Investing in our health, our economy and ourselves.
As I walk door to door each week for the election, I am constantly reminded that the town of Colonial Beach has enormous potential. Our diverse community of retirees and our families with school age children sometimes seem to be at odds with one another. I see so much talent and citizen effort here regardless of age or lifestyle differences. These different groups must not interact together enough to see that their needs are not so different from one another. There is, in my opinion, a missing community necessity that can bring everyone together and it’s really more simplistic than you may think. This solution to community cohesion is also an economic driver. It will even benefit our tourism industry, our annual weekenders, and even enhance town beauty.
What you say could possibly be so unifying as to be needed by both young and old, visitors and local dynasties? It’s called Recreation and while it’s not the answer to all the worlds problem, it might be part of the solution to a neighbor battling health issues and a child loitering with nothing to do. The Torrey Smith Rec Park is an initiative this community has rallied behind because we all know it’s part of the solution to the CB age old complaint “There’s nothing to do here.” I am exhausted from hearing this complaint, and there’s no reason we can’t fix just that. While I believe the new TSRP is going to be a catalyst for rejuvenating the physical and mental health of our community we should be looking forward as well to what else we can do that provides real benefits to our citizens. Small things, like a couple more sets of beach swings, a water fountain or two around the “point” run, and paving the golf cart path should take a minimal amount of budgeting while making a decent impact.
If we look up and out into the distance there’s more to be looking forward to as well. Two uncompleted items from our Comprehensive Plan include connecting a Trail/Path to Monroe’s Birthplace and acquiring land between the number streets and the meadows for a playground on the North side of town. The planning commission has also given recommendations for a dog park at Robin Grove and is simply awaiting any Town Council vote to move forward with grant funding.
Each of these recreational items are feasible and immensely beneficial with the support of our community. The real way to put them into action is to provide a small budget line item, even if it starts with merely $25,000 (thats only half of what we paid this year for digital marketing). Even a small amount sets aside a piece that we will use to put back into the physical health and wellness of our community.
Along with the TSRP, I’d also love to see a citizen recreational committee established (also in our comp plan) so that programs can be developed and park maintenance will be monitored. Eventually who knows, maybe we could even work up to a Parks and Rec Dept where the town hires someone in charge of event permits, park property management, and grant writing for improving public space/beauty. Then maybe we could finally work towards a Public/Private Partnership with the YMCA or CBF for a full scale Community Center with a Theatre and a Pool! Wow, I know, I’m getting ahead of myself here... but wouldn’t that be something. I’ll take it one step at a time and for now I’ll hope to see progress at the water tower field and maybe just maybe a swing or two more on the beach.