Community in bloom

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring is upon us. The tulips and jonquils are in bloom, and the days will continue to grow longer over the next few months. As temperatures climb, the grass grows and the lake beckons, we all get the itch to find something to do outdoors. This spring, I would like to encourage readers to not only get outside to enjoy the sunshine, but also find ways to serve our local community. The suggestions below are just a few activities that can be enjoyed outside and will also allow local residents to give back.

* Shop locally. On April 1 and 2, the Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce will partner with downtown Cassville businesses to host the annual spring sidewalk sale. Community members will have the opportunity to stroll the historic square while browsing through an assortment of discounted items. The annual sidewalk sale promotes local shopping and gives area businesses an opportunity to showcase new merchandise.

* Learn a new skill. Habitat For Humanity of South Barry County is currently recruiting volunteers to help build a Habitat home in Cassville. No building experience is required to lend a hand with a Habitat build. Community members can learn to drive nails, install windows, lay floor covering, paint and other skills while lending a hand to build a home for someone in need. Work days will be scheduled most weekends over the next few months. Weather permitting, volunteers will begin building this weekend.

* Support our youth. On April 16, the Cassville Community 2000 Youth Advisory Board and Cassville High School Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) will participate in the annual Global Youth Service Day. Each spring, members of CHS student organizations take part in the event. This year, local youth will be working around the City of Cassville. Community members are encouraged to volunteer with students who will be collecting trash and refurbishing public facilities. Local residents who are unable to attend the event and would like to support the Youth Advisory Board and SADD can make a donation to Cassville Community 2000, which offers drug awareness education and drug-free programs.

* Teach a child to fish. Roaring River State Park will offer area children a full day of free fishing on May 14. Volunteers will be needed to help string poles, bait lines and share fishing knowledge. There are many ways to help at the annual spring event, which often draws more than 1,000 children to Roaring River. Donations and sponsors are also needed for Kids Fishing Day.

Other ways to get outdoors and support our local community include visiting the Garden Sass Farmers' Market and taking part in Friday Squared, which offers a family-friendly block party and outdoor movie. The first Cassville Chamber-sponsored Friday Squared event will be held May 13.

Activities are thriving in our community this spring. Whether you enjoy shopping, volunteering or socializing the opportunities to get outside are nearly endless. ~ Lindsay Reed