Jason & Michelle McNierney Escape City Life and Move to Bertrand

Jason & Michelle McNierney Escape City Life and Move to Bertrand Main Photo

28 Dec 2021

Michelle Mel Mcnierney and her husband, Jason, found living in Denver during the pandemic to be a burden. Their childrens’ schools were shut down, and their once quiet neighborhood on the edge of a Denver suburb was now surrounded by homes.

Michelle and Jason took an RV road trip east to escape the COVID-19 restrictions in the city and stumbled upon the quaint and friendly town of Bertrand. They decided that Bertrand might be a calmer, healthier, and safer environment in which to raise their family.

“The people in Bertrand are super nice and helpful,” Mcnierney said. “They want to do things together like play bingo together and play golf together. It just has that sense of community. And, there like 10 churches out here so that provides a feeling of safety, too.”

When they decided to purchase a house and move to Bertrand in June 2021, Michelle’s neighbors brought over meals and baked goodies and helped them with mowing and getting the family plugged into community activities.

Michelle, who is a certified yoga teacher and life coach, started teaching yoga at the Don Sjogren Community YMCA in Holdrege and is now renovating a building in downtown Bertrand in which she will open her own yoga studio in January 2021 with the help of PCDC grants.

PCDC has awarded $22,000 in GO! DREAM and other grants to help fund a new roof, purchase a new sign and replace gutters and windows to prevent future leaks on the 100-plus-year-old building. Jason’s company AP Roofing did the work on the project.

Michelle appreciates the attitude of Bertrand residents in wanting to maintain their town and keep it looking nice.

“We just figured we needed to do something to support the community and be in the community, too,” she said. “My youngest is almost two so we are going to be here a while.”