Friday, December 10, 2010
We all have our own reasons for calling Routt County home. As different as these reasons may be, I bet we all agree that we are lucky to live in paradise. But what is it exactly that makes this place so special, how did it get this way and who is responsible for keeping it this way?
The introduction of the Vision 2030 report states: “Many interwoven layers work in concert to create the overall fabric of a community. Maintaining the integrity of that fabric is dependent upon balancing the interests and desires of citizens with an intuitive understanding of the community’s core values. Shaping a region’s future as growth and change come to bear on the sense of community requires a vision grounded in this balance. Therefore, defining our community’s heart and soul is the first step in recommending actions to shape a desired future.”
The reports continues: “Heart and soul is defined as the unique features, resources, special places and core values that, if lost, would fundamentally diminish the quality of community and sense of well-being that compelled citizens to put down roots in Routt County.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
There are countless organizations in Routt County that act as stewards of the heart and soul of this community. I feel fortunate in my new position as executive director of Historic Routt County to have a small role in helping to ensure that the people, places and stories of the area’s past are remembered so they can be shared today and tomorrow.
Collaboration and partnerships with organizations that share this common goal of preserving our heritage are a key way Historic Routt County hopes to achieve this vision.
I’m proud of the organizations Historic Routt County partners with. These are the people who make sure that the more things change, the more things remain the same. Change is healthy and desirable as long as the core values and the defining characteristics of a community remain. The people of the Community Agriculture Alliance, Yampa Valley Land Trust, Mainstreet Steamboat Springs, Tread of Pioneers Museum, Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, Yampatika and countless others embrace their respective heritage-stewardship charges with passion and talent.
We all share a responsibility to help shape the future so that generations after us can experience the same wonder and awe that comes with living here. I’ve come to realize that anyone can make a difference here if he or she chooses to get involved.
I’ve also learned that our dynamic nonprofit community can use all the help it can get. It’s not hard to get involved. All you need to do is take that first step. You’ll be pleased you did when, 10 or 20 years from now, the Routt County you love today looks and feels much the same way.
Meg Tully is the executive director of Historic Routt County.