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Healthy community design

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opinion Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

To design and build a city that is cool enough that our children don’t want to leave is a worthy goal for us all to work toward. One of the aspects of a community that provides quality livability is green space. Once a space is covered with pavement or buildings, it rarely ever reverts back. When it’s gone, it’s gone forever.

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City Councilwoman Mary Koep’s thinking in regard to preserving what green space opportunities we have left is headed in the right direction. Green space is one of the key features shared by successful cities. There are a number of ways to approach this type of healthy community building; (proper) zoning, neighborhood involvement, grants, and levying if necessary.

Personally, I’m betting that most of the residents in Brainerd would be in favor of preserving — and enhancing — our green space. We have all visited cities where a dedication to parks, community gardens, etc. have paid off well in regard to buffering the residents and businesses from crowding, and the frenzy of the workaday world. In the long run, retaining green spaces can pay off handsomely to a city. Where the difficulty lies is how to fund purchases and maintenance on the front end.

The green space discussion is timely, and it should involve the whole community. I think an important idea is the concept of wanting to plant the tree — knowing we may never be able to sit in its shade. A vision for the future — our children’s children — is the healthiest way to plan a resilient community.

Chip Borkenhagen

Brainerd

CHIP BORKENHAGEN is a candidate for Brainerd City Council.

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