Lack of public interest isn’t a new phrase.  It’s what Twin Falls Mayor Suzanne Hawkins admitted when it came to the closure of the downtown ice rink.  She was speaking on Magic Valley This Morning on Newsradio 131o KLIX.  The company contracting the operation didn’t see a turnout large enough to keep the place open.  Some people may have stayed away with COVID concerns.  Some may have tried it last year and then found they liked other pursuits even more.  Over the last few decades sociologists tell us Americans have declining interest in softball and bowling leagues.  Membership in service clubs is down as is engagement with local government.  The growth of home entertainment centers may play a large part.

I still believe opening the rink was a good idea.  Just as I believe city parks are a good idea.  And trails along the canyon rim.

Yet, I still believe opening the rink was a good idea.  Just as I believe city parks are a good idea.  And trails along the canyon rim.  Critics will often tell me I’m not much of a small government conservative but as early as the colonial days there were village greens.  Animals grazed communally and there were often entertainments for the locals.  Imagine a community where there were no playgrounds, parks and fairs.

Some of my childhood was spent growing up in a state park system.  My dad spent about a dozen years working as a ranger and later as a park superintendent.  My brother, sister and I played near waterfalls, gorges and swam in park lakes.  It was a rewarding life.

I rarely walk the trail along the Snake River Canyon and I suspect the percentage of people using the path is very small.  But I don’t oppose the idea because I keep telling myself if I had more leisure time I’d be walking along with the others.  If nothing else it’s a visual enhancement to see my neighbors having a good time.  One spring day several years ago I was on the trail and came across some volunteers working on fencing.  Because they believed they were enhancing Twin Falls as a great place to live.  I didn’t get an opportunity at the time to express my feelings but I’m thankful for their work.

 

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