Once upon a time there was a little pot of dollars that wished more than anything to grow big and strong. So, the little pot of dollars set out to seek its fortune in the big world where moxie bucks and funding webs fought and grabbed at every little dollar they saw. But the little pot of dollars was smart. It knew to grow big and strong it would need nurturing and direction, and a place to send down deep sturdy roots. It found the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association. From that moment on, the little pot of dollars started growing and adding strength until it was able to do real work! Sure, it was still small, but it was getting stronger every day and that little pot of dollars knew that someday soon it would be able to support itself and the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association it loved to serve.
The end....or maybe just the beginning........
Byway Association Dollars and How They Grew.
In 1997 the idea of seeking scenic byway status for CSAH #16 was hatched as a means of helping make the case for paving the shoulders for the safety of bikers and walkers. With zero dollars in hand, but some good prospects, a committee was formed.
After obtaining official byway designation in June of 1998, the committee developed an association and made available different levels of membership. Nearly $12,000 in donations was received initially.
That $12,000 was parlayed into $58,000 in the form of a federal grant to develop a Corridor Management Plan. Crow Wing County agreed to be the PBSBAÍs fiscal agent.
In Jan., 2000, $2000 in cash donations from 4 local organizations was doubled through a MN Office of Tourism grant, to create the acclaimed Birds of the Byway brochure.
Up to $16,000 in donations and membership dollars was matched with federal monies to create $32,000 worth of hiking trails in two locations along the Byway, including the development of a footbridge scheduled for installation by June, 2003, at Island Lake Woods.
A combination of cash and in-kind donations of nearly $8000 was doubled through a DNR Partnership grant completed in June, 2002, resulting in a Gateway Gazebo building and informational signage at two locations highlighting environmentally significant features of the Byway.
- In a unique “no cash commitment” partnership with Grand Casino Mille Lacs, the PBSBA obtained more than $3000 worth of production and printing services from the Casino to produce the first Byway playing cards series featuring scenes of the Byway in pen and ink, done by an area art student in 2001.
- $1500 of Byway funds bought the PBSBA approximately $4800 worth of original art from a local artist, netting the Byway $3300 which was used in part to obtain prints of the originals for resale, and in part to fund other projects.
- $14,000 donated by Central Region Partnership allowed the PBSBA to receive a $65,000 federal grant to develop an Interpretive Plan which will be completed in Dec., 2003.
- Taken together, over the past four and a half years, the PBSBA has turned donations and membership dollars of a little over $50,000 into working dollars totaling nearly $185,000.
The projects have benefited residents, visitors and communities. Thanks to you, the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association members, in-kind supporters and business, individual, organizational and jurisdictional contributors, weÍre able to tell this great and true Dollar Tale!
If you are not yet a part of the PBSBA, we invite you to join.