DQCA President’s Blog – October 2019
I have had several conversations with one of our longtime community members and former director, Ron Bing, and he always tells me that I need to communicate with the membership more than I do. I personally find the monthly update format kind of forced and not that interesting, and some months there just isn’t that much to update everyone on. However, in an attempt to heed Ron’s advice, I have decided that I will start a community blog in which I will attempt to highlight an issue, make some observations, and provide some personal insight into topics that affect our community.
This being my first submission, I thought I would share with you my thoughts on one of the key features of the DouglasQuarry Community Association, that is not well known (except by those who live here), but to a large extent exemplifies our true community spirit.
As you know DouglasQuarry does not have a community center building; we don’t have a physical space where we come together and interact as neighbors. I have heard the comment over the years that because we don’t have a physical space to come together we lack a sense of community. I totally disagree with this reasoning. I believe that we have one of the best meeting and gathering spots in the city, and some of the friendliest and neighborly residents right here in our community. If you think about it long enough you will know where I’m talking about; it’s our best amenity, our most beautiful and peaceful spot, and the place in our community where most of us have been to at least once, but probably visit on a regular basis…ah yes the river pathway; DouglasQuarry’s little hidden gem.
To me the river pathway, is the centerpiece of our community, it where we go for recreation, to unwind, to see nature, to walk our dogs, and most importantly where we meet our neighbors. I can’t tell you how many people I have said hello to and had a brief conversation with while walking on the path. When I’m down at the river almost always people acknowledge me with a warm smile and a friendly hello. On any given weekend if you go to the Sue Higgins bridge you are bound to see people engaged in a multitude of outdoor activities from fishing, canoeing, biking, or running. Neighbors and friends are frequently seen stopped on the path catching up with each other. Families are out for a bike ride, or adventuring in the trees. Grandparents are spending time with grandkids out for a walk, getting some fresh air and exercise. Even in the winter DQCA residents are outside on the paths taking advantage of a cold clear sunny day and the natural environment available to us in our backyard.
I have travelled to some great places in Europe and one of the things I always enjoy when I’m there is when families come out for an evening stroll. All ages come together to be seen, to walk, talk, play, and discuss things that affect their daily lives. As an outsider I always have this sense there is a very organic process of community building taking place that naturally occurs when people come together in an impromptu manner and get to know each other better. I sometimes get the same feeling when I walk down by the river, while not as hectic or crowded as the streets of Europe, I still get the sense that the same process is taking place along the river pathways; its where our community members come together.
So when people say that we don’t have a sense of community, I say that they haven’t been down at the river on a warm sunny day, because if they had, they would have seen that we are a friendly, social, and active community made up of people of all ages who have found a common bond in their appreciation of the river pathways and natural areas that our community has. Who needs a community center when we have a gathering spot like we do? Having community spirit isn’t about having a physical space it’s about having an open and friendly attitude towards your neighbors. I believe we have a strong sense of community in DouglasQuarry, and this is on display everyday down on the river pathway.