Not exactly a SPORTS piece, but recreation is close. Just a quick editorial that ran in the HDN on July 24, urging the public to do something themselves if they want improved facilities and opportunities.
The five-year joint recreation plan the city of Hillsdale and Hillsdale Township are embarking on together is more than just a chance to take inventory of what we have and what the future holds in terms of parks and recreation.
It is an opportunity to work together as a community for the common good and make a lasting impact on the appearance and value of our area.
We all know that local budgets are as tight as Saran wrap and massive overhauls are but a laughable proposition, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to have a voice, be positive during a time of too many negatives, and try to do something other than play the blame game.
Some of the local parks are beginning to look like antique yards, many people complain there’s not enough variety in the recreation offerings around here and we get asked questions about sports complexes and the possibility of a skate park all the time.
Our response to that banter?
Call the city or township, fill out the public surveys they are handing out in regards to the joint recreation plan and show up when they host a public forum.
You don’t have to have a certain political stance or be of a certain income class, all you have to do is be willing to express your ideas and listen to what challenges are ahead.
We think a communitywide, or even county-wide skate park would be a grand idea. It would keep kids out of the alleys and around local businesses and give them something to call their own.
Youth and adults alike brought up the idea when the Village of Jonesville and Fayette
Township were collaborating on their joint recreation plan and now it’s an official matter of public record, for local government employees to be reminded of every time they look at the document.
It would also be nice to use the assets of both the township and city for everyone’s benefit and have different recreation areas with distinctive functions.
Through insightful planning and smart spending there can be something for almost everyone.
Bike and walking trails are great, upkeep of the disc golf course at Baw Beese is simple but takes a few man hours every now and then and things like shuffleboard courts, better kept playing fields and a variety of cheap classes for residents are all reasonable goals.
Reasonable enough that we think people should flock to these kinds of meetings because it is their tax dollars at work.
It is their personal enjoyment and entertainment that is being discussed, something we all need to get through these trying times.
And it is the kind of gesture that can go a long way in building camaraderie and ultimately securing the place we call home a few more dollars to keep improving.