Auburn Development Council created Nemaha County Leadership (NCL ) in 2013 to develop and cultivate leaders who productively work together for the benefit of the county. Through skills development, broadening knowledge of our community, networking and community projects, NCL connects leaders with opportunities to both lead and serve.
Community investment. NCL Class #7 returned again and again to these words during each project brainstorming session. Where could a class project have the most impact? As Class #7 learned about each community, one city stood out for the challenges it has faced since the 2019 flooding of the Missouri River – Peru, Nebraska.
In Peru, per capita, infrastructure damages are estimated to be among the highest among Nebraska communities affected by the 2019 flooding. Specifically, the Missouri River flooding caused $7.91 million in economic loss for Peru and Nemaha County. One hundred thirty-nine farms were impacted, and 12,438 acres were prevented from being planted. There was also $7.2 million in “spillover” revenue loss due to decreased ag production. The area saw 1,529 fewer out-of-state visitors due to loss of tourist attractions. Local schools have also been (and continue to be) deeply impacted with at least a $656,000 in lost revenue and a $53 million decrease in property valuation.
Class project: PERU BARK PARK AND FAMILY AREA
The challenges Peru faces are difficult and long term. Class #7 wants to be a part of the reinvestment in the area and show county-wide support for a city that has faced so much. The class narrowed their focus to recreation and community-building projects and created a survey to receive feedback from Peru citizens. Based on these results, the class identified a project and location – repurposing the derelict ballfield (owned by the City) to a dog park and family gathering area. The Class approached and received approval from the Peru City Council for the project plans and location.
Fundraising and planning are underway for the Peru Bark Park and family area with a goal of implementation by early September. As part of the build, Class #7 will engage people from Peru and others throughout the county and region to encourage a sense of community and support for the city of Peru.
Nemaha County Leadership is now accepting applications for NCL Class #8. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for an application and to ask questions.