All That and a Bag of Chips

I have learned so much about the community of Broken Bow, Nebraska since my internship started in May. Working with both the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce and the Custer County Economic Department has taught and shown me many of the 12 key common wealth assets in Broken Bow. “Ogallala Commons focuses on common wealth because it is the foundation for building new careers and enterprises. Commonwealth consists of local and regional assets that can be enhanced, preserved, and invested in to generate more resources over a long term horizon. No matter how financially poor or rich a town may be, there are 12  key assets already present in any community.” The 12 key assets are education, health, leisure and recreation, history, sense of place, water cycle, art and culture, wildlife and the natural world, soil and mineral cycle, food shed, renewable energy, and spirituality.

I was able to identify one to three examples of each of the 12 common wealth assets in Broken Bow. For education, I found out that Broken Bow has 8 schools ranging from preschool to college levels. From preschool to master degree, education can be obtained right in Broken Bow. For health, Broken Bow has the Jennie M. Melham Memorial Center Hospital, the Broken Bow Clinic, and the Central Nebraska Medical Clinic. For leisure and recreation, there is a local park, library, rodeos, fairs, swimming pool, theater, and much more. For history, a one hundred year old bandstand is in the middle of the Broken Bow town square; also the Custer County Museum, and the Sandhills Scenic Journey Barn. For sense of place, the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce puts on many community events to bring the community together and help people feel more at home. For water cycle, Broken Bow uses many pivots for farming purposes and Adams Land and Cattle uses a water reuse pit where excess water from the pivots is collected for reuse. For art and culture, Broken Bow has a local graphic designer, Sarah Russell Designs, and the Wild Rose Art. For wild life and the natural world, many people in Broken Bow hunt and there is also an annual One Box Pheasant Hunt. For soil and mineral cycle, Broken Bow has both farming and ranching. For food shed, Broken Bow has a local farmers market every Thursday and two local grocery stores. For renewable energy, Broken Bow has the Broken Bow Wind II farm and two solar energy farms that sell to Custer Public Power. For spirituality, Broken Bow has 15 churches and a Jehovah Witness Hall.

At the Fair
Leisure and Recreation: Summer Fair time in a small town
History: The 100 year old bandstand in the middle of the Broken Bow town square
Showing school pride
Sense of Place: Showing school pride in the local parade

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