We are fortunate to live in a region with abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation. One of the most diverse of these opportunities is the Arkansas River.
This body of water winds its way through the area, passing close to several communities along its rambling route. One just has to walk along the flood control levee just south of Great Bend on any given evening to catch a glimpse of this.
They may see all-terrain vehicle riders enjoying the sandy river bottom. They my see hikers on the paved levee path. They may see anglers fishing in the river or one of the nearby sand pit lakes. They may see horseback riders and bicyclists.
Indeed, the river is a blessing to so many. It provides a refuge from the hustle and bustle of our busy world, a peaceful sanctuary and a place to enjoy nature.
That is why it is so disconcerting to hear reports from folks living in Ellinwood who frequent the river. They tell of near-miss incidents where stray bullets whiz past them.
There are other times where motorized vehicles are seen buzzing along the hiking/biking path.
The Arkansas is a wonderful resource that can be shared and treasured by all. But, all those who use it must keep the others in mind.
These stories of misuse not only show a selfish lack of concern for others, but they create an unsafe environment. It is not fair for those who wish to enjoy the river responsibly to suffer because of the carelessness of others.