Harrison 4th grader is Brainerd’s Community Member of the Month

Amirah Cosgrove earned the award after her drawing of Brainerd's water tower was chosen as a winner in the My District, My Minnesota art contest.

Amirah Cosgrove - Community Member of the Month
Amirah Cosgrove, a fourth grader at Harrison Elementary School, poses with Brainerd Mayor Dave Badeaux as she accepts the Community Member of the Month award Monday, April 3, 2023.
Theresa Bourke / Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD — Fourth grade student Amirah Cosgrove is Brainerd’s Community Member of the Month.

Cosgrove, who attends Harrison Elementary School, accepted the award from Mayor Dave Badeaux during the Brainerd City Council meeting Monday, April 3. She was honored for winning the My District, My Minnesota Art contest for District 6. Amirah drew a picture of Brainerd’s historic water tower to illustrate life in her district. She came out on top, and the drawing is now on display in the Minnesota Senate Building in St. Paul and will remain there for the rest of the year.

Amirah Cosgrove holds a copy her artwork. The artwork shows the historic Brainerd watertower.
Amirah Cosgrove holds a copy her artwork Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023, at Harrison Elementary School in Brainerd.
Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

“One of the things we want to do as a city is celebrate our citizens who go a little bit out of their way to show that life in Brainerd is something worth being a part of,” Badeaux said Monday, noting he’ll have to get a copy of the drawing to hang in City Hall.

“I want to help us reach out and let our young citizens know that this is a great place to live. And whenever we can see a young citizen that is showing pride for their area, it’s something that I think we should definitely celebrate,” Badeaux said. “And, Amirah, you picked my favorite thing. … The water tower is something that I feel very strongly about, and it really does represent us. It has become the symbol of our city.”

Amirah told the Dispatch she was excited about her win in an interview in February and spoke of the most difficult parts of drawing the tower, which turned out to be the flags on top.


In other business Monday, the council:

Accepted a bid from Landsburg Landscape Nursery for $8,506.73 for downtown landscaping services this year. The city budgeted $18,000 for the expense.

Authorized the hiring of temporary and seasonal employees: Jack Wanous, engineering intern, $16 per hour; Gregory Roberts and Ashton Koering, parks seasonal maintenance, $16 per hour; Emily Bjorgan, special events assistant, $15 per hour; Charles Smith, concessions, $15 per hour; Joe Vreeleand and Brad Eisenbeis, adult softball umpires, rate to be determined.

Approved an event application for the Veterans of Foreign Wars Freedom Fest, set to take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 17 in the Laurel Street parking lot.

Agreed to move forward with the Lum Park Road reconstruction project while maintaining on-street parking on both sides of the road.

Authorized staff to apply for a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Outdoor Recreation grant for the Lum Park Beach and Campground expansion project.

Accepted the resignation of Battalion Chief Joe Rubado, effective July 31. Rubado has been with the fire department for 26 years.

Accepted the resignation of Lynda Hummel from the Brainerd Lakes Public Library Board.


Appointed Justin Grecula to the Economic Development Authority, with a term ending in 2026.

THERESA BOURKE may be reached at or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at .

Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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