Anamoose City SignAnamoose is a city of 236 people located 16 miles from Harvey, not quite 60 miles southeast of Minot, in central North Dakota.  We have been watching them and can’t help but notice how very active they are.  They have a blog, which they started after having been a part of the Horizons community leadership project with NDSU.  The program encouraged participants to use blogging for local communications.  What they probably won’t mention is that a lot of other Horizon communities are not quite so faithful in their blogging as Anamoose still is now that the Horizons project is ended.

If you go on their website, you will find their events link which is a downloadable calendar that you can print out and hang on your refrigerator.  And you will need to do so, if you live in Anamoose, because there  is something going on almost every day of the month.

Anamoose is a community that tells its stories very effectively. Their blog keeps everyone notified of almost daily happenings, complete with photos. They keep their website current and have some interesting writings of their local history. In 1975, Helen Rice Nolden was appointed by the mayor of Anamoose to be the City Historian. She was the storyteller and keeper of Anamoose’s history. Born and raised in the city she kept writing well into her eighties. Sadly, she is no longer with us, but her stories live on through the History page on the Anamoose website, still telling everyone online about the past of her hometown on the prairie.

This small town has been busy for years building its future. They created their own Anamoose Area Community Foundation in 2008 which allows them to take donations, have fundraisers and award grants to local projects. It is affiliated with the North Dakota Community Foundation (NDCF) and even received a grant award from NDCF for their Save the Bank group that is officially known as MainStreams LLC. It is obvious they are committed to growing and building their community from within, and they are succeeding. They have a civic organization, a Job Development Authority, and a web page full of local business listings. Really, they are a busy group.

Alyce Heer, one of the movers and shakers of Anamoose, has given presentations for community leaders at the Rural Developers Forum for the Great Plains Center at Minot State University to share what she knows about starting a beautification project in a small town. Community members worked hard to put up new signs along the highways into town and make their downtown landscape attractive for visitors and residents alike.

The last time we talked with Alyce, she said they were quite willing to share their work with other developers and communities. So if you are looking for a best practice project in beautification, local fundraising, or civic engagement, you might want to visit Anamoose or talk to Alyce–her contact information is on the website.