Ashville is getting ready for Spring and Summer sports programs. There is a new slab of concrete for batting cages. People are enjoying the recent warm weather at the park next to city hall.

Research shows Parks and Recreation departments have much recommended to them. They boost the local economy and offer job opportunities. Traffic in surrounding businesses is increases with activities and events. Even the green space means nearby homes tend to have higher property values

But, they offer much more that is beyond value. Safe, supervised healthy activities for kids in which everyone makes the team is healthy, good for socialization skills and self-esteem. Senior centers keep older citizens connected to the community. And they also provide a gathering place for everyone in between.

But, in Ashville, adults don't just gather at events. They organize, promote, build and repair. Parents, employees and volunteers get the word out about activities. That slab of concrete was a collective effort. Seniors have free transportation to the center.

In Ashville, they work together for a common cause under a shared identity: their hometown. They love their kids, their seniors, their community. They love their Parks and Recreation Department.

And well they should.

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