Having moved to Delta in the early ‘70s we have come to appreciate its rich history, celebrate what the city has become and look forward to its future. We are grateful for the many assets that are available to those of us who live in this town and to those who might be thinking of relocating here to work, to raise families or to retire.
During the early 1990s, we witnessed a period of growing community pride, energy and involvement on the part of Delta citizens. It was during this relatively short time period that several projects that are sources of community pride were undertaken and, in our opinion, successfully completed. Each project has served the community well, but more importantly, remains a source of community pride. Citizens of all ages and walks of life joined forces to work with city officials and staff to plan and work together in order to give something to the city that would benefit its citizens and draw others to our community to visit and possibly stay.
Much of the community pride we saw in the ‘90s seemed to be centered around Delta’s efforts to be designated an “All America City.” The designation was great, but it was the feeling of ownership, pride and the fact that we saw a community come together to work toward a common goal, to do something positive rather than sit back and criticize, as is often the case ... this was the real prize.
The “All America” designation was the result of several assets that were developed in the ‘90s that included but are not limited to the following:
Confluence Park: Starting with a vision and “can do” attitude the city turned a wasteland that had become an eyesore into a wonderful park with a lake, beaches and trails that to this day serve people of all ages and interests. We’re sure that the park does not bring in a good deal of funds directly but there is indirect economic benefit to the people of Delta and the surrounding area.
Main Street flowers: As we have traveled out of state it’s amazing how many people we meet who have spent time in Delta, and how many of them are impressed with the beautiful flower displays on Main Street and at the rec center. These flowers and the city’s murals have certainly set Delta apart from other communities and have been a source of pride for many years. We are grateful that our city officials have made sure these displays are maintained even though they are not a direct source of income.
Delta schools: In the 1990s the school district’s innovative technology labs became a national draw. Today this community boasts a National Blue Ribbon School, a Commissioners’ Cup award-winning school, a Legacy Foundation recipient school and schools accredited with distinction. The original Delta High School has been renovated while maintaining its historic look. The auditorium, built in the 1920s, has been renovated and upgraded to serve the performing arts in the area. All of this has been done by establishing partnerships with community groups, individuals and government — another example of community pride, vision and work ethic.
Bill Heddles Recreation Center: Once again, representatives from throughout the community came together to work with the City of Delta, dream a dream, and eventually see that dream come true. It is the envy of cities much larger and more affluent than Delta. Even if the recreation center doesn’t totally pay for itself, don’t we owe it to our citizens, our children, our families and our civic groups and organizations to maintain and possibly expand it to meet the needs of the community?
We hope that it is in this same spirit of community pride and with a “can do” attitude that our leaders address another of Delta’s assets, that being Devil’s Thumb Golf Course.
In 2002, Devil’s Thumb was recognized in “Golf Digest” as the second most affordable golf course in the nation. In 2004, “Golf Now” ranked Devil’s Thumb as the 34th best public course in the nation. The point being, we have an excellent product and based on history, this community has the talent, work ethic and ingenuity to make Devil’s Thumb even more of an asset than it currently is.
Devil’s Thumb is obviously appreciated by local golfers as well as those from throughout the state. People come to play the course and often eat in our restaurants, buy fuel at our stations, and stay in our motels. Devil’s Thumb also hosts large tournaments, group meetings, weddings, family and class reunions and local civic functions. Can we do more to increase revenues ... absolutely. Can we have a public golf course that can pay for itself ... possibly not.
Few of the aforementioned assets are able to pay for themselves without the city’s and/or taxpayers’ support, but we can work together making these assets, including Devil’s Thumb, be more self-sustaining. Nothing we do, and nothing we develop, will serve all individuals, but together they can and do serve the community as a whole. It will take the same kind of vision, leadership and community effort that we saw when the clubhouse at Devil’s Thumb was built. Citizen volunteers, local business leaders, city officials and golf enthusiasts gathered together in a volunteer capacity and built the current clubhouse.
When we speak of our city to others, we speak of all the things this town has to offer — great parks, excellent schools, a beautiful downtown, great medical facilities, a recreation center, hardworking citizens, leaders with Ns, a great golf course. We speak of a history of a “can do” attitude even during tough times. We speak of a community that has always looked for ways to move forward. We hope that we can all work together to maintain and improve upon all of our assets, including Devil’s Thumb. If we can do this, we all benefit.
Don and Becky Brown
Bill and Kay Carlquist
Deltablog comments powered by Disqus