Contributed by David Driscoll
At just 40 years young I have been privileged to have lived in many great cities and villages in the U.S and Europe, but I have never lived anywhere quite like Palmer. This city has been my home for just over 10 years; though three of these years were spent in the Middle East, I still considered this my family home.
During this time, I have had many opportunities to move elsewhere but my family belongs here. What keeps us here are strong community values; but what does this mean and what makes a strong community? As I see it, wealth and a growing work force are certainly driving factors behind community structure, but community strength has many other variables appealing to a much broader audience. I like to believe that our community strength is resilient and derives from more than wealth and a growing work force. I like to believe that local pride, support and vibrancy also play a part.
The strength of a community can be measured by how it encourages interactions between people. In Palmer we are blessed with community wellness organizations that support local education and training such as the cooperative extension service, Toastmasters, and Job Corps. Food and shelter programs provided by Palmer Food Pantry and religious groups that provide a cornerstone to many community members. Social and sporting organizations such as Palmer Friday Fling; MTA events center that house games such as roller derby (Fact: The best team is Denali Destroyer Dolls), a municipal golf course. Local parks such as the Palmer skate park, Ben Hermon Tennis Courts and our very own Palmer Historical Society and museum; and let us not forget individuals who put themselves out there socially and financially to generate pride in their community such as Denise of Non-Essentials, making magic happen with this year’s Who Let The Girls Out! Our community public servants, independent business owners and family members volunteer their valuable time do all of this and so much more on just 5.2 square miles of land! This level of involvement by this community and the support that it provides to all of its members is why our community is strong.