the City of Lindsborg about the future of the property, which includes: 1.) the Old Mill itself, one of only a few restored roller mills in the US; 2.) the museum and its 30,000 cataloged holdings of McPherson County and Lindsborg history; 3.) river-front acreage on the south side of the Smoky; and 4.) the Heritage Park area north of the Mill and Museum, including the Swedish Pavillion designed by famed architect Ferdinand Boberg for the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis.
The City and County are jointly looking for a consultant to help frame and focus a bigger picture for all of us. There is no question of the many personal sacrifices made to launch and complete the Old Mill's restoration in the 1970s. Likewise, there is no question about the many thousands of attachments children and adults have made with Lindsborg because of the Old Mill that have benefitted us through the years. No question, either, about the emergence of immigrant history and research as a source of connection to our area. Still, a new vision is needed now.
So the discussion begins: Does Lindsborg care what happens to this 15 acres, the buildings, and museum collection? If we want it to remain, what are we as a community willing and able to do? What public and private partners could we enlist? What entity might hold ownership in all or part of this property? What is the untapped economic, historic and community development potential of the Old Mill area?
What do you think? What fresh concepts for the Old Mill area springs to mind?