My turn

Head outdoors to make a difference in your yard and community

2013-04-14T00:00:00Z Head outdoors to make a difference in your yard and communityBy Bill Vargo Times Columnist
April 14, 2013 12:00 am  • 

“I feel there's gonna be a change, but we're the ones gonna do it, not the government. With us there's a saying, ‘La esperenza muera ultima. Hope dies last.’ You can't lose hope. If you lose hope, you lose everything.”

~ Jessie de la Cruz, retired farm worker (as told to Studs Terkel)

April can be a funny month. I read a quote recently that referred to April as a cruel month where dreams are snuffed out as surely as they are born. The optimist in me doesn’t agree at all.

April is the month where the people of Massachusetts and Maine celebrate Patriot’s Day in honor of the sacrifice of the colonists in April, 1775 who stood up to the mighty British army and lit the flame of revolution. This is celebrated the third Monday every April.

In Wisconsin, public schools are required to observe the Battle of Lexington and Concord, which occurred April 19, 1775. Schools take this day to educate students about the events that led up to the American Revolution, as well as those who pushed for independence.

Closer to home, we will all take the next few weeks to clear our gardens out, put air back into the tires in our bicycles and go outdoors to enjoy the wildflowers and budding trees. For a few wondrous weeks, the Bradford Pear and Tulip trees will be awash in color before they fade into more sedate green leaves.

School classes will head out to put their energy and ideas to work cleaning and caring for the people and places that make up our communities. This year, as in past years, Highland Christian School spent last Friday afternoon performing a number of community projects.

The Highland Parks and Recreation Department will hold its 12th annual Park Pride Day from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. This is a wonderful opportunity for Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, church and civic groups to put their mission statements to use serving the community in a way that is most visible, our public parks.

Teams, such as the Highland Kiwanis Club, come together to clean up the parks and perform projects that are too large for the park crew to handle. Contact Parks Director Alex Brown at (219) 838-0114 for project details.

We’ll celebrate Earth Day on April 22 and Arbor Day on April 26, both offering more opportunities to get out and do something positive. As Jessie de la Cruz said: “if there is going to be change, we will have to do it.”

Let’s get out and clear those leaves out of our gardens, giving those bulbs planted last fall a chance to burst out as daffodils,crocuses and tulips.

One other event heralding spring is the opening of  the Griffith Farmer’s Market in Central Park, 698 S. Broad St. The market will open May 3, from 3 to 8 p.m., and feature seasonal fruits, vegetables, fresh cut flowers, herbs, honey, cakes, pastries, pies, cheeses and a host of other delicacies. There will be artisans and works of art available as well.

Contact the Town of Griffith ay (219) 924-7500 or email This is a chance to support local artisans, farmers and small vendors, keeping consumer dollars in our communities.

The opinions are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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