I sometimes think about what makes up a community. Better yet, what makes a great community? Is it the geographic location, common interests, or perhaps something more? I reflect on this as we can be a part of multiple communities. We can be part of the “parenting” community, part of the “sports-minded” community, part of the “outdoor” community, part of the “art” community, or part of the “business” community. I am part of so many communities and in each one, there are folks that I share something with – be it beliefs, interests or experiences.
Community is quite a large concept that can include so much, but for me it ideally includes this notion of inclusivity or belonging. Sure, there are those who will argue that one can be geographically in a community and not “belong,” but that is not my definition of community.
Then I think about what are the key ingredients to a successful community? Economic developers strive to make their communities better, but what does better look like and how do we get there? One thing is clear to me – great communities don’t happen by accident. They are formed by strong leaders with vision and purpose.
One of the best communities I have belonged to is the community in Mariners Landing at Smith Mountain Lake. This community shares a vision of inclusiveness and teamwork. There is a sense of shared purpose and a sense of creating together. There are a number of community social events to bring everyone together like the monthly community dinners and bingo night as well as a karaoke night! There is warmth, compassion and friendship in this community. Come see if it is right for you!
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