Highlights of some of our community success stories, check back often for new stories.


One Sky & the University of Idaho:
A Winning Partnership

The University of Idaho and the Coeur d'Alene Reservation communities began a large-scale partnership in fall 2006. The four-year partnership continues to yield tremendous impact. Based on Building Sustainable Communities Initiative students' work, the tribe has received two major HUD grants totaling $2.5 million for wastewater treatment and affordable housing. The infrastructure project is now complete, and the tribe broke ground for the new housing development earlier this year.
This fall, the university/community partnership received the Outreach Scholarship/W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Award for the western U.S. region. The award honors the partnerships of a single university that has redesigned its teaching, research and outreach functions to become more involved with communities. The University of Idaho is also finalist for the national C. Peter Magrath University/ Community Engagement Award, one of just five universities to be selected as a finalist.
"This honor reflects the hard work of many people in the community and their commitment to making our reservation a better place," said Chief Allan, chairman of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe. "Being able to make decisions at the local level is critical to the success of One Sky North Idaho. I couldnt be happier with the program."
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Kendrick Grange Restoration Benefits from UI Volunteers

The Associated Students of the University of Idaho's Center for Volunteerism and Social Action and the Horizons program joined together to bring the energy, muscle and enthusiasm of student volunteers to communities in rural Idaho. In October, 30-some members of the Phi Delta Gamma (Fiji) fraternity helped residents in Kendrick on early renovation work to create a shared space for community activities out of the old Grange building.

A spokesperson for the community sent an appreciative email, "The next time someone comments about the youth of today being lazy or worthless, remind them of the 30 plus young men that came and gave us a day's work. What wonderful men! A lot of work was accomplished in a short amount of time. A BIG Thank You to the men of the Fiji House!"

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Cascade Whitewater Park Opens

When a Cascade Whitewater Park on the Payette River opens next month, it signifies more than a new tourist attraction. It showcases what can happen when a community joins together and generates a unified vision.

Among the ideas the community began work on was the whitewater park, which would stimulate tourism activity. In March 2009, a generous $500,000 gift to the Friends of the Cascade Whitewater Park from Mark and Kristina Pickard of Miami, Fla., jumpstarted the work on the project.
Named in honor of Kristina's late sister, Kelly Brennan, Kelly's Whitewater Park opened in June 2010. Preliminary economic analysis suggests that the park could generate in excess of $1 million in retail business annually to area merchants.
Students from the University of Idaho provided design solutions that helped shape the park. "The students wanted to do a lot, and we welcomed them with open arms," said Carter. "They were fresh, they had new ideas and they weren't afraid to share with us. They had horizons without limits, and they brought a great enthusiasm to Cascade that made us want to do more and be more." <more>


Eden & Hazelton Prepare for Emergencies

In December 2009, Michelle Taylor and the Eden/Hazelton Emergency Preparedness Action Team gathered 14 members of the Hazelton Community together to receive CPR/First Aid Certification Training. The team chose to support a locally owned business, Keyes to CPR, to provide the training.  The certification helps the community as well as the individual completing the training.  As the instructor indicated, one of the best things a person can do in this down economy is to get certifications like CPR to help find work or advance within a company. The team plans to offer a variety of trainings in the future such as a babysitting course involving money management, entrepreneurship and first aid. <more>


Coeur d'Alene Reservation

A diamond in the rough, is the way people describe their hometown of Plummer, Idaho, on the Coeur d'Alene Reservation. When planners began to talk about improving U.S. Highway 95 through the nearby town of Worley, the people of Plummer galvanized efforts to use the construction project as a springboard to polishing the areas image and economy.  <more>


Menan Community Pride

Menan (Pop. 700) recently gathered to celebrate 130 years of Community Pride. The celebration included a parade, games and a dessert/lunchbox auction. Parents and kids joined in for old fashioned games such as potato sack races, hopscotch and jump rope. A tug of war took place in the middle of foam generously provided by the local fire department followed by zucchini boat races on the river. The community wrapped up the celebration with an evening square dance. Residents had a fun day and enjoyed spending it with other members of the community, past and present.  Overall, it was a great day and helped confirm our vision of Menan as a place with family-friendly activities and events that provide cultural opportunities and a place for people to connect.  

Butte Communities Car Crushing

Imagine one and a half tons of metal smashed into a flattened slab right before your eyes? To raise funds for the newly established Moore Community Association, Arco/Moore residents came together for a day of car crushing this fall.  Nearly a year was spent collecting cars for this event. 
Car crushing is a great way to raise money, bring people together and clean up your community. You could donate a car or donate your time to improve your community.  If owners brought their cars to the designated spot, they received 60% of the proceeds.  If the car had to be picked up, the owner received 40%.  For this event, the cars and proceeds could also be donated to the new Moore Community Association).  Intermountain Auto brought in a remote car crusher to the site where 100 cars were crushed.  They then transported the cars to a recycling center.  Prices were paid at a specified dollar amount per ton and this one event raised an astounding $10,000. 

If your community wants to learn more about the Arco/Moore Car Crushing Project or are interested in creating a similar event in your community, please contact the head of the Arco/Moore Horizons Steering Committee, Bill at 208-360-2711.    


We've been hearing the talk and going to meetings for 25 years since the mill closed. Now, thanks to Horizons support and training, things are actually happening, said a resident of Riggins, Idaho, where Horizons helped spark the establishment of a bus service.

Today with more than 75 volunteers on the roster, the CCC is still going strong. One of its projects is the CABS or Canyon Area Bus Service, a local door-to-door bus service for residents and visitors in the Salmon River Canyon area. CABS provides public transportation for everyone; with priority seating for the elderly and disabled.

A recent stimulus funds grant from the Idaho Transportation Department will allow the group to purchase new buses, maintain office facilities and hire more employees. CABS has created jobs and increased the ability of community residents to shop, visit and go to appointments in the surrounding towns.


Poverty in Idaho

One in four Idahoans surveyed this summer for the Northwest Area Foundation said someone in their family lost a job during the past year. More than a third said work hours were cut. Those without college educations were twice as likely to lose their jobs as those with a college degree, according to the survey.

Idaho families have been hit hard. One in four reported taking a family member into their homes because of economic struggles. Six in 10 Idahoans, 60 percent, say it takes at least $40,000, almost twice the federal "poverty threshold" of $21,834, for a family of four to make ends meet. <Read the full report>

Horizons Student Experiences

The small town of Cascade experienced financial hardship when its main industry, a timber mill, closed in 2001. When the mill shut down, the only things left in the town to keep the economy running were a few small businesses and tourist activity in the winter as people drove through to get to McCall. For many students, the towns troubles posed an educational challenge and design opportunity.  <Read the full story>