Jason and Annie Dohl returned to Jason’s hometown of Sylvan Grove in the early-2000s to raise a family and pursue their dreams of owning their own businesses.
“We wanted to raise our children (Valden, 12; Vance, 9; Tevis, 7) in a small town,” Annie said. “We wanted to allow our children to feel safe and be a part of a great community. We love that they know how to interact with people of all generations, are known by most everyone in the area, and are held accountable not just by their parents.”
Jason started Sylvan Lawn Care, a bustling lawn and landscape business serving customers in Lincoln, Ellsworth, Mitchell, Russell, and Osborne counties, in 2002, while Annie is the owner, and instructor, at Post Rock Dance Academy, a dance school teaching different styles of dance to youth from toddlers through high school.
“We love the people here, we love the support we’ve had during difficult times, and we love the customers who support our businesses…they have become like family,” Annie said.
But it’s more than just the safety and security of small town living that keeps the Dohls “Rural by Choice,” it’s also the sense of community.
“We would encourage anyone who wants to be a part of a community, not just a neighborhood; who wants to feel a sense of safety for yourself and your children; who loves the beauty of open, green spaces, and who wants to feel like what you’re doing matters to others’ lives, then small town life is for you,” Annie, who grew up in Topeka, said. “Since a small town’s population is ‘small’ each person’s role is that much more important. The appreciation one receives for that is not felt in a big city. Serving others is why God put us here; a small town is a great place to do that.”