‘We Need to Think Outside the Box”

Albion Mayor Hopes to Earn Funds That Benefit Entire Community

Playground equipment at the city park in Albion.

If there is anyone who knows that smalltown Albion needs to think differently to make things happen, it’s Mayor Isaac Loveland.

Mayor Isaac Loveland

Isaac, a lifelong Albion resident who has been the mayor of his hometown for about a year, is participating in his first Mayor’s Walking Challenge. He’ll earn $1,000 for his community If he averages 10,000 steps per day during October. He is one of more than 70 mayors walking in the sixth annual event put on by the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health.

Isaac is quick to point out that his city —population 267 according to the sign on Main Street —doesn’t have walking paths or trails and that most sidewalks in town aren’t in good condition. The $1,000 he plans to win won’t fix those issues, but he’s confident it will be put to good use.

“Whatever it is, I want it to be beneficial to the community as a whole,” he says. “I’ve brought it up with city council and others to see what ideas we can come up with.”

Isaac, who has a degree in recreation management from Utah State University, said it will be important for the community to think differently to solve problems and create a healthier community.

“We’re going to need to think outside the box,” Isaac says. “We have to think of alternative ways of funding and doing things. We have to learn how to work with surrounding agencies because you don’t do it all by yourself.”

The water tower greets visitors as they approach Main Street.

Albion may lack some pedestrian-friendly amenities, but the city is surrounded by plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities that encourage an active lifestyle. Pomerelle Ski Area is nearby for winter recreation, and the city is the gateway to the City of Rocks nature preserve. Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service lands are adjacent to Albion.

“For as small as we are, we have access to great things to do and places,” he said.

The city has a small park with a stone fountain as the centerpiece. Horseshoe pits, a basketball court and playground equipment make it a place for the whole family.

As the father of a 5-year-old daughter, Isaac knows the importance of physical activity for young people. The family loves to hike, camp and partake in the outdoors.

“We try to get her out as much as we can,” Isaac says. “We’re trying to limit that indoor time because it’s good for you to get out and do things outside and be physically active.”

The Mayor’s Walking Challenge will serve as motivation for Isaac to get his steps in as well. With scenic mountains as a backdrop, Albion is a great setting to be active.

Views are plentiful in Albion.