Guerrilla Gardening

“The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues.” – Elizabeth Taylor

BSA Camp Castle Rock in central Wisconsin closed every campfire ceremony with the song “Scout Vespers.” The central concept of the ballad was to charge each scout to reflect upon the day and define their good deed in order to facilitate guiltless sleep. Unfortunately, ordinary life rarely causes us to turn inward in a similar attempt to define our own effect upon the community around us. Is the world truly a better place because we are in it?

Small businesses are an under-valued resource of virtue. Laugh if you must, but look at the numbers. How many hours have been donated to the local schools by laborers and their machines? Every festival is dependent upon the same group of retailers and innkeepers. The municipal boards are filled with owners and employees of small enterprises. In particular, the emergency response community is utterly dependent upon those volunteers who own or work for businesses small enough to be suitably flexible to be on call 24/7/365. (According to one study, volunteer emergency staffing alone saves the Country $37.2 billion every year.)

Query any benevolent organization on the peninsula and you will receive the same request for help. Perhaps, it is the very nature of volunteer work that leaves every group without enough time or money. We must each do more for the world around us. Get involved. You would be surprised how satisfying a sense of accomplishing for others can be. Just a few hours a week can turn the ordinary to extraordinary. If time is truly too short, you can also make a significant contribution by actively hiring contractors and consciously patronizing shops that support the community. Pay the higher labor rate or price per pound to help keep the place called Door County alive.