Thursday, June 24, 2010

Giving Thanks in Vermont Nov 2009

I spoke to a South Burlington acquaintance recently who is a science teacher at Winooski High School. We seldom run in to each other but seem to share some ideas and opinions about how pride of community develops. My fellow South Burlington resident (albeit from the South end!) talked about how the pride in the city of Winooski seems to be growing stronger than in earlier years through many students as well as adults becoming active in small ways inside their community.

Here in South Burlington I also sense a growing number of people taking an active role inside our community. There is an easily recognizable interest in small neighborhood coalitions within the spirit and community of the widespread city, which is overall looking for a center- both in physical location as well as in a metaphysical tie, to bind us (residents) together with common bonds, purpose, and pride.

Folks attending a recently held South Burlington workshop (Cars to People) expressed interest in safely utilizing high traffic transportation avenues such as Shelburne road and Williston road for biking, walking, and jogging as well as driving. The desire to commute whether it be to get to work, shop local stores, exercise or meet with and visit others without a car, within a safe and aesthetically pleasing pathway was unleashed in a flurry of ideas passed on to the committee. The committee is exploring how these car centric areas might be made a more two legged friendly shared resource. Suggestions included adding more bike racks, more cross-walks, and more large trees to reach out over the road like Burlington has near UVM and down its' Main street. One seemingly simple approach to the aesthetics challenge was to place and service public trash containers (multiple use- to include cigarette butt disposal). The group gave the development board and Cars to People committee many recommendations as working fodder.

Building a sense of community takes many hands, many ideas, and many actions. With Thanksgiving approaching, what better time than now to Thank all the South Burlington residents as well as visitors and business employees who “pick up a piece” (of litter) every day or periodically as part of their active role in making South Burlington a community to be proud of. And I dare not forget (lest the goblins and ghost leave no candy for me next Halloween) Thank You to all the trick or treat folks of all ages who enjoyed the treats of Halloween from their neighbors while respecting our private and public properties by disposing of candy wrappers in the appropriate containers for disposal.

Small efforts especially when multiplied over many hands can result in large impacts. From noticing litter and taking the responsibility of picking it up for proper disposal to promoting safer and more aesthetically pleasing tree lined streets, we can grow what it means to be destination South Burlington as well as South Burlington-our Home.

Thank You all for expressing your pride in our city through activities aimed at making the city Green and Clean all year long.

Happy Thanksgiving