In passing by the ampitheatre at the Muskego Public Library, it struck me: I don't know that I've heard about anyone using it. So I asked.
Library staff said that the space, which is located at the back corner of the facility, does get some use, but not nearly enough. Children's programs and some musical entertainment have been hosted in the natural bowl. It was made into a more permanent 'structure' as part of an eagle scout project many years earlier and designed for easy upkeep.
I mused that the library needs to make more of a deal about this. Part of its problem it its secluded spot, and someone needs to speak up for it.
I also realized it's not the only resource in the community that has that problem. Some opponents to another lake park seemed almost proud to proclaim that Idle Isle is under utilized, while others simply griped that we have too many parks.
Communities exist to provide a great living environment for its residents, and can only continue to exist if we use and patronize its resources. The term 'buy local' becomes more paramount the smaller the city.
Taking this a step further, Janesville Road reconstruction, if put into a city like Waukesha, may be inconvenient. In Muskego, it's downright frightening for businesses that feel that they could use more local support. Hence Jammin' on Janesville. While a great party, there was a message that hopefully got through: support your local businesses because they are your neighbors, too.
On the flip side, I believe in shameless self promotion. Flipping through a Muskego Chronicle, which has since also withdrawn coverage to every other week, there are no ads from Muskego businesses. None. The former sales rep lost her job, and said Muskego was extremely hard to get to participate.
In sitting where I do, talking to businesses, organizations and schools, I've learned a common theme. They all are suffering from their own modesty. These too are resources, and should be inundating my inbox and calendar with events, announcements, and contacting our sales rep to tell us why we need to patronize them.
Community only works when people start talking and working together. The absolute best example of this is at Idle Isle, the oft-maligned park that has been improved by volunteers. Instead of leaving it to the parks department, the common council or just somebody else, they said 'it's our park, and we're going to take care of it.' The results are beautiful, and with the guidance of the parks department and donations from area businesses, will continue to impress.
This project points out to me what can work if we invest in our own city and support it. After all the greatest hidden asset in Muskego is us.