Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Help Shape Your Future (Bridgewater)

Published September 28, 2016
Home is where you hang your hat. Some of us are forced to live where we can find work, but some of us are lucky enough to choose where we want to live. When I tell someone I live in Bridgewater, I often have to listen to their comments about everything thats wrong with the town. Is the glass half empty or half full? I lean towards the half full point of view. My interpretation is that things are good, and they are trending in the right direction.

Yes, the glass half empty people will say the downtown street is torn up right now and its a challenge to maneuver through the construction either on foot or in the car. Yes, the South Parkade is gone and we might have to walk a block to get to a store. But the glass half full people are thankful that the ugly parkade is gone and are looking forward to the day when we can sit on the boardwalk in Pijinuiskaq Park on the edge of the LaHave River. 
 
Aging infrastructure is being replaced. Thats not a fun thing to spend money on, but it has to be done. Its sort of like having to buy a new roof to protect your home. It would be a lot more pleasant to spend our hard earned money to buy some new art or electronics, but without a functioning roof there would be no home to enjoy.

Two women enjoy the ambiance of the King Street Court
Looking for a place to eat? Bridgewater has lots of choices that dont involve big chain restaurants. We have a Thai restaurant that is so good people travel from Halifax to eat there. We have a kid friendly coffee shop on King Street that serves delicious organic coffee, pastries, breakfast and lunch. We have a river front restaurant where you can sit on the deck and relax with food and drink and watch the river fountain. Thanks to relatively new by-laws, we have a couple of food trucks around the town where we can pick up a quick bite to eat that doesnt come from a chain. I could go on, but Im getting hungry and I need to finish this column.

Yes, the glass half empty people will tell you that the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre (LCLC) is a drain on our tax dollars and we need to figure out how to generate more operating income. But glass half full says its a state of the art complex and a hub for exercise and social well being. Our library is being utilized much more since moving to this location. As I take my twice a week swim, I marvel at how lucky I am to have access to such wonderful facilities at such a reasonable fee.
The Bridgewater Marina is a lovely place even if you don't own a boat
If you prefer to walk or ride a bicycle, the trails and parks in Bridgewater are second to none. I have access to an eight kilometer multi use trail just half a block from where I live. The trail loops through forests and parks and around the town. Another option for our daily walk with our two dogs is through the marina. We take a walk down to the marina and by the boats, and then take a break at one of the landscaped seating areas before we head down the road and onto the Centennial Trail. And, sometime in the next year or so, there will even be a dog park for lovers of our four legged companions to enjoy.
The Centennial Trail is enjoyed by dogs as well as humans
I have to be honest, and admit that I slip into the glass half empty mode when it comes to arts and culture. However, lets think about Art Happening, the Growing Green Festival, and the Afterglow Festival, to name just a few. Glass half full me would like to see this trend continue. One can dream of a theatre space, perhaps combined with dedicated space for a year round farmers market.

No matter where you live in Nova Scotia, you have the opportunity to vote for your municipal council in the next couple of weeks. The people running for office are willing to dedicate their time to help shape the future of the place you live. Do they have the same vision as you? Do you like the way things are, or would you like to see changes? Please take some time and find out about the people who are willing to become the leaders of the town or municipality where you live. Come out and talk to them at local debates or meet and greets. Ask them for their vision, and then place your vote on election day. Our future is something we all need to focus on.

1 comment:

Sybil N said...

Great article Sara.