Willmar Lakes Area Vision 2040 has been working towards making our communities better. One project that was born of Vision 2040 is the Destination playground, on Robins island. This project was much more than a playground, to quote the leader of the project, Sara Carlson, “When you set out with what some people thought was a pipedream goal, making an $800,000, fully accessible playground ALL with charitable funds. Some people thought we had lost our minds!”
While it seemed like a pipedream, the community was hard at work to make this project a reality. “Once we started connecting with the right people, (community members) whether that was writing a check, leading a team, building parts of the playground, making food or just showing up for a shift. It all started to come together.” Once the community was engaged, the Destination playground seemed like more of a reality than a pipedream!
So, how did Vision 2040 help with all this? At the time, Vision 2040 was in its infancy. The goal of Vision 2040 was to put influential, hard-working community members together to better our community for future generations. One of the first projects we came up with was the Destination Playground. Having a committee of community members taking time to work together on a project produced results we couldn't have imagined!
“On those last couple days of the build, I was on the little hillside watching neighbors, complete strangers, community leaders all working together, working side by side and getting to know one another. Trying different foods brought out by different vendors. We were so enormously proud of what we had done when everybody else just thought we were crazy! Whenever you can stand there and do that, it makes your heart fall, your eyes might even leak a little.” Having a project as large and community-centered as the Destination Playground are rare opportunities, and our community came together “through 15 glorious days of rain, sleet, snow, freezing cold temperatures and even a heat warning and 3,792 people later, we had something pretty amazing!”
Willmar Lakes Area Vision 2040 is a grassroots movement in Kandiyohi County to make our communities better than they were yesterday. Our mission is to support the dreamers and the doers in Kandiyohi County. We strive to create a better tomorrow through supporting projects that are community minded with special emphasis on the four focus areas; Health & Wellness, Communication, Inclusion and Engagement.
Vision 2040 is a collaborative, community-led and driven initiative composed of your neighbors, friends and coworkers.