Month Eight | Tripp’s New Level of Community
Eight months after attending their first RuralX, Shawn and Bryan Bietz have helped spark a whole new level of community camaraderie in Tripp. The couple attended RuralX as a way to help find new resources and information about rural economic and community development. Since then, the community has come together for the better, despite some unexpected challenges.
An example of this community togetherness can be found on the Tripp Action Group (TAG) Facebook page, which was created by Shawn after she returned from RuralX as a “positive space to share ideas, collaborate and implement some great things in our community.” Shawn and Bryan were inspired to start a community group at RuralX. They created a name, a logo and a Facebook page to help launch the group. Today, the TAG page has 200 followers, which is just a little less than half the population of Tripp.
“The Tripp Action Group has been one of our favorite things to come out of RuralX. It has brought good people together with the common goal of benefitting our community,” says Shawn. “A lot of the events and projects that have been planned came right off the Facebook page and were carried over into our monthly meetings.”
Some of the past events include a kickball fundraiser, a yard clean-up project and Hometown Christmas, which was a big success.
When a post went up in February asking for more community event ideas, a flood of responses ranging from dances to scavenger hunts to resurrecting the old ice rink were posted by community members. The biggest online conversation revolved around an Easter egg hunt, which is now planned for March 31st in the city park. TAG, the Commercial Club and the Dugout are sponsors of the hunt.
In addition to the Easter egg hunt, TAG members are also planning an Easter Weekend backpack program, which will provide food bags to school kids in need of healthy nutrition over the long break.
Other activities being planned by TAG are involvement in Paint SD, a program that provides paint and supplies to volunteers so that they can paint a home in need of a little TLC in the community. The community will be involved in Dakota Resources Community Coaching program and will also be reviewing recommendations for improving the community, provided to them from the 2018 SDSU Active Transportation grant.
Finally, TAG is rallying more community members to attend RuralX this June in Mitchell as a way to keep the positive momentum going in Tripp.