Strong visions can change the world
By NORMA AND BOB SANTEE
My husband and I moved to the Upper Delaware four years ago because it was the place where we could find an affordable home close to our son and his family, who live in New York City. After we had gotten our belongings in place, we looked around and discovered we lived in a beautiful part of the world. There were the rolling, wooded hills, the wide, flowing river, the green, green fields around us and the clean, bracing air. We had found paradise by accident.
As time passed and we met people who became friends, we realized again how fortunate we were to live where the residents are of such varied backgrounds.
When I was asked to write this piece for the visioning column in The River Reporter, I turned to the visioning site on the Internet, www.upperdelaware.com/visioning, and started reading some of the prior columns. They start in June of 2004 and continue in alternate issues of the newspaper up through the present.
There are columns on property rights, stewardship, environmental sustainability, better models for development, comprehensive planning, ways to secure open space, preserving the beauty of the Delaware River, hallmarks of a successful community, keeping farms a mainstay of Sullivan County, a birding trail for the Upper Delaware, intelligent land use, balancing preservation with property rights and other issues with which an informed and alert citizenry concerns itself.
Many individuals have contributed to these columns expressing their love of and passion for the river, for the beauty of the land around it and for the preservation of that beauty in a way that permits long-term use. The recent activity to block a high voltage power transmission line along the river is an example of the dedication of local citizens to protecting their environment.
What a remarkable community we came to live in four years ago. These columns show breadth of experience, presence of great expertise, and much creative imagination among the writers. My hat is off to all of you who participate in the visioning process, a process of determining what a community can do to improve and preserve its environment.
But there is a darkness hovering over the horizon. Global warming could be catastrophic for the planet and could negate many of the goals the visioning process has worked toward. Study of sustainable energy resources would be one way to approach the global warming issue. Should we be burning wood, coal or oil in the Delaware Valley? Would sun power and small windmills be useful in reducing carbon burning in the valley? How could we help make the alternatives economically viable?
Im sure these questions have been asked already and discussed. They deserve more attention.
Think globally, act locally
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, its the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
[Norma Santee and her husband, Bob, live between Beach Lake, PA and Narrowsburg NY.]