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Editorial: Civic-minded people keep parks beautiful despite budget cuts

July 6, 2012
The Alpena News

Philanthropy is one of the greatest legacies a person can develop.

Giving of yourself, your wealth or your talent to benefit others not only is praiseworthy, it is a noble concept. Imagine what the world might be like if everyone practiced it.

Area residents are seeing a small sample of that vision at parks in Alpena, where civic-minded families have come together to maintain and beautify important recreational areas within the city limits.

At Washington Park along the Thunder Bay River, former Mayor John Gilmet offered his services to city officials to trim trees along the river's banks, mulch areas in need there and eventually, add flowers and fertilizer to the grounds.

The park, because of its location, already was a city jewel that sparkles all the more today because of its recent manicure and make-over.

The same also can be said of the Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary's Island Park. Naturalist O.B. Eustis once described the park as "a place of quiet waters, waving reeds, shaded shores and water lilies." Indeed, in our mind it is all that and more.

A number of groups have helped the city maintain it over the years, as well as private citizens, whole families and various groups, such as the garden club. These volunteers have spent countless hours at the park improving trails, planting new shrubs and flowers, replacing steps and repairing damage from thoughtless acts of vandalism.

Efforts like those described here of "Adopting-A-Park" are especially helpful in times like these, where municipalities everywhere are having to make tough budget decisions. Often, recreational assets are one of the first to be abandoned when tough decisions must be made.

Thankfully, civic-minded families in Alpena have made it a personal mission not to let that occur in these instances. We're glad they've taken them "under their wings."



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