Nenana Wellness Coalition
May 23, 2017
The Nenana Wellness Coalition is an alliance of representatives from various organizations, government agencies, community groups and individuals that meets weekly to discuss, evaluate, coordinate, consolidate, celebrate, masticate and help implement plans for improving the wellness and quality of life in Nenana Alaska.
WELCOME and READING OF MISSION STATEMENT: By this week’s chairperson: Laura Hokenson started the meeting at 12:30pm. No lunch provided today, but we did enjoy cheese and crackers and nuts and raisins provided by Bonnie Reed.
There were 7 coalition members in attendance: Bonnie Reed, Mike Arena, Laura Hokenson, Miles Martin, Jim Hautala, Virginia Young, and Mary Alexander
SPIRITUAL MOMENT: Lead by Virginia Young
PRESENTATION OF AGENDA AND CALL FOR MODIFICATIONS: Overall Wellness in/for Nenana
MINUTES: The minutes generated last week were posted at the WIN link at www.railbelt.org and submitted electronically to the WIN e-list.
INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS: None
Wellness in Nenana: Discussion about what we might like to focus on as a wellness group or what people thought could improve the overall Wellness of Nenana. It was brought up that the group itself is getting used to the changing of hands. Missing Kat’s input into the weekly discussions. Also, partially the time of year, people get busy and don’t attend as often. People discussed looking forward to WIN, getting their updates from the group meetings and that we would still work on having “Envisioning Wellness” presentations.
Discussion about what makes a healthy community? Is there anything we want to focus on changing? People stated they liked the small town and safeness of Nenana. Don’t mind paying for services such as city water, infrastructure, and that we have a wonderful EMT/ Fire Department and it’s almost all volunteer! The economy of the town was brought up. What can we bring into town that would benefit Nenana? It was mentioned that in the past when something gets going it’s usually a small group of community members that are interested in seeing it done and making it happen – for example the race track, ice rink and so on. The ice rink was brought up as something we might focus on, and we found out a few community members actually did get a small grant to get the ice rink going last winter. Possibly a foot race like the annihilator that used to start and stop in Nenana. There was discussion about the 10th street boat launch and that people might be willing to pay something to have security down there when leaving their vehicles – maybe even a drop box type payment system. It was wondered who owns the boat launch land, who’s in charge, what’s the liability there? Tourism was discussed. The group was informed that you can now rent a 10X10 space at the Salmon Bake for $300 a month. There was a general acknowledgment that getting anything accomplished can be political in nature and sometimes that is why it can be difficult to move on ideas that individuals might have.
One thing brought up and discussed was the empty lots around Nenana that have structures that need cleared. That these are a loss of potential future tax revenue. It sounds like it might cost the city more to take care of the lots and get them ready to sale, then to keep them as is. One idea was that as a group we could concentrate of just a few lots around Nenana and see if we can get them in condition to sale. Another topic discussed was having a group of students, or community members who could make enough inventory over the winter to have a good business selling to tourist in the summer, things like bead work.
The gas and oil across the river was discussed; no one knew exactly what was happening with it. Where Nenana was with the construction of a bridge out that way was talked about and making plans in case oil or gas was found. Farming was also discussed briefly.
Bonnie Reed: Kindergarten graduation today at 2pm in the gym. Last day of school tomorrow; early out. Nenana Native Council meeting tonight at 6:30pm. Ice Classic meeting tonight at 6:00pm, BBQ to follow. Monday the 29th (Memorial Day) there is no lunch at the Senior Center, but Native Council has the Memorial Day picnic up at the grave yard. Saturday June 3rd the community garage sale.
Miles Martin: Has his rototiller out and ready if anyone needs help on small rototilling jobs. Let him know. The community greenhouse needs volunteers if anyone is interested in keeping it usable. Miles has taken care of it in the past, but not able to keep up with it this summer.
Mary Alexander: Starting to do some gardening back behind the Living Center.
Jim Hautala: Septic system is happening out on the land, things in progress.
Virginia Young: Has many tomato plants for sale. Hardy Alaska varieties.
Laura Hokenson: None