Along the Gila: Learning More About Our Communities

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I do my best to be out in the Copper Communities to learn more, to meet people, and get a sense of what all our communities are about. Last month Mammoth Town Manager Don Jones took me for a tour of his community. What an up and down place, both in terms of elevation and economic opportunities. The town has “good bones,” and even the empty buildings in the old downtown have real restoration potential. The growth of North Tucson and Oracle will certainly influence conditions in Mammoth, and the Apache Sky Casino is already making its presence known. The many successful cafes and services demonstrate the value of Mammoth’s location along the San Pedro.

Here’s a little ‘Olaf’ from last year’s Great Pumpkin.

  This past week I went to a planning session, led by Ginger Chester, the new President of the Board of the Copper Basin Chamber of Commerce, on the upcoming Great Pumpkin and Trunk-or-Treat Festival which will be held Saturday, October 28, in Kearny. Interest in the event has grown, and many new people came to be volunteers and help plan all the events. The group worked on improvements for this already popular event, thinking of more things for the children and also for their parents and friends.

  It was good to experience all the excitement. Previous efforts for a great festival were affirmed, and new ideas were seamlessly worked into the fabric of the event.

  The Copper Basin Chamber serves the communities of Hayden, Winkelman, and Kearny, and all the surrounding unincorporated areas. The Chamber is working to be more of service to the businesses of the area, to promote economic growth, and also to solidify the life and culture of these places.

  The new Director of the Chamber will be announced at a community gathering at the Chamber Offices in the Pinal County Courthouse of Friday, Sept. 15, at 6 p.m. It will be an old-fashioned ice cream social with all the goodies. We will learn about the Chamber’s work, meet the new Director and (this is not a paid advertisement) be given the opportunity to join the Chamber in its work for this and coming years. I hope to see you there.

  This week I also went to the “rollout” in Superior of the Food Hub Study which the Economic Development groups of southern Gila County and eastern Pinal County sponsored this past year. A food hub is a formal organization as well as an informal affiliation of people who grow food, make foods (such as cheeses and sauces), or raise animals for market. We learned there are many people who would like to do these things, but need support in doing them. We also learned that the two EDCs (economic development commissions) are working together to help accomplish them. Rosemary Slotter from Palo Verde RV Park in Dudleyville was also a participant in the meeting. Even backyard gardeners could be part of something like this. A marketing plan is in the works.

  Do you realize there is a winery in Gila County (in Young)? Do you know that one of our area ranchers is already selling cuts of high-quality meat on the web? Do you know that some local gardeners are already selling their produce? By working together we can make the label “Product of the Copper Basin” a real player in Arizona’s economy.

Sam Hosler (31 Posts)


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