This activity of “Mapping Commonwealth” has been interesting because never before did I realize that all twelve key assets play an essential role to a community. Specifically, I’ve learned how all twelve play a role in the past, present, and future of Woodland Park.
The past. The town of Woodland Park celebrates 126 years of rich history. Throughout tools like the Ute Pass Historical Society, testimonies from locals, and research, I have learned a lot about how Woodland Park has grown as a community. When I asked some knowledgeable locals about the town, one said, “Woodland Park was once a quiet town with no traffic lights and now it’s bustling with people.”
The present. Health is a huge part of my life right now. Since I am home for the summer I always try to take advantage of our community sports complex, fitness centers, and the great outdoors. I connected with the owner of “All Heart Healthy Living Fitness Studio” who believes that fitness is the key to mental and physical health in the community. Since I am studying Food Science and Human Nutrition at CSU, nutritious food is also very important to me. Working with the Farmers Market, I have learned a lot about our programs that push local customers to eat healthy, specifically our SNAP program. To continue with this push for health and nutrition, I have developed healthy recipes and meal plans that customers can take advantage of in their homes. Throughout exploring the community, I also learned that foodshed goes beyond the individual needs. The Harvest Center works to help others in need by growing fresh produce and donating 100% of the harvested crops to our local food bank.
Often tourist will stop in town and ask, “What is there to do in Woodland Park?” Some of the greatest recreation in our community is found in the great outdoors. Activities like hiking, kayaking, camping, and fishing not only provide exercise but also provide a chance for people to grow closer together in nature. Along with the outdoors, events like the annual Old Fashioned Fourth Festival, local high school performances, Symphony Above the Clouds, or our weekly Farmers Market achieve their purpose of bringing the community together in great fun.
The future. Although we can look at the rich history and lively present, we also must look to the future of our community. In our community, helping preserve energy, specifically through solar power is very important. Recently I attended a presentation my dad gave to the community regarding solar power. He said, “Solar power is one way to help address the energy crisis in our community and world. It has great benefits for the future.”
I found it interesting that the community of Woodland Park has involvement in each of these twelve assets in some capacity. However, during this activity I found that the assets of history, health, foodshed, recreation, and renewable energy were especially emphasized in our community.