#550 – And the winner is…

Posted on | The Agurban

And the winner is…

Last week we shared with you a great story out of Yankton, South Dakota, called What’s the Big Idea? Big ideas were sought that would “have the potential to truly improve the lives of Yanktonians for generations to come.” A $10,000 prize would be awarded to the person or group that delivered the winning proposal.

As the contest came to a close, more than 500 ideas had been submitted. The list was then pared down to six finalists. Below are those six ideas:

  1. 1. Charting New Courses – Our big idea is to partner with the entire community of Yankton to attract 50% more college students to our community and provide meaningful career opportunities to entice them to stay.
  2. 2. 4 Season Outdoor Entertainment Venue – Chalk stone Hill area & the abandoned “Golden” property could be developed into a four season entertainment venue. The Chalk Stone hill area could become the Missouri River outdoor music/entertainment venue with a natural amphitheater built into or in front of the hillside. It could be used for concerts, outdoor movies, and numerous events throughout the year.
  3. 3. Best City in America for Children – We propose that you make Yankton the best city in America for children. The city has already done a lot to be family friendly, with beautiful parks, beaches, good schools, a proposed new Boys & Girls Club, and the public safety we all want in South Dakota.
  4. 4. Signature Rivers Edge Tower and Downtown – A cities core neighborhood, including its downtown, is often considered a barometer as to the community’s economic health and quality of life. Let’s define our core with inspiring, cutting edge projects adding character and meaningful spaces. From the picturesque Missouri River up to 4th street, creating housing, visitor attractions and forward thinking employment opportunities.
  5. 5. Recreate Community Identity – The intrigue of any rural community is the quality of life provided by people. The “village” identity is one of extreme social cohesion; however, as a rural community begins to grow in size and population, it loses this sense of village. I propose that the next “big idea” Yankton needs is a comprehensive and focused re-planning of city development which re-engages the town with its historic identity.
  6. 6. Missouri River Capital of Entrepreneurship – For Yankton to grow into the 21st century, I believe it must become the Missouri River Capital of Entrepreneurship. Innovation and production is in our history; we once had a brick factory, a brewery, a flour mill, and can claim the Dakota Territory’s first bank. To reclaim Yankton’s innovative potential, we must first start by developing creative community space. I call upon the people of Yankton to give our downtown new life and make it the center of a 21st century creative community.

The winning idea was announced last night at a community event held by the Onward Yankton Steering Committee. So, without further ado, the winning idea is…

Missouri River Capital of Entrepreneurship, submitted by Jacob Fokken!

Over the course of the next few weeks, it is the goal of the steering committee to “put the idea in motion” with the support of the entire community. We will follow-up with Heidi Marsh and others to keep up with the progress of implementing (the big idea).

Congratulations to everyone in Yankton!