Archive for Wednesday, October 21, 2009

2 Tonganoxie residents graduate from Kansas Sampler rural course

October 21, 2009

The third round of rural communities has graduated from the “Rural Kansas: Come and Get It” classes conducted by the Kansas Sampler Foundation, and two Tonganoxie residents are among the group.

The instruction is designed to help promote rural communities in a collective and dynamic manner.

Keyta Kelly and Bill Peak represented Tonganoxie and received a certificate.

“The class was great,” Kelly said. “The Get Rural Kansas program is one that the other 49 states will surely envy and mimic.”

Representatives from Baldwin City, Garnett, Leavenworth, Lecompton, Seneca, Wetmore and White City also attended the two-day rural tourism course at the VFW in Wetmore and at Washburn Tech in Topeka.

The two-day requirement included a three-hour exploration to surrounding towns followed by a debriefing at Rilinger’s Rustic Bar and Grill in Wetmore.

Graduation makes a community eligible for a free community page on the “Rural Kansas: Come and Get It” Web site.

The Web site is not yet available to the public.

Funded by a $50,000 grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce Travel & Tourism Division, the classes are free and are designed specifically for volunteer-led communities, though any size community may participate. The two-day class featured learning the explorer mindset, researching community explorer assets, social networking, photography, and Web site maintenance.

“There is a great deal to see and do in rural communities if people know how to explore,” director Marci Penner said. “The ‘Rural Kansas: Come and Get It’ Web site will not only tell what there is to see and do in towns of every size, but it will help people know how to explore. The social networking will be used as a tool to help the world ‘get’ or understand our rural culture.”

The intent of the collective promotion is to help keep rural communities viable.

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