Walking the talk
By SAMUEL JACKSON
Successful visioning requires successful monitoring of its implementation. The first group discussed here monitors a lot, though its also producing a comprehensive plan for Pike County. The two individual visionaries discussed next have worked the dream as well as dreamed it.
First, lets spread a bouquet of appreciation at the feet of a county agency I have seen in action for a yearthe Pike County Planning Commission (PCPC). Its a group of about ten members from various areas of the county, and regularly includes one county commissioner, Rich Caridi. It advises townships and boroughs on the nuts and bolts of planning issues and does it with a positive vision for the future of Pike County.
Key to its success is the work and attendance of the PCPC staff, two members about a year ago, now grown to almost four. Together they work diligently to study plans, and to advise the townships and boroughs from which the plans originate, on a host of issues from implications for traffic patterns to the adequacy of the water supply for the number of dwellings projected to the adherence to regulations on wetlands.
The PCPC staff also goes out to township and borough meetings to help in varied wayspresenting information on useful new software programs, advising on the development of a townships comprehensive plananything that will assist the townships and boroughs in gathering the information and marshalling the resources to respond to difficult issues and to revise ordinances so that the plans submitted meet the boroughs or townships standards.
At its monthly meetings, the PCPC welcomes public comment on any planning concernand gets it fairly regularly. It keeps an eagle eye out for beneficial programs that the county could participate in, such as the Agricultural Security Areas program beginning to take root in one township. And when the PCPC knows about an opportunity like the Santos property along the river in Milford, it works early to promote the best possibilities for it. Its a terrific governmental organization that promotes and protects a positive vision of the Upper Delaware.
Heres another bouquet, this one for the initiative of two individuals, Isabel and Arthur Watres, who looked beyond themselves and studied how to create a benefit for all of us. In 1966, they donated 341 acres and formed a non-profit corporation to run Lacawac Sanctuary. It is now a 510-acre gem on the southwestern edge of Lake Wallenpaupack, preserving about one mile of undeveloped lakefront. They dedicated the sanctuary to research, education and preservation, and poured themselves into sustaining its work. Isabel died a few years back at 104; Arthur, in his 80s, marches on, giving tours to visitors, speaking to groups, inspiring young and old with his passion for environmental education and Lacawacs role in it. Two weeks ago, people who had helped to develop Lacawac over its first 40 years gathered with Arthur to celebrate the sanctuarys 40th anniversary.
There are lots of waysgovernmental, private group, individual effortto work for the good of our area. If you have land that you could preserve in a way that would serve the public good, consider the Watres way. There could be a bouquet in your future.
(Samuel Jackson is chairperson of the Lacawac Sanctuary Board of Trustees.)