By: Emerson Nichols
I am very blessed to live in a community that is filled with examples of Commonwealth. The first key of Commonwealth is Art and Culture. My community has many local artists that are known around the country. Art and Culture can be found in our parks, where we have sculptures, in our buildings that have local artwork hanging up, and in our schools where our wonderful art teachers work. The second key to Commonwealth is Education. Even though my community is on the smaller side, we offer schooling from Preschool all the way up through high school. Plus, we also have a college just 30 minutes away in Hays, KS. Foodshed is the third key to Commonwealth. My town is filled with farmers and during the summers, we have Farmers Markets every Friday. Both my brother and mother work at a seed manufacturing company, so I have been able to see how they affect Foodshed firsthand. Finding things to fill your day with is very easy to do in Russell because we are rich in Leisure and Recreation as well as Health. We have a large number of parks, most of them updated within the last year, and two beautiful walking trails, one that even includes workout equipment that can be used by any level of athlete. We also have a great recreation center, a swimming pool that was recently updated, tennis courts, outdoor basketball goals, and a lake just 30 minutes away from our town.
Renewable Energy can be located both in my town and near it. In my town, you can find some solar panels, and near my town, you can find many wind turbines. Finding History is very easy because of our amazing Historical Society. I am lucky enough to be working with the Historical Society in order to preserve our local history and make it easy and fun to learn. Spirituality can be found in the many churches that we have. The Soil and Mineral Cycle can be found in our local FFA program, 4-H programs, and gardens. Some homes in my town have water wells and that is part of the Water Cycle. My community is rich in Wildlife and Natural World. We are known well throughout the country for our pheasant and deer hunting. On the opening weekend of hunting season, you can see many different hunters flock into town from all over the place. Finally, Sense of Place cannot be found externally. It is felt internally by the kind people that fill this community. We have many people that constantly work to improve this community and I am very thankful for that.