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Touching another life by giving aid or effort, sharing time with them or donating to their cause is a big deal and being able to see the big picture takes the selfishness out of it. After months and months of political arguments, folks choosing sides, friends losing friends and everything else that has caused division. I, for one, want to do more for my fellow man.

My domain is very small but filled with like-minded and dedicated individuals who are making a big difference without much fanfare. I hope they don’t lose their energy and desire to make a loud noise for the outdoors and make a difference for our area.

That loud noise is not self-serving. It is for the benefit of others and the satisfaction. Some things are tiny compared to what others bring to the table, but just doing something and having empathy for others is important.

We each matter. I have heard over and over recently my vote doesn’t count or so what if I vote. I also hear folks who say they can’t make a difference and to that I say “hogwash.” It’s cumulative and little things do matter and yes, your voice can make a difference.

Thursday night, the Friends of EverBloom will be meeting at Davis Lodge. They have met there for several years, but this meeting is important as they will be talking about 2019 planning/projects and electing officers.

The Friends of Everbloom is an outlet for outdoors folks to get their voices heard. The big picture is more than uptown and downtown, it’s more than buildings and apartments, it’s even more than budgets, taxes and elections. It truly is about quality of life and not taking what we have for granted.

The folks in my circles need priority and have done more than their share of looking out for others. It just needs reciprocation and a little acknowledgment.

Without volunteers and without individual efforts of those volunteers we wouldn’t have much in the outdoors. As I have said many times, outdoors interests may not need to be in the front of the line, but we should at a minimum be in one.

I just want outdoors people to have a seat at the table and lead efforts on things that make sense in our purview. Be part of the long-range planning versus taking what we get handed down to us.

Instead of spending money on things such as the bike trail to Towanda, Lexington and Chenoa, why not spend that money on one that circles the lakes. The scenery would be much better and those who bike or walk wouldn’t be taking their lives in their hands as it is too close to the road.

That same length of trail around Evergreen, Dawson or Lake Bloomington would get tons of use, be home to bike races and triathlons and serve that demographic better. The one on Old 66 sees little traffic and most riders seem to utilize country roads instead of using it.

I am not knocking that trail really. I just think an outdoors person at the table would have seen better ways to spend that money and have something more people would use. That is just one example.

Our in-city lakes should be open to fishing, too. For instance, in Normal there are several good size ponds at the golf courses where fishing should be allowed. Each one has areas that are not in folks’ back yards where kids and those without boats could fish.

A no fishing sign has no value. That should be part of the plan when they are built. Area anglers know there is good fishing in several retention ponds, but to the best of my knowledge they are not part of any plan. Get kids around the water instead of the other things that are less desirable. It seems pretty simple.

Outside of being asked to the dance, we need to be a bit more assertive with what is needed. Those who represent us at the city, county, state and national level may just not know and sometimes they can be sold a bill of goods based on a secondary agenda. If it’s important enough, never be satisfied with being brushed off.

Every job has a tool set and we need to utilize that entire kit to make sure we are included. Speak up, let decision makers know and don’t be satisfied with a no answer. Look for alternative methodologies or approaches to accomplish the same goals and work “with” those in charge to find a better way. Sometimes it’s just approach … but never give up!

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Terry Brown is President of Wired2Fish.com, an industry leading, daily website and social media fishing centered community that provides information on products, industry newsmakers and fishing techniques. You can read more by going to www.Wired2Fish.com.

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