All That We Share


There’s a contest going on to name the new green space currently being referred to in blueprints as “Founders Park”. The new space in downtown Johnson City will feature an amphitheater, bike racks, green spaces, bridges, benches, night lighting, walking trails and other amenities, and part of it is intended to serve as a water retention pond during periods of heavy rain.  Since the new park is just a few blocks from my home, with plans for the new Farmer’s Market to be built right next to it, I feel pretty sure it will become a frequent destination for me once it’s completed.

In keeping with our new mayor’s call to “let the voice of the people be heard”, the public has been invited to vote for their favorite name for the new park. There’s a list of potential names that you can vote on here: http://surveymonkey.com/s/namethegreenspace . While reading over the naming possibilities there, I realized the name ‘Commons’ was definitely favored, and I couldn’t agree more. Commons refers to the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society, including natural materials such as air, water, and a habitable earth. These resources are held in common, not owned privately. Isn’t THAT refreshing??? So often public arenas, parks and other facilities are named after the person or company that donated the most money to it, and I  am really happy that our city’s officials  are letting ‘the people’ choose the name. I’m hopeful that this new park will serve as an anchor and a communal space for all of us to enjoy.

Sharing the gift of common green space is an ideal way for us to reweave our connection with community, and to support other small-scale local responses to the global challenges of climate change, economic hardship and shrinking supplies of cheap energy. Together, these small-scale responses make up something much bigger, and help show the way forward for governments, business and the rest of us.





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