Making Rural Communities Desirable Places to Live
In any Safari business – whether it might be hunting, photography, leisure ect. The money that is earned from these tourists can benefit so much more than just the normal necessities that needs to be paid in order for such a business to survive. All our workers and those of the people we do business with, live in rural areas, and contributing to a cause that can benefit them as well as improve their lives in some way or another, is just a unsaid rule and a definite must…..
For rural communities to thrive, they must be places that people want to live.
Making rural communities desirable places to live is not the whole answer. If there is no economic opportunity in an area, young families can’t live there no matter how much they might want to. However, economic opportunity is more likely to be created in attractive places to live because they draw young families and entrepreneurs who start new farms and businesses and revitalize existing enterprises. In recent decades, rural communities with natural amenities to draw people – lakes, mountains, rivers, or climate – have grown.
Strong Small Schools
Small schools have long been a drawing card for rural communities. Communities that make a commitment to provide a quality education in small, community-based schools and invest in them will always have a powerful advantage in attracting young families with children. But small rural schools are facing increasing financial pressures and are under growing political pressure to consolidate.
Only local people in each community are in a position to make decisions about whether and when to consolidate schools or override levy limits to increase school funding to enhance educational quality. But the contribution of strong, small, community-based schools to the viability of the community should be a strong consideration.
State policymakers should not blindly force school consolidation that undermines both education and communities under the misguided assumption that bigger is better and more efficient in education. The research indicates that small schools have the best educational outcomes for most children.
Fewer kids fall through the cracks. And the efficiency gains of consolidation often disappear when construction and transportation costs are counted and efficiency is measured in cost per graduate. Small schools graduate a higher percentage of their students.
There are opportunities for communities to work together in ways that enable them to keep and strengthen their schools while holding the line on costs. Some districts are sharing a superintendent. That spreads the costs of the highest salary and perhaps enables each district to gain the advantage of a more talented leader than they could each hire individually.
Others are sharing teachers and offering joint classes by distance education or by transporting upper-level students between communities to enable them to offer advanced courses with low enrollments at a reasonable cost.
That’s social capital.
Communities that have it are more attractive places to live because things work better. People work together to solve problems and make things better. They have disputes, but they resolve them rather than letting them simmer. Communities can enhance their future by establishing a culture of working together to solve problems, launch new initiatives, and make the community a better place to live.
Young people and families must be involved in the community. If we want them, we need to give them some influence in making the community a place they want to live and raise their families.
High Speed Internet Service
It’s a necessity. Young people see it as a contributor to quality of life. It enables them to connect to the outside world in a way that brings cultural and other amenities of distant places closer.
Access to Nature and a Quality Environment
In the future, access to uncrowded natural land will be increasingly hard to come by. It will be an increasingly valuable asset for communities. Communities that offer it will have a leg up in attracting families to start businesses and drive revitalisation.
Access to a quality environment also offers a base for tourism-related businesses like bed and breakfasts and guest ranches that offer a weekend away within an easy commute of population centers. This is one of the factors where farm and ranch communities have a natural advantage. They are surrounded by land. But often, there is little public access and in some areas, almost every acre is cultivated.
Still, almost every community has potential natural assets. Those with small streams could work in partnership with landowners to restore the stream corridor to grass and trees. Thus providing public access for hiking, biking, and fishing. Likewise, Conservation Reserve Program acres with farm ponds could be good for hiking and fishing.
Land, air, water, and the ability to grow food is essential for all communities. Rural communities, however, have an especially intimate connection and are disproportionately impacted when the environment is harmed. Farm and community leaders need a voice in discussions about the best ways to foster a healthy environment.
Sustainable tourism is the concept of visiting a place as a tourist and trying to make only a positive impact. That be on the environment, society and economy. Tourism can involve primary transportation to the general location, local transportation, accommodations, entertainment, recreation, nourishment and shopping. It can be related to travel for leisure, business and what is called VFR (visiting friends and relatives). There is now broad consensus that tourism development should be sustainable; however, the question of how to achieve this remains an object of debate.
Without travel there is no tourism. So the concept of sustainable tourism is tightly linked to a concept of sustainable mobility.