Visioning Project for Arnold Aims to Curb Identity Crisis
The secretary for the Arnold Preservation Council said the group has a long-term plan for the area.
Editor's note: This is part four in an ongoing series about Arnold's identity crisis, and what's being done about it.
Some have said Arnold is facing an identity crisis, but not all agree.
Arnold Preservation Council (APC) Vice President Sage Mumma said she thinks Arnold is just beginning to form its identity. And the council has been working on a visioning project that would help solidify that identity.
“I don’t think (Arnold) is in crisis," Mumma said. "It hasn’t really made a name of itself yet. But I do agree that it’s threatened. It used to be that people would say, ‘Oh, there’s no such place as Arnold.’ But Arnold was a place before a lot of other places around here had names.”
Mumma said she believes the coming threat to Arnold is in the perception that the area needs more commercial growth. To make room for that growth, there have been proposals that Ritchie Highway be widened.
“That’s the threat to Arnold,” she said. “If you widen Route 2, you’ll take out the trees, and with it, a part of Arnold.”
Since 2006, the APC has been drafting a visioning project that would, among other things, give the area a village center, develop guidelines for growth, and create a public identity.
If the visioning project is successful, Mumma said Arnold would become a place of pride.
“I believe that there would be a sense of open pride about the fact that we've been able to retain a little bit of a less-stressed way of living,” she said.
Among the other goals in the visioning project are:
- A history center
- Ensure adequate public infrastructure
- Connect Arnold village with community
- A bridge over Route 2
- Bus shelters
- More access to recreation
Filling out the goals of the visioning project and making them a reality has taken up years of discussion at APC meetings. Throughout 2011, the group added their voices to the comprehensive rezoning discussion.
But with that monumental task behind them, Mumma said she hoped they could spend more time on the visioning project.
The APC will next meet at 7:30 p.m. on March 5 at the Arnold Volunteer Fire Department.