By Hailey Dixon for the Lincoln Sentinel
Through an initiative from members in Leadership Lincoln County, new paint, pool mats and lifeguard stands are now installed at Lincoln City Pool.
“We started with the idea to work on the park area as a whole and then narrowed it down to the pool when we realized there were several improvements needed,” said Arminda Brock, a Leadership Lincoln County participant. “The lifeguard chairs were our initial project and then we added the paint and mats from there. We wanted to focus on safety and beautification.”
Other members of the group said they, too, wanted to help improve the safety at the pool for swimmers.
“I’m just hoping the pool will be a more fun and safe environment for everyone who goes there,” said Aubry Donley, Leadership Lincoln County participant.
Brock said she hopes it encourages individuals to use the pool for “recreation, exercise and having fun together.”
“There are a lot of people, both kids and adults, that enjoy the pool in the summer and it makes sense that it should be a beautiful and safe place,” she said.
The group originally presented to the Lincoln City Council, said Kelly Larson, Lincoln County Economic Development Executive Director, and the council then approved their project.
“I think one of the most exciting moments was leaving the city council meeting knowing that we had permission to proceed with the project,” Brock said. “There was something reassuring about knowing that the city council and the mayor had endorsed our ideas and that we were ready to move on to the next step.”
The group applied for grants through the Dane G. Hansen Foundation and Windpower Economic Benefit for funding.
“Applying for the grants was also pretty memorable and a bit daunting, but so rewarding,” Brock said.
In addition to the pool improvements, other members of Leadership Lincoln County organized a free event that drew dogs and dog lovers alike: “Dog Day in the Park” on May 5 in Lincoln.
“[Trase McQueen] came up with the idea,” said Dave Merica, a Leadership Lincoln County participant. “We liked the idea, because we could see immediate benefit to the community, and the businesses who participated, and it was a one-day event, not a project that took several years to complete.”
Larson said the event was a “good idea” by the individuals who organized it.
“It seemed like the people I had asked that went said it was a good event,” Larson said.
The Lincoln Area Humane Society, SLR Inc All Breed Dog Rescue and Your Other Family Doctor had booths at the event, according to a flyer obtained by the Sentinel from Merica. Lilbears Kennels was also present at the event.
“We hoped they learned about local services, and will patronize those businesses,” Merica said. “We also hope the attendees were educated about spay and neutering, adopting rescue dogs [and] dog breeding.”
The humane society included a bake sale and a drawing to win a prize, said Anita Simmons, chairman of the Lincoln Area Humane Society.
“I was pleased,” Simmons said. “For the first time, I thought that it did pretty well.”
Simmons said she hopes the event will continue annually in Lincoln.
“I would hope it becomes a yearly function in the spring to early summer,” she said.
Members of the Leadership Lincoln County class this year were: Brock, Donley, Merica, McQueen, J.C. Huehl, Hunter Meier, Jedd Rowden and Zach Weis.