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Building upon what we have

Building upon what we have Building upon what we have

Spring is a time of new beginnings. We see new life around us and contemplate our own lives: where we find ourselves and where we want to go.
As I was packing away our old Easter decorations this year, I noticed a white stuffed bunny that looked different than the others we had set out to adorn our holiday. He was wearing glasses, a waistcoat and carrying a large pocket watch. I guess I hadn’t really looked at him before to realize that he represented the rabbit in ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ you know, the frenzied hare which kept running around saying, ‘I’m late, I’m late for a very important date. No time to say hello, goodbye I’m late, I’m late, I’m late.’ All the other trimmings we put up in our farmhouse for Easter looked happy and hopeful but not the white rabbit of Alice’s world.
At first I thought how could we so carelessly have included this rabbit in our Easter celebration. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that he was indeed a very appropriate addition to our celebration of spring’s arrival and, more importantly, of our commitment to our religious beliefs.
Amidst all the beauty of the rebirth of nature, we often race around stewing about our taxes, the clothes we wear, the kids’ sports and who will cook the family dinner. Instead of stopping in awe at what God has created for us, we cry, ‘No time to say hello, goodbye. We’re late, we’re late, we’re late.’
This is the week we celebrate Earth Day. And when I say ‘we,’ I mean people all around the world. On April 22, more than one billion people will participate in Earth Day activities, making it the largest civic observance in the world.
These aren’t just symbolic gestures. People roll up their sleeves and get to work collecting garbage, planting saplings, encouraging people to recycle, signing petitions and discussing issues to save this planet from depleting its resources. The observance of Earth Day through the years has had an impact on individual daily practices. We are more aware of contemporary environment issues such as climate change, unhealthy exposure to chemicals, overharvesting of trees, the hazards of burning fossil fuel, the shortage of clean fresh water and the dangers to animals from the destruction of natural habitat. As a result, government policies such as the Clear Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act have been implemented.
When Fred Cammack took over the management of the town of Corydon 39 years ago, our biggest environmental problem was water. Sitting at the confluence of two creeks, we had flooding issues downtown. Our water system was badly deteriorating and was under funded, causing domestic service problems and worries with fire protection.
Fred has definitely not responded like the white rabbit. He has been steady, studied, considerate and proactive.
Through the years, he directed the improvement of our creek water control and our potable water delivery system. He initiated a sewer collection system with major repairs and instituted a replacement program for the future.
Thanks, Fred, for realizing that communities must handle their precious water in a wise and disciplined manner. You helped get us through extreme cold and snow in winters such as 1977-78 and floods such as the one in 1997.
As Fred retires, it is our challenge to honor him by building on the solid base he has created for our community. We have faced environmental issues in the past that have seemed daunting for a county of our size, location and affluence. Technology is now bringing us new opportunities and challenges.
Here are just a few emerging questions that come to my mind: How will we handle our increased position as a commuter community? What do we do about today’s water lines and future town expansion? How do we enable multi-user transportation that reduces air pollution from vehicles and allows our citizens mobility? How do we increase user-friendly recycling practices? How do we redevelop our downtown to make use of existing infrastructure and create a livable environment and a strong economic center? How do we recruit and accommodate environmentally friendly businesses and manufacturing? How do we nurture our growing park system and encourage wider use by our residents? How do we continue to develop a town with green spaces and health-providing beautiful streetscapes? How do we provide a more walk-able community for our citizens? How do we stimulate residents to assume healthy lifestyles?
The list of questions is endless.
Thank you, Fred, for all the years you have devoted to Corydon and Southern Indiana. You may be retiring but please don’t take your expertise and concern away.
Corydon is a wonderful community in which to live and work. The spring season offers us experiences that point out both the challenges and hope that it provides. Let us stop our rushing around like the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ rabbit fussing about issues of the day and worrying about fitting them into our schedule. Hopefully, we can find the time to stop and observe and appreciate all that God has provided for us.
Let us build upon what has been created and as Fred Cammack has done, leave the place better than we found it.