The 11 people who signed on to the Berlin Falls Advisory Committee to help guide the creation of this environmental preserve and recreation center will need many more attributes besides enthusiasm and willingness to serve to handle the job ahead of them.
Its members will require, as Mayor Gee Williams suggested at the committee’s first meeting last week, patience, understanding, endurance and the ability to merge into a cohesive plan the myriad visions for the park that will be suggested to them by the public.
It is equally important, however, that the park’s public supporters embrace these qualities as well and to manage its expectations.
The park would be a massive undertaking for any small municipality, especially when there’s no wealthy benefactor waiting in the wings to finance everyone’s biggest dreams and aspirations.
As a result, magnificence is not going to happen overnight, and some of the park’s proposed centerpieces, aside from establishing the lower-cost passive use areas, could take decades to accomplish.
The committee and town officials project recognize that, and the public should as well.
The conversion of this former industrial site into a 60-acre gem is a legacy project, in that the work of this committee and town officials will be passed on to others over time before every facet is in place.
This initial stage is both a great opportunity and a great responsibility that will be made easier by a public that accepts the town’s need to work within its means.
In the meantime, the committee will need all the support it can get to establish a strong foundation on which future attractions can be built.