I admit, I belong to way to many professional email lists. Occasionally though, these lists provide me with useful information or ideas, for instance the Heart and Soul Grant we pursued this past year through the Orton Family Foundation. That grant writing experience, though unsuccessful, helped to start strategizing how we will pursue the update of the Local Comprehensive Plan.
Another email list I belong to is the Project for Public Spaces. This organization provides useful information for reconnecting your community’s public areas to create stronger communities. As we develop the update to the Local Comprehensive Plan, and look back over the last several years, I think we will need to fully recognize what we have accomplished, and really appreciate what our town is all about. The Project for Public Spaces published an interesting article about Leveraging Community Assets With Placemaking. Dennis has been doing this over the years, we just have not fully recognized this, nor have we tied it all together.
The Town experienced a little of this connectivity during the rezoning and land acquisition efforts in Dennisport. The Spaghetti Supper held prior to Town Meeting brought together proponents of the rezoning efforts and the Seaview Playland protection efforts to learn how these two town endeavors were invariably linked. The Dennisport Revitalization Committee continues to pursue this effort as it explores the design charrette for early next year. The Revitalization Committee sees a larger vision, where the Village Center, a public place, is connected to the Cape Cod Rail Trail and ultimately to the South Side Beaches, also very public spaces.
In West Dennis we similarly illustrated a tie between the rezoning efforts, the efforts to restore the playground and the Bass River Park Projects. These efforts were discussed previously on this blog here. Again, as with Dennisport, West Dennis is loaded with public spaces, the Village Center, the Post Office, The West Dennis Graded School House, the Accessible Playground, and, of course, Bass River Park.
Likewise, the town has public spaces in many other parts of town. Liberty Hall, Crowe’s Pasture, Carleton Hall, the Dennis Village Commons area, all of our beaches, and Scargo Hill all quickly jump to mind. However, we have never really attempted to use any of these assets to tell the world “this is what makes Dennis special.”
For the local economy to grow over the next few years, and on into the next decade, the town needs to recognize its assets. What truly makes Dennis stand out. We need to inform the world that we are first class, from our beaches, to our open space areas, to our public facilities.
Since you read this far, I hope you will take a few minutes to answer the poll below, and ask all or your friends and neighbors to take a few minutes to do so as well. Please note , every time you visit this site the poll will randomize the list of choices. This will reduce the argument that one particular choice was rated high because it was at the top of the poll.