Commonwealth in my Community

My community consists of two towns, Wiley and Lamar, Colorado. Our community relies on farming, so we have plenty of commonwealth around that we do not always realize.

The first key asset is health. My community has multiple clinics, as well as a hospital and mental health clinic. Local clinics often attend community events to spread awareness on preventative health. They visit schools to educate youth on hydration and nutrition with programs such as 5210. Spirituality is another asset in my community. There are three churches in Wiley and several more in Lamar. Pastors and members of the churches are always willing to help those in need. Many people visit nursing homes to put on church services there. Every church has a pantry to store donated food to give to families in need. Several churches have just acquired a clothing closet to store new or lightly used clothing for those in need. In such a small area, it is important for community members to help one another.

The area does not seem to have much to do. Lamar has a movie theater and a bowling alley for a little indoor fun. Community members usually enjoy outdoor recreation areas, which are abundant here. Some examples include basketball courts, parks, an outdoor pool, a skate park, walking trails, bike paths, and an outdoor shooting range. The Shore Art Center in Lamar provides people with a place to unleash their creativity and experience art and culture. Whether you paint, play an instrument, skateboard, swim, or play basketball, Lamar has something for you to enjoy.

In a farming community, there are several key assets that are prominent and each one of them build on each other. We have a strong sense of place in these rural communities because we know that if we care for our land, we can farm it and the land will provide for us. We are very thankful for the flat farming ground we have around here. Since the land pays our bills, we utilize the soil and mineral cycle and use methods of year-round soil care for the best crop yields. Water is an essential part of life for people, crops, and animals. We utilize water every day for watering crops, keeping animals hydrated, and keeping ourselves hydrated and clean. Since each community member is responsible for taking care of his or her neighbor, producers are happy to share their wealth. We have an abundant foodshed which is often showcased in farmer’s markets. There you can find corn, fresh bread, a variety of local produce, locally raised honey, and locally raised beef.

Through this exercise of exploring commonwealth in my community, I am thankful for the sense of community we have here. Community members do their part to keep everything afloat and even though our community is small, we have all we need here.

-Maura Smith, Wiley,CO

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