VA Reimigining Rural.cmyk.jpg

Lake Frances visitors will soon enjoy picturesque views from the comfort of benches provided by VADC. A grant of $2,000 from Montana Community Foundation and MSU Extension will offset the cost of purchase and installation.

By Carol Green

The Valierian

Valier residents participated in MSU’s ReImagining Rural project for a second year in a row. Participation in the program affords groups the opportunity to apply for financial support of a project to “increase vitality in your community.” As a non-profit entity, Valier Area Development Corporation (VADC) was eligible to apply for a grant through the Montana Community Foundation and MSU Extension.

VADC is pleased to report that they have received $2000 from the ReImagine What is Possible Grant.

The grant award correspondence reads, “Montana Community Foundation and MSU Extension are thrilled to continue our partnership and bring ReImagining Rural to communities across the state, and we look forward to working with you and your community as you discover new and exciting ways to move your community forward.”

The grant funds were requested to help offset the cost of benches that will be placed at Lake Frances Campground to provide viewing opportunities and enhance the appeal of the common use areas.

“We will be ordering the benches very soon,” explained VADC President, Carol Green, “and hope to have them installed as soon as the ground is able to be worked.”

The group is working with the Town of Valier to determine the best locations for the benches. They will have an in-ground mount, so considerations for ease of care such as mowing around the benches will need to be made.

A new information kiosk located at the Valier Public Library is the result of the first ReImagining Rural experience and corresponding grant for the Valier community. The grant funds are only one part of the benefit of the ReImagining Rural program. The programs have helped to bring new faces to the table and encourage creative ideas to enhance the residential and tourist experience in Valier.

Readers may recall the VADC received grant funds from Northwest Farm Credit Services last fall for fitness clusters to be placed along the Lake Frances lakefront; another idea initiated from the ReImagining Rural meetings. Those clusters, along with the addition of benches near the lake are on target to be installed early summer. These additions to the area are intended to enrich the outdoor experience and quality of life for residents as well as visitors to the area.

The VADC would like to express gratitude for the support and generosity of Montana Community Foundation and MSU Extension for both the grant funds received and the ReImagining Rural experience.

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