Applying CommonWealth to My Community

Dodge City, KS is a well-rounded small city. Around 27,000-35,000 people and short of 14,000 Dodge Citians in the workforce help create a prosperous small economy. Not only has labor helped grow our area, but also the natural resources.

The 12 Assets of CommonWealth created by Ogallala Commons are Arts & Culture, Education, Foodshed, Leisure & Recreation, Renewable Energy, History, Health, Spirituality, Soil & Mineral Cycle, Water Cycle, Wildlife & Natural World, and Sense of Place. While Dodge is rich in all these categories a few pop out in my opinion after doing further investigating.

There are 9 public elementary schools, 2 public middle schools, and 1 high school. The school district in Dodge has made it easy for quick neighborhood travels to and from school. We also have a private Catholic school from elementary to intermediate. The Company I work for, Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation has a program called Rural Education Workforce Alliance (REWA) where they bring in trained professionals to speak with people of all ages about many different issues. I recently attended a Social Media Marketing Class where I learned more about the power of search engines and getting exposure through it. The city of Dodge City does a great job of bringing in people during events, festivals, meetings, etc. to educate the youth, working-class, and retirees.

I’ve lived in Dodge for over 16 years and these last few months I have barely realized the traffic we get from Dodge is heavily made by visitors. Boot Hill Museum is on many people’s bucket lists because of the infamous, long-running show “Gunsmoke” based on the Wild West that Dodge City once was. Very close by is the Teachers Hall of Fame and Gunfighters Wax Museum where the community opens during the summer months. The Conventions Visitors Bureau of Dodge City runs Historic Trolley Tours throughout our downtown historic district and surrounding areas. I also want to touch base on the Sante Fe Depot, this is where I work. Decades upon decades, upon decades ago, in 1989 The Santa Fe Depot was made for a quick pit spot on the way to go west on railroads. Here, the prestigious Harvey Hotel began in Dodge. A mock hotel room is actually right behind me for visitors to come and view.

Yesterday I attended the 9 new Kansas Department of Transportation highway projects Presentation Governor Laura Kelly presented. Here I not only met her but also Brad Ralph, a Kansas State Representative and City Attorney. We conversed about the success our Waste Water Plant has had since its beginning.

I covered Education, History, and Water Cycle from the 12 Assets of CommonWealth. The other 9 not covered can still be found in our growing community thanks to our workforce.

Camila Gonzalez, MainStreet Intern

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