News from the Top

Power of Place


There are moments when we can’t help but recognize how valued our places are. Certain milestones, like proms, graduations and weddings are some of those moments. When we want to capture something remarkable in our lives, we choose a backdrop that is significant to us and holds beauty. I’m sure many of your districts have been teeming with people over the spring, seeking to mark these core memories with your place as the backdrop.

Every day we are working towards the overall health of the places we manage. We care deeply for our cities’ development, maintenance, preservation, safety and accessibility. We also work to ensure that the built environment is welcoming and thoughtfully curated. We scrub dirt from sidewalks, remove grime from benches, pick up cigarette butts, peel off graffiti stickers, fill flower beds, water hanging baskets, install public art, weave fabric through fences, commission murals, paint crosswalks, deadhead park gardens, and so much more. We are building places where people want to BE.

So when a sixteen-year-old girl, after hours of prom prep, chooses to come to our district to capture this forever memory, we should recognize the depth of that compliment. When a recently engaged couple wants our downtown to serve as the announcement for their life altering decision, we should celebrate with them. When a family gathers around an iconic building in our city center, beaming with pride as their first born prepares to walk across a stage and receive a diploma, we should feel our own sense of accomplishment. Photos are treasures that document the sweetest moments of life. Not often enough do we pause to come together to record those moments, but when we do, we want the stage to be meaningful.

Congratulations to all your downtowns and city centers that are hosting these photo shoots. You will forever be a part of the story of those lives. After all, what more are we really seeking than to improve the lives and experiences of the people we serve. Our work feels never done, but we should pause and recognize when it is paying off.