Looking Back on 2022

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This year was finally a return to normalcy…..ok, somewhat normalcy. Looking back on 2022, we have as a nation, a world that has started to emerge from the pandemic. But we also witnessed Russian aggression on Ukraine, an action that has had ripples throughout the world. Hopefully, we will continue to see people come together once again post-COVID and peace return.

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We started the year with the second annual National Implementation Month. A month dedicated entirely to implementing your community plans. This year we discussed creating an Implementation Plan and the importance of In-Kind Donations for implementation actions.

Rural Resurrection also continued a popular series of posts entitled Star Communities. Star Communities are those communities that have shined above the rest. They may have overcome immense tragedy, or they have simply excelled beyond expectations for a town of their size. These are example communities that are role models for those who strive to be better. The community of Niles, Michigan was deemed a Star Community for its unrelenting commitment to downtown revitalization. Destination community Lake View, Iowa, was anointed as a Star Community this year as well.

The Ghost Towns series continued this past year with two new posts. It is important to learn from these ghost towns to help us avoid our communities becoming one as well. This year we looked at the interesting story of Ardmore, South Dakota. It conjured thoughts about the importance of prioritizing necessary improvements to your water or sewer system. We also looked at Crystal Springs, North Dakota. Although the community had a number of issues that it couldn’t overcome, it brought to mind the importance of bypass studies.

A new series of posts that started in 2022 was about community branding. Initially, we answered the first question many may have: “Why Branding?“. But then we looked into the impact of branding on a community’s signage and affordable ways to implement a brand.

Ida Grove CampingWe also saw RAGBRAI come back with a bang! Ok, it was already back for the summer of 2021, but this was the first time the Buff Riders rode it in the past few years. On top of announcing my winners (as far as communities go) for the event, I also highlighted a couple of communities. West Union (Part 1) (Part 2) was lauded for its downtown revitalization project and commitment to sustainability. I also talked about how agritourism intertwined with bicycle tourism on day one of the event.

Looking back, the post-COVID rebound we saw in 2022 was great to see! For Rural Resurrection, it was a year of many firsts and one 200th. Late this year the blog posted its 200th post! Hopefully this blog has been helpful to small towns throughout the Midwest, I look forward to many more posts! Good luck to everyone in the new year!