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  • Writer's pictureTonja Brown

Creative tension is a good thing

As the Grow Grand Island Executive Committee gears up for our October retreat, it is inspiring to look back over the last several years at what has been accomplished collectively in our community by so many to make this place we call home better. Here are just a few to highlight:


· A Children’s Museum is in the works.

· The new Pirnie Inclusive Playground is taking shape.

· The Conestoga Mall is being transformed into Conestoga Marketplace.

· Prairie Commons is filling in.

· The Fonner Campus has added a casino.

· Railside is enhanced with the Amur Plaza expansion.

· New housing developments are underway.

· We just experienced Welcome Week 2023, a new way to celebrate our diversity.


And on the horizon, I want to highlight the expansion of the Grand Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery, the redevelopment of the Veterans Home property, and the City’s acquisition of Camp Augustine for future expanded recreation. What might be next?


“Creative tension” is what Peter Senge, the author of The Fifth Discipline, describes as the space that exists between where people are now and where they want to go. All the things I highlighted have come from creative tension, which can also be uncomfortable at times throughout the process.


Quint Studer in his book called Building a Vibrant Community advises that “getting comfortable with the uncomfortable” helps communities use creative tension for their advantage, rather than having it lower the bar on their goals.


Grow Grand Island exists to “cultivate bold ideas that generate quality of life and business opportunities in our region through planning, partnering and doing.” We certainly don’t stand alone in our pursuit, as there are so many wonderful organizations in our community who play significant roles in making Grand Island a great place to live, work, and play. Look back on the highlighted list above and consider all who were involved in making these things happen.


It is with this inspiration that the Grow Grand Island Executive Committee will look toward what might be next for the Grand Island area at our upcoming retreat. And, your thoughts are welcomed. If you haven’t already, take a few moments and visit growgrandisland.com and complete a short “wish list” survey. This is one way you can be part of creative tension yet to be. And, remember, creative tension is a good thing.

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