By Rick Schara
West Central Initiative

About a month ago, I received an email from Daniel in Kennebunk, Maine. He said he was thinking about moving back to Minnesota.

We wrote back and forth as I was sharing tales and resources about our region, offering help to put him in touch with partners, and then I asked how he found Live Wide Open. What were his impressions? Here is his reply:

“I discovered Live Wide Open by accident. Was looking for information about the area to share with a colleague, who’s (sic) column is run by a Grant County weekly publication out of Elbow Lake. She doesn’t know anything about Minnesota (other than me). When I found Live Wide Open, I shared it with her because it is a good representation of the towns that make up the area.

“I’m well aware of the area – grandparents lived in Alexandria. My mom’s from Osakis. We used to spend a week on the lake up there nearly every year. When and if we relocate, I have no interest in living in the Twin Cities. I’m from Northfield originally.”

Daniel and I will stay in touch and if he decides to make the move, we’ll be there!

In the meantime, we would love to hear from you! Contact me (Rick) via email at Do you know someone who wants to move to this great area? Give them my contact info.

(Editor’s note: The writer, Rick Schara, is with West Central Initiative and its “Live Wide Open” campaign, aimed at attracting individuals and families to relocate and live in Central Minnesota. Schara recently spoke in Pelican Rapids on the campaign, at the Pelcan Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce.)