What an extraordinary year it has been for us. We successfully navigated a number of challenges and completed the purchase of Asbury Woods by the June 30, 2016 deadline. We proved our resilience and resolve as Pennsylvania experienced a record-breaking state budget stalemate that went on for more than nine months and greatly delayed and reduced the level of grant funding, causing us to seek additional sources to secure funding by the closing date. Through this purchase, the Asbury Woods Partnership will preserve the land for conservation and community use in perpetuity, allowing for the expansion of community education, recreation, and engagement.
We can now celebrate saving the “Woods” with one of our banner events – Winter Wonderland! This family tradition of holiday lights and music reminds me of why we did the hard work over the last two years to preserve this community asset. In our ever changing and fast moving world of technology, relationships have become more about transactions than connections: “We are friends because I friended you”. When did “friended” become a word? What happened to real connections? I’m reminded of a quote by John Naisbitt: “The more high-tech the world becomes, the more people crave high-touch experiences”. I find it interesting that many of the technology leaders who create tablets and smart phones have off-the-grid cabin retreats. They know they need some distance from the digital world; they need time to reboot, to restore their creativity. But many of us can’t afford this luxury.
That is why it is so important to save the last remaining green spaces we have in our community. We hope Asbury Woods can be your local retreat.
I think the greatest threat facing our natural world is apathy – a populace that doesn’t care what happens to places like Asbury Woods. Thankfully our community didn’t let that happen, but the next generation needs to care about these places too. That is why we are on a mission to make sure every kid’s fingernails are dirty and boots are wet. And why we hope events like Winter Wonderland help bring you closer together as a family. It is a time to turn off your phones and make real connections with your loved ones. So I hope you can join us for Winter Wonderland this year, and when you’re snuggling up near the fire enjoying s’mores with your family you’ll be reminded of what real social networking is all about.
From the Woods,