K-State Research and Extension News
April 29, 2013
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Kansas’ PRIDE Communities Share Successes, How-to Ideas

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State Awards Presented, Volunteers Honored at Day of PRIDE, 2013

WILSON, Kan. It’s true: Many hands make light work, and Kansas communities and their residents stand to benefit.

In 2012, 60 Kansas PRIDE Communities reported 94,833 volunteer hours contributed toward community development, said Trudy Rice, K-State Research and Extension Kansas PRIDE coordinator.

Successful project efforts this year include creating a new, family-friendly library; organizing two community-based cultural celebrations to mark 125 years of building community, and the addition of new public restrooms for visitors dubbed the ‘Bowl Plaza.’

Each of the projects and events reflects the work of local Kansas PRIDE volunteers, Rice said. 

And, while the state PRIDE office serves as a resource throughout the year, representatives from participating communities and others who are interested in learning more about how the community development effort can benefit their community, gathered in Wilson, Kan. to take part in the Day of PRIDE, on April 27.

In choosing Wilson as the site for its morning program, and neighboring Lucas, Kan. as the site for the luncheon and afternoon program, PRIDE planners offered opportunities for community volunteers to learn from on-site visits in two communities that successfully capitalized on their cultural heritage to build capital – or assets – for their community.

Highlighting successful projects typically offers take-home ideas and inspiration for others, Rice said.

According to Rice, PRIDE communities are encouraged to match projects and opportunities to build capital to one or more of seven categories, including natural, cultural, human, social, political, financial and built capital. More information is online at the K-State Research and Extension Kansas PRIDE Program.

PRIDE communities also are encouraged to apply for designation as a Community of Excellence to recognize ongoing accomplishments in community development, and STAR Capital Awards, which celebrate completion of a specific project.

Community of Excellence award recipients earn a bar designating the award to enhance their community’s PRIDE sign for three years, and also are eligible to apply for Partners in PRIDE matching grants of up to $2,000 to fund future community improvements.

PRIDE communities earning distinction as 2013 Community of Excellence recipients include:

* Alton;

* Ashland;

* Iola;

* Lakin;

* Lenora;

* Lucas;

* Potwin;

* Rossville;

* Spearville, and

* Wilson.

Three communities earning distinction as Community of Excellence winners in 2012 – Glasco, Humboldt, and Larned – also received additional recognition this year because the award enhancement and grant eligibility period was extended to include them.

Five PRIDE communities earning 2013 STAR Capital Awards are:

* Built Capital, presented to Lucas PRIDE for completion of its Bowl Plaza public restrooms;

* Cultural Capital, with awards presented to Alton PRIDE, which completed its library project, and Bushton and Lucas PRIDE committees, which each organized 125th anniversary celebrations for their community, and

* Natural Capital, presented to Iola PRIDE, which completed a parks improvement project.

Communities of Excellence are eligible to earn STAR Capital Awards, and STAR Capital Award recipients often are working toward a Community of Excellence designation, Rice said.

A third award category, designated as the PRIDE Community Partner Awards, provides an opportunity for PRIDE communities to honor dedicated volunteers.

Five nominees were selected to receive the award in 2013:

* Lois Cooper, from Lucas, is a local business owner. And, while providing leadership for a thriving – and welcoming – Main Street, she also is well versed in local history, which she shared with others through planning and events celebrating the community’s 125th Anniversary celebration (held in 2012).

* Jane Habiger, from Bushton, volunteered to take the lead in planning her community’s 125th anniversary celebration, which attracted more than 1,000 people to the community of 350. The successful celebration exceeded expectations, and allowed the anniversary committee to also fund a new city sign and purchase holiday lights for the city center.

* The Lenora PRIDE Committee pooled resources with the Chamber of Commerce to continue publication of a community-based newsletter serving residents, support an annual Easter egg hunt and Halloween event.

* Dorothy Mitchell, from Alton, provided the leadership for converting an under-used PRIDE annex into a community library.  Mitchell, a retired teacher from Granite City, Ill. moved to the community to be close to family, and, found that she still had plenty of energy to organize local efforts to create a user-friendly library with space to curl up with a good book – and cup of coffee.

* Jim Smith, from Iola, is known to have a passion for historic preservation. His nomination cited his willingness to share knowledge of history and historic preservation to benefit the community. Smith also has invested energy in a variety of projects, ranging from the local animal shelter to securing a new boiler for the furnace at the local art center.

For more information about how your community can enroll inand benefit from  – the Kansas PRIDE program, contact the local K-State Research and Extension office, or call the K-State Research and Extension PRIDE Office: 785-532-5840 or by email at PRIDE@ksu.edu.


SIDEBAR:  Kansas’ PRIDE Offers Blueprint for Building Community

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansans know, “there’s no place like home.”

And, while Kansas’ cities and towns fulfill a variety of roles in the state, most typically welcome opportunities to improve the quality of life for their citizens.

Many also can benefit from a little help from Kansas’ PRIDE Program.

According to Trudy Rice, K-State Research and Extension PRIDE coordinator, the goal is to help local volunteers identify others in the community who share a vision for community improvement.

Once a volunteer committee is established, Kansas’ PRIDE Program can provide the framework to assist in identifying local needs, establishing community-based goals, and developing a plan of work so the community can meet its needs and accomplish its goals, she said.

PRIDE also is a bit of matchmaker, in that it can provide an idea-sharing network of communities that that have faced similar challenges and resolved them successfully, she said.

Learning from each other and sharing proven strategies often can save communities time – and money, said Rice, who noted that in recent years, Kansas’ PRIDE Program has grouped key strategies for improvements into seven key categories, which they describe as “capital:”

* Natural capital identifies potential projects related to natural resources and utilization, and might range from community-based water quality to health and fitness through recreation.

* Cultural capital might align with a community’s history and cultural heritage, and could include ethnic festivals, arts projects, niche grocery – or restaurant.

* Human capital reflects a variety of skills and abilities of local volunteers united in community development through PRIDE and collaborating organizations.

* Social capital best describes a community’s ability to bring people together to work toward one or more shared goals.

* Political capital refers to the ability to influence and create – or support – change.

* Financial capital identifies economic development or collective investment.

* Built capital highlights an investment in a built structure and community infrastructure, and such as the new public restrooms in Lucas, Kan.

The statewide community development effort, with a more than 40-year history of serving Kansans, is co-administered by the Kansas Department of Commerce, Business and Community Development and K-State Research and Extension, which has offices in each of Kansas’ 105 counties able to assist with community development, and the Kansas PRIDE, Inc. board of directors, which provides funding opportunities and educational support for PRIDE communities.

K-State also provides a home for the state PRIDE office on the Kansas State University campus in Manhattan.

To learn more about Kansas’ PRIDE, contact the local K-State Research and Extension office; check online at the K-State Research and Extension Kansas PRIDE Program., or contact Rice in the state PRIDE office at: 785-532-5840.


K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.

Story by: Nancy Peterson
K-State Research & Extension News

Trudy Rice is available at 785-532-5840 of trice@ksu.edu; The state PRIDE office is at 785-532-5840; office manager is Jaime Menon at jmenon@ksu.edu