My favorite free places supported with my local tax dollars and available because my community supports and values them as resources? The parks and the libraries. I can get a free state park pass or zoo tickets from my local library. I bet you can, too. My three-year old was devastated by the closing of her preschool early this fall, but story time at the library once a week helps her feel like she still has a “school” setting.
In my county, there are three different city parks that offer me the opportunity to wear my kids out before naptime without burning through a tank of gas just to enjoy the great outdoors. We have a walking loop in the green space downtown that helps me burn calories without worrying that a car is going to run over my preschooler. But a few years ago, I never took the time to discover these places, much less to enjoy them. Then one day, I realized that I was paying for these opportunities without ever utilizing them, and if a facility is being underutilized my county budget would reflect that. So now we go to the park, we ride bikes in the greenway, we lose library books and find them again on a regular basis because I’ve come to value these perks of living locally. What perks are hiding in your hometown?
Farmers are invaluable. Farmers know the land and the seasons and changes of habit like no one else. Sometimes I think Farmers are more in tune to the heartbeat of creation than any of the rest of us because they understand it’s fragility and complexity in a way no one else does. And if you’re friends with a farmer? He will share all of that philosophy and knowledge with you. But also? He’ll probably share vegetables and free-range eggs and grass-fed meat, and he’ll invite you to bring your kids over to pet the animals or feed the chickens or pick some more purple hull peas. He’ll be your personification of sustainable living. Find a local farmer just by asking around the farmer’s markets or searching facebook pages or visiting the county fair or researching your local Farm Bureau.
By the way, I’ll be hosting some giveaways of amazing local (to me) businesses throughout this series, so you might want to subscribe to the blog using the button at the top of the sidebar!
My favorite places for planning locally in Georgia?
What are some of your favorite ways to live local and enjoy life closer to home?