Editorial: Contributions are worth recognizing
Farmington's present is built on the hard work done by a lot of people over the course of a lot of years. They provided activities for residents. They shaped the city's development as it grew from a small farm town to a full-fledged suburb.
They helped make Farmington what it is today.
Over the past several years the city of Farmington has taken to naming parts of the city after some of these people. Schmitz-Maki Arena recognizes the contributions of Louis Schmitz and Al Maki, who among other things were vital in developing hockey programs for boys and girls in Farmington. Feely Fields pays tribute to a long-term Farmington family that for generations ran the grain elevator that still bears the family name.
Now, with the recent naming of Jim Bell Park and Preserve, the city is recognizing the contributions of its first parks and recreation director.
Over the course of nearly 30 years, Bell took a city that had nothing in the way of a formal park system and developed a network of green spaces and trails. He made sure that as neighborhoods were built up developers built smaller neighborhood parks to go along with them. He helped ensure Farmington would continue to have resources for recreation even as open space disappeared under new homes. For a while, as those homes came at an increasingly rapid pace, that can't have been an easy job.
There are plenty of people like Bell, like Maki and Schmitz and like the Feely family. There are people whose contributions helped shape Farmington's past, and there are plenty more who continue working to shape the city's future. Not everyone can be immortalized with a park or an arena, but it's nice when the city can do what it can to make sure these people know their contributions are appreciated.