2016 Essay Contest – Amanda Laumakis

2016 Essay Contest – Amanda Laumakis

“What would make this community a better place to live and what possibilities would you suggest to achieve that goal?”

By: Amanda Laumakis

5th Grade at Our Savior School

While Jacksonville is already a very nice community to live in, in this paper I will be sharing my own suggestions for how to make it a better place to live. I will be explaining and describing my ideas to you.

One of my ideas for making Jacksonville a better place to live is to start a community garden. If Jacksonville had a community garden, then families with younger children could come and help plant vegetables and fruits. Also, the younger children would be exposed to all kinds of people and would grow up knowing how to start a garden of their own. Older people could also go there to be outside in the fresh air and see all of the younger people. Then, once the fruits and veggies have been picked, half of them would go to homeless shelters (like New Directions), to people who are in need, or food banks, in order to provide vitamins and nutrients for the people. The other half would go to food carts that would wait outside businesses so when people come out on lunch breaks, the food carts could sell or give away fresh fruits and veggies so people would be healthier and happier, knowing where it came from. Also, a community garden would be a place where people can meet each other and enjoy being with friends, meeting new people, and the outdoors. This would bring all people together, and, in general, be a fun, healthy, happy experience for all.

Do you like riding bikes? I’ve noticed that many people in Jacksonville enjoy riding them. I have a couple ideas to go along with this. Firstly, I think we should have “Rent-A-Bike” stations all over town, in which you simply go to a “Rent-A-Bike” station and pay some small amount of money, and then you can have the bike for X number of hours. Then, if someone couldn’t afford to buy a bicycle, they could rent one daily instead. Also, if you rent many times, you might get discounts on the price of the bicycle each time you rent. If you missed the bus going to work, you could just grab a bike instead. Also, older students can grab a bike if they miss the bus and lock the bike up at school — that’s right, it comes with a lock too! Another idea that ties in with this is bike-friendly streets. Bike-friendly streets would be where “bike lanes” were put in on major streets. If bikes lanes were put in, all, and only, bikes would ride there, not cars, which would cut down on the risk of people being killed or severely injured. Also, parents could send their children to school and not be as worried about them getting hurt. Granted, this would not be perfectly safe, but then again, nothing is. Plus, this would cut down on pollution (no car exhaust), and it’s very healthy, fun, and good for you! Another option that goes along with this is bike trails. I think we should have an area in perhaps a quiet, scenic park (we have quite a few already) in which there are multiple, secluded trails where runners and bikers and people who walk could go. Instead of doing these activities on a loud, noisy street, they could have a little peace and quiet. This could also encourage people to be more active. Instead of having to go someplace indoors they could be outside, and if their doctor told them they had to exercise more, then it could be fun (versus boring), and maybe they would voluntarily want to do it anyway. Also, some children who may not like playing outside and being outdoors could ride bikes, go for runs, or play on the playground, all while having fun. Also, if you own a dog, you can take him or her to get exercise and fresh air and you can meet your friends and you dog can meet his or her friends also. Your children, and you, yourself, can also meet new people and make new friends and generally be happier and healthier.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my ideas about how to make Jacksonville a better place to live. I know I certainly enjoyed writing it, and I thank you for taking the time out of your usual schedule to read this paper. Again, I hope you have enjoyed this paper.

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