One day we took a stroll along the river, visiting first the Amboy Road Park. A fine walk we had. We climbed trees and looked at plants and bugs. A large tree had been blown over in the storm that was the remnants of hurricane Harvey.
Just down the road is Carrier Park, which is much more developed. A large staircase and bridge takes you over a race track that was in the process of being resurfaced. Inside the ring of the track is a large playground, as well as tennis and basketball courts, and a large rink for roller hockey. The girls enjoy this spot for roller skating, though on this day it was just the playground.
Parks are definitely fun, though I can see many ways in which they could be used more creatively, generating even more obvious economic value for the community. How can we activate publicly run campuses with community programs using our parks and our public buildings? The infrastructure is all there, but the use of it often excessively restricted, controlled by bureaucratic process. Yet the instigators of the bureaucratic process, the property owning capitalists in the region, would greatly benefit from adopting better methods of utilizing space and people, shifting towards local production and creative networking.
So how do we get conversations started between the people who run businesses in our town? Can we gather together those who are invested in the town to have a visioning of ways that we could close loops and recycle wealth locally? Can we promote local production and innovative, out of the boxing thinking for how we can use what we have to our best advantage? We have land, buildings, water plants, power plants, fleets of vehicles, and social infrastructure for pooling our wealth. This is a great resource that cannot be thrown away, even though we have some kinks to work out. Such as the dominating relationship between communities and the bodies of government that are allegedly there to serve them.
The answer is not in the creation of new government programs; it is the transition of governments to cooperatives, community trusts, and private services – all bodies which must be totally transparent and which must answer to their constituents. Administration of shared human affairs is necessary for more complex societies, but the process of arbitrating and setting policy must be a truly public endeavor.
A great many wonderful projects and local jobs could be created with a little bit of effort on the part of those who have a stake in communities. All of us have a stake in our community, of course, so what are we waiting for? Let’s see what kinds of creative ideas we can come up with!