Stewardship team endorses statement that will drive visioning initiative.

    A show of hands during Tuesday evening's Crookston InMotion stewardship team meeting at RBJ's Restaurant seemed to seal the deal: Everyone in the room likes the "Destiny Statement" for the Crookston community as it ventures down a strategically envisioned path toward a vibrant, successful future.

    Everyone in the room raised their hand when asked by Dawn Ganje of the Northwest Minnesota Foundation who liked the Destiny Statement, leaving no one to raise a dissenting hand.

    So here's the statement:
    "The Crookston community aspires to be a viable, vibrant place for all citizens to live, work and enjoy a high quality of life. We will do this by:
    • being a community that is passionate about family, small town character and quality of life
    • committing to the provision of a full range of educational, social, recreational and cultural amenities
 • working together to integrate the work of the University of Minnesota, local businesses and the community
    • expanding opportunity for all; and believing that our diversity is a gift to build on
    • striving to be the center of innovation and entrepreneurship in northwestern Minnesota
    • supporting our area's strength in agriculture, healthcare, education and manufacturing
    • emphasizing the resources in the community that draw citizens to Crookston from around the region
    • recognizing the natural resources in the community and committing to ensure their long-term sustainability

    Wow. That's a mouthful. But that's because the Destiny Statement amounts to a huge umbrella that encompasses several Crookston InMotion committees, all of which are working on various, specific "Destiny Drivers" for the Crookston community, a list that will very likely never be entirely accomplished, which is kind of the idea, anyway, since there is no end date on Crookston InMotion or no point where everyone celebrates every goal that emerged from the process being achieved. The list of Destiny Drivers is meant to be a moving, evolving vision for Crookston's short and long-term future.

    The Crookston InMotion stewardship team essentially took the summer off - at least from official meetings - in order to digest and analyze the Destiny Statement and Destiny Driver lists that were coming together last spring. Led by Ganje and Lisa Peterson, also from the Northwest Minnesota Foundation, the team reconvened at RBJ's to get back up to full speed. Endorsing the Destiny Statement was priority one.

    "It establishes where you're at, and how you plan to move forward from here," Ganje told the group.

    Amanda Lien, who works with the Crookston Area Chamber of Commerce and leads a Crookston InMotion committee, said the initiative has changed the way she views her community. "I'm looking at things through the lens of our Destiny Statement," she said.

    "It's a way to drive some action, and figure out how we use this statement as a springboard, and a justification of things we do from this point forward," added Chamber President/CEO Shannon Stassen.

    The next big splash to be made by Crookston InMotion – funded by the NMF and Bremer – takes place Saturday morning, Oct. 13 when, in conjunction with the Cornstalk Jamboree and Harvest Hoe Down, the list of Destiny Drivers are announced. See more on that in the Times as the date approaches.