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Redwood Falls Gazette
  • Tatanka Bluffs is focused on area growth

  • The Tatanka Bluffs Corridor board hosted a meeting Thursday night in Lucan at Knott’s Corner to talk with community leaders in Redwood County about the future and what each community in the county can do to help attract more people....
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  • The Redwood and Renville County area is losing its critical mass. That means there are not enough babies being born to replace the people who are dying. The question a group formed nearly a decade ago is what is being done about that. That group, known as the Tatanka Bluffs Corri-dor, has been focusing efforts to try and give people a reason to live, work, raise their family and play in the region. Those efforts have paid off in various ways over the years, but those involved know the long-term success hinges on getting more done.
    The Tatanka Bluffs Corridor board hosted a meeting Thursday night in Lucan at Knott’s Corner to talk with community leaders in Redwood County about the future and what each community in the county can do to help attract more people. A similar meeting is taking place in Renville County March 31. A group of nearly 20 leaders from Walnut Grove, Wabasso, Vesta, Redwood Falls, Milroy and Lucan attended to talk about how each community can utilize its assets in the best way to improve recreational, economic and educational opportunities in their area. Fifty years ago there were 45,000 people living in Redwood and Renville counties, and the most recent census showed those numbers are now closer to 31,000. Loran Kaardal, an ex officio member of the Tatanka Bluffs board, said the biggest issue is the population is aging, and when those older residents die no one is there to live in their homes or do their jobs. Also, he added, the younger generation is leaving for another important reason. They don’t see any reason to stay. More than a century-and-a-half ago, the frontier was a place people ventured to as they considered it a place of opportunity. Today, the frontier is considered a place people do not want to go to. Our area is frontier. “Eight years ago we decided to develop this two-county community known as Tatanka Bluffs to create a competitive, long-term recreational destination,” Kaardal said, adding statistics show that is what it is going to take to get people to come back. Ted Suss and Jon Wogen, Tatanka Bluffs Corridor members talked about some of the successes that have branched out of the group, such as the Minnesota Valley History Learning Center, the Green Corridor project, continued efforts to develop trails and the creation of management areas for recreation. Kent Gustafson, who moderated the meeting, told the group it essentially has a blank slate to work with, and what they put on that slate is up to those who have an interest in encouraging growth. “If you ask people to move here, they need to know why they should,” said Gustafson, adding there is a lot going for this area. “You must expect visitors and give them a good reason to visit.” Find out more about Tatanka Bluffs and how to get involved in its work at www.tatankabluffs.com.

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