We could go on about redevelopment theory, strategies, and plans, and that is all well and good, but what does redevelopment really mean for you and for me? Redevelopment is essentially planning for the future–not only my future or yours, but for the future of our children, grandchildren, and so on. It matters to me because it’s the future for my family and yours.
In a previous article, Selina Pedi-Smith wrote this about her passion for redevelopment, “I am working for a world where all children are free to live their best possible life, a world where anything is possible.” That’s what I am working toward too.
But let’s face it, so many of these redevelopment projects take time–longer than we want or expect. So, what does redevelopment mean for right now, today? It means we start small–baby steps–and with each milestone reached, we are, little by little, improving the future. And make no mistake, it’s not just the people in redevelopment that can help achieve this. It’s you! Over the last several months, we’ve explored a few different ways you can get involved from just participating in the conversation (Thank you to everyone who has stopped in to chat at Divani!), to volunteering time, or donating. And we learned from our local public libraries that one of the easiest ways to support the local organizations that are working to make a difference is by simply utilizing the services offered.
And finally, one of the biggest benefits of these little redevelopment steps is making daily life a little brighter and healthier while returning a sense of purpose and community to our area. Each little step builds the energy and endurance for those long-term projects like brownfield remediation and redevelopment which will in turn bring a bigger impact on daily life for everyone in the area.
What do you think? What would you like to see flourish in the Oil Region? What do we need to do differently and what do you see thriving already? What can we provide that will allow our children to discover their passions? How can we encourage innovation and that sense of “anything is possible” that brought about the prosperity of the region in the first place?
I look forward to meeting many of you out on a project or in Foxburg on Fridays from 1-3. Weather pending, we will be spending the first hour at Divani before moving to River Roots Community Farm located just up the hill at A-C Valley School District. Watch the Facebook page @RiverRootsRedevelopment for more information.
Rachel Brosnahan is the Community Engagement Coordinator for River Roots Redevelopment. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org