Richmond Aqueduct

Richmond Aqueduct
Second Largest Aqueduct Built on the Enlarged Erie Canal (1856-1917)

Friday, January 20, 2012


The lyrics to Justin Moore's song, Small Town USA go:

     "A lot of people called it prison when I was growin' up
          But these are my roots and that is what I love
               'Cause everybody knows me and I know them
                    And I believe that's the way we're supposed to live
                         I wouldn't trade one single day in small town USA."

There's a lot to be said for growing up in a small town that I didn't so much appreciate when I was younger. Like Justin's song, my roots go deep here, and the things I used to take for granted are extremely important to me today. It seems like there was more of a sense of belonging and real connection that is slipping away.  Do we need to raise our vision higher to our physical environment to empower us to promote a more prosperous and enduring way of life?  How do we promote collaboration between community members to tackle the problems and opportunities in small towns today such as Montezuma? We need to wake up to the fact that its up to us to be more pro-active. With industrialization of agriculture, industrialized delivery systems and the globalization of our economy, our small towns are being by-passed and extremely challenged to endure. 

Today's challenges require us to find the possible solutions that are unique to a place and its people.  We must work towards a community that assures each citizen may hope to prosper and benefit from an inspired community life. We need to raise the bar on what we expect for our community and come together to create a stable, safe and healthy town that reveals our unique heritage and diverse values. One of the greatest challenges that our rural community faces today is the need to find ways for economic stability, growth and achieve a high quality of life.  Unfortunately, there are limited resources, with limited assistance and access to information or the means for implementation.
We need to focus on the appreciation for the character of a people and its place. I'm looking forward to hiring an architect firm through the EPF grant in the next few weeks that will offer creative and practical skills towards improving the environments in which we live, work and meet. It is my hope that we will begin coming together to identify our community's needs. We will then begin addressing how they might be accommodated with existing rich natural and historic resources of our region, so we can begin to organize our community towards a shared vision. Working with local leadership and partners, it is possible to protect our small home town legacy from fading away.

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