What Does Westfield Have?

Last week the negative, this week the positive.

After all, the positive outnumbered the negative three-to-one when the Lower Pioneer Valley Resource Library Prevention Services led a community discussion group in Westfield recently.

The report lumped the assets into categories of good things available in Westfield.

Under Local Businesses, for example, assets included supermarkets, the number of employers, the Chamber of Commerce, and Westfield Airport.

Community Resources included Amelia Park, Stanley Park, public transportation, easy access to the Masspike, Grandmother’s Garden, and Parker Park and its memorials for veterans.

Clubs and Organizations? Plenty! From the Lions, Rotary and Kiwanis and their financial support for local programs to our 22 churches. And, the Clergy Association, Westfield State College’s Interfaith Chapel, summer camps at the YMCA and Boys and Girls Club, Kamp for Kids, the Spanish-American Association, as well as the Athenaeum. Just for starters.

Community Institutions we can rely on include the Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, Samaritan Inn, Salvation Army, Reed House, Westfield State College and our public schools. Not to forget the Council on Aging, Noble Hospital with its Bronson Rehab Center and Fowler Psychiatric Wing.

Don’t forget the Food Bank, Red Cross, Headstart, Western Mass Hospital, Forum House.

We have marvelous Natural Resources, another category, with Hampton Ponds and the Westfield River.

Municipal Government. The discussion group had praise for the Police and Fire Chiefs, Mayor and Superintendent of Schools, because they work hard, collaborate, and are committed. Community Policing got mentioned, as did various mentoring programs.

Still other assets included our diverse population, particularly our Hispanic and Ukrainian neighbors.

All this put together by community leaders and folks from the Woman’s Health Network, the YMCA, Clergy Association, Mass Career Development’s Adult Basic Education program, the Council on Aging, our schools, Head Start, the police and fire departments, Westfield Parks and Recreation, Carson Center for Human Services, Lutheran Social Services.

The “Westfield Dialog” sponsor explained that the group was put together to brainstorm about the assets and needs of Westfield. (I know they meant Westfield, although the explanatory letter said Ludlow.) They wanted me to bring the information to the surface.

So, here it is.

Now, start your own list and remember and enjoy the assets Westfield has to offer.

Don’t forget, Westfield’s biggest asset is…our people!

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