Group works to promote city

<I>The Eagle/Jill Mallory</I><BR>"East Coast people think there are no trees here; they are surprised at the number of trees," said Kathy Smith, a member of the Greater Prairie City Community Association, during a discussion about how to promote the area.

PRAIRIE CITY - Some of the best things about this city are its wide streets, beautiful sidewalks, Victorian homes being restored, the mountains, the cattle ranching, and deer in town and on neighborhood lawns, so agreed a group of citizens at a recent meeting of the Greater Prairie City Community Association.

"The thing that's neat about Prairie City is that you're close enough to touch bark, timber goes to a local mill and the ranching community - things that support us all over the country," Jennifer Harris said.

GPCCA is all about supporting the city and attracting more people here, as tourists and as new residents. One of the group's long-term goals is to bring more artists to the area.

The group has been working with the Renewing the Countryside program, which helps cities learn how to better promote their attributes to the outside world. The staff at Renewing the Countryside is working on writing a history of the town designed to be a multifaceted tool the group can use as a press release, for grant applications and in other ways to publicize the city's positives.

The community association also sponsors the Horizons Leadership training program, an 18-month program to develop new leaders for the area's elected offices and boards as well as volunteers to work on community development projects. Development of the city's website is a project of the Prairie City Horizons Leadership Team.

At the group's meeting Feb. 15, an extensive resource library funded by the Northwest Area Foundation Horizons program was presented to Prairie City, as well as to Elgin and Union. Rural Development Initiatives Inc. staff selected the multimedia titles, with topics ranging from organizational development, leadership, partnership building, poverty reduction, fund-raising and much more. A bibliography of the books, CDs, DVDs and other resources is available at

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