There is much concern in our community about the ongoing balance between government expenditures and resources. I have always felt that community resources should be utilized in a way that benefits the majority of our residents, while taking into account the environment, green space, and reducing congestion.
We all watched as our area exploded with development over the last decade, and I believe it’s time for Orange Township to revisit its approach to this growth. The big question is, “What is the best use of the remaining available land?”
We need a solution that best serves our key demographic – young families – in the most positive way. Education is a priority and schools are the driver. Our schools provide athletic programs for our children, but with the size of our district the demand expands well beyond the school teams. There is a tremendous need for additional facilities well beyond school facilities.
Consider these facts:
- Orange Township has several highly successful major youth baseball/softball leagues
- Over 1,000 Orange Township children participate in the leagues
- The baseball and softball seasons encompass seven months of the year
- The youth leagues have very limited use of the school facilities because they are reserved for the school teams
Orange Township has a dire need for additional baseball and softball diamonds. As a community, our overarching goal is to raise our youth to become productive citizens. We are too aware of what today’s children can do with idle time. I believe we have an opportunity and a need to partner with current youth groups, sports clubs, and other athletic groups who are organized and motivated. We need their help with the vision, the strategy, and the goals to make this needed complex become a reality.
I am speaking about a public/private endeavor in which the youth groups along with Orange Township participate both financially and directionally to solve this issue. My top priority is to develop partnerships and organize engaged project teams who can do the hard work that will be required. A new baseball/softball complex in our township serves a real need, preserves green space, and helps to prevent unnecessary over-development. Let’s work together to make sure our next investment is a home run for our young and growing Orange Township families.