Change is hard. Even change for good is hard. It’s much easier to sit still and not take any risks.
So much of western Kansas and some of central Kansas is disappearing. Once thriving communities that bustled with activity now sit empty and dying.
We can sit still or we can change.
We have to change to keep up with the times. Opening a business that makes film for cameras would be a waste of time.
So too, must thinking change.
As a community, we need to value what is different about our community. We have a wetlands of international importance right at our front door.
We are also right on the Santa Fe Trail, which could use some developing.
There will be growing pains. Thorns come with the rose.
We can’t stick our heads in the sand and pretend if we do nothing, everything will be great.
We have some people in the community who are wonderfully proactive. We have the Kansas Wetlands Education, a museum and the National Wetlands and Wildlife Scenic Byway.
We could accomplish more if more residents participated.
We need bed and breakfasts and someone who is willing to let someone pay to do their farm chores. People from places like New York would pay to see a real working farm or even a farm from the 1800s. Plus, there are people who have never seen a harvest moon because the view is obscured by buildings, trees or mountains.
There are things everyone can do. Those that own a business can spruce up the outside by planting a tree and adding other native landscaping such as prairie flowers. Planting a tree would cut down on utilities and help combat global warming as well as making the business more appealing.
Let’s face it, the outskirts of town could use a little work.
As Ted Eubanks, a worldwide marketing expert, said at the ecotourism summit this week with Gov. Sam Brownback, it doesn’t matter if the downtown is beautiful if there is a rusting double wide and a broken down plow at the edge of town.
Taking a look at ourselves with fresh eyes can make a huge difference.
If everybody works together and does what they can do, great progress can be made.
Karen La Pierre