August 30, 2004

Where do you participate?

It's been a while since I posted a question. Good ones are hard to come up with, especially if I want to keep them brief.

I've been thinking about the many organizations in Dryden. Some are formally incorporated, others are part of government, schools, or churches, and some are just people who know each other in neighborhoods, or temporary gatherings of people for a specific purpose. Finding time to participate in all of them seems impossible, but many people go to the other extreme and participate in as few as possible. (I participated in very few my first three years here.)

Very few institutions cover the Town of Dryden as a whole, with the exception of town government, the political parties, and the Dryden Town Historical Society. The Dryden and Ithaca school districts both claim large parts of Dryden but extend well beyond the town boundaries. Other districts cut into Dryden as well, and some students go to church-affiliated schools. Dryden is served by six different volunteer fire companies, two of which are based slightly outside of the town. Even when there is a "Dryden" organization, some people participate in Ithaca, Lansing, Cortland, or Groton organizations instead.

The Methodist churches in Dryden serve particular localities - there are enough of them to cover different parts of town. Other denominations have one church in Dryden, or members attend churches elsewhere in the area.

The western side of Dryden has community centers - Bethel Grove, Ellis Hollow, Varna, and Etna. Further east more activity seems centered on the villages, which have their own governments and institutions like the Southworth Library.

Think about where you participate, and who you see there. Is it mostly the same people? Different people? Do you ever act as a bridge between those groups? All of these connections form the web that supports a sense of community.

About questions.

Posted by simon at August 30, 2004 12:15 PM in
Note on photos