“A home is a place we all know we can be loved and safe,” said Betsy Westra.
At the February 15th award ceremony, Betsy, a student in Ms. Mitchell’s class, was celebrated as winner of the North Bend Elementary (NBE) Your Home drawing contest. Betsy was one of 37 second graders at NBE who participated. City staff, civil engineering firm Blueline Group, and Principal Stephanie Shepherd asked students to draw their visions of an ideal home, concentrating on aspects they find most important. Students described their ideal homes as safe, comfortable, happy, and loving, among others.
Teachers Janee Smith and Megan Mitchell’s second grade classes shared examples that showcased a wide array of housing needs, with lots of windows, plants, families, chimneys, lighting, and even a few rainbows. Also recognized were the following student finalists: Piper Schneider and Josephine Murphy, in Smith’s class, and Estelle De Libran, in Mitchell’s class.
“We don’t all have the same context of family,” Principal Planner Mike McCarty shared with students. “Some of us have big families and need more room, and some of us have smaller families.”
Betsy’s winning reflection on Home will be incorporated into the City’s Housing Action Plan (HAP). The HAP is a policy document outlining how to meet North Bend’s diverse housing needs in a way that supports everyone, with a goal to enable a broad variety of housing types and price points, helping to address the local and regional housing shortage and affordability gap. It is an essential part of the City’s Comprehensive Plan and will be supported by data and public input. Stay tuned for the HAP in June 2023.
The City invites parents to provide input as well. Please consider sharing your feedback on housing needs in North Bend by participating in a short North Bend Housing Action Plan Survey. Your voice is crucial and will help shape the future of housing in town.
Following the survey, the City invites you to participate in a Housing Action Plan Open House, on Wednesday, March 1, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., at the North Bend City Hall, located at 920 SE Cedar Falls Way.