As a fairly new member of the Canyon community, it is common to wear the “outsider” title. However, I learned that a thorough understanding of the 12 Commonwealth Key Assets of a community can help bridge the gap that transforms this town into a place you can call home.
Originally, I felt a little discouraged that I may not find an example for each of the 12 Commonwealth assets due to small-town connotations. However, I soon learned that a little walking and driving would allow me to discover that Canyon indeed has a place that provides each one of these assets. The following identified assets are: Education – WTAMU/Canyon ISD, Health – WT Activity Center, Leisure and Recreation – Duck Pond, Spirituality – Crossties Yoga, History – Panhandle Plains Museum, Sense of Place – WTAMU Campus, Arts and Culture – Palace Coffee/Paper Crane/ Townsquare, Water Cycle – Jack B. Kelley Student Center, Wildlife and Natural Resources – Palo Duro Canyon, Soil and Mineral Cycle – High Plains Food Bank, Foodshed – Canyon Farmers Market, Renewable Energy – WT Alternative Energy Institute.
As a proud buffalo, I found the first asset to be one of the most obvious: Education = West Texas A&M University of course! Education past high school has been transformative and filled with growth. My ability to critical think was first tested here at the University, and for that I am thankful.
I also accredited a few other assets to WTAMU including Health and Sense of Place. For Health, I specifically identified the Activity Center because of the opportunities for physical activity, exercise, and even medical appointments with the Student Medical Services. For sense of place, I identified the aesthetics of the campus because of the sense of belonging and comfort that it offers (perhaps I’m biased).
For Arts and Culture, I found a few that attributed to the culture of the community. One that I want to discuss in particular is a new coffee shop called The Paper Crane. A modest new space, this company provides a break for students to discover good coffee and art.
Although these last few paragraphs offer specifics about only a select few of the Commonwealth Assets, I believe the biggest takeaway lies in the “big picture” perspective. However small or unknown some of these organizations/companies may be, they each play a vital role in transforming a simple town into a home. Without these 12 Commonwealth Assets, Canyon would be lacking in one form or another.
I appreciate the lesson that was given through this exercise and as always, thank you for taking the time to join me in this journey.