Driving on the St. Charles highway takes my breath away, it is so very beautiful. I do not want that road littered with houses, but ... a wise person stated if we don’t have growth we die. That statement haunts me. Our neighboring counties Clarke, Taylor, Adams, Ringgold and Adair all have populations of less than 10,000 people. Madison County is growing, therefore we need strong comprehensive planning and zoning along with ordinances that include carefully thought-out infrastructure that will allow sustainable and maintainable growth. 

Communities must work together. This starts with getting to know your county. If there is an event in any Madison County town, offer your talents and services or simply attend. I know many of you feel very left out, get over it and get involved. Don’t wait to be asked to help: volunteer. Many people want restaurants in their towns. My husband stated if you don’t frequent local establishments regularly they can’t stay open. I have said before, shop, eat and play where you live. Teamwork makes the dream work, together we can grow without changing our safe neighborly way of life. Supporting local events and new businesses is how we maintain and grow population. 

Make local events part of your summer vacation. I challenge each of you to attend the following attractions near your own back yard. Bring a friend, even better bring a bunch of friends. You will find when you visit little towns it won’t take long for everyone to know your name.

• Visit all the Covered Bridges 

• Try out all the wineries – with a little wine most things become even more beautiful. 

• June 13 & 20 Lawn Chair Night Winterset courthouse lawn

• June 7 & 8 Bluegrass Festival at Briar Patch Amphitheater located near Bevington.

• June 14 & 15 Macksburg Skillet Throw 

• July 4 Earlham 4th of July Parade

• July 17 –21 Madison County Fair

• July 5 Patterson Parade 7:00 p.m.

• Peru, home of the original Delicious Apple Tree

• July 19 & 20 St. Charles Old Settlers

• July 22 Winterset will be an overnight host for RAGBRAI

• Aug. 2-4 Hinterland Music Festival St. Charles

• Sept. 14 Truro Feeding Frenzy

• October . 12 & 13 Covered Bridge Festival in Winterset

• Nov. 29 Festival of Lights in Winterset

Spend a Sunday afternoon driving around Madison County, the beauty is unbounded. Attending local events will help you decide how you want Madison County to grow, giving you the opportunity to offer your services and ideas helping elected officials make needed changes

Hebrews 10:24-25—And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works: not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the day drawing near.