By Ann H. Mallek
Dear Citizens of the White Hall district,
You have heard me talk for weeks about all of the things we have done together, the new projects funded and in process, as well as those in the pipeline. Crozet is a great place to live. Crozet is growing because new people want to come here and be a part of the vibrant community we have built together. Over and over people say they move here for the schools, the mountain views, and the Master Plan.
The job of a county supervisor is to show up, to be present in the process, to support the citizens, and to be available to listen, understand, and evaluate the position that will best support the community.
Today I want to celebrate our community, built over generations, each adding their improvements according to the time.
Local history describes Crozet as the peach capital of the east in the late 1800s. Teamsters and their wagons lined up along Crozet Ave (then Main Street) north and south, to unload their fruit wagons at the train stop (now the 4-way). Sometimes they would be in line for TWO DAYS. The depot had wash facilities for the drivers, and the town was hopping for all the weeks of harvest.
As with any successful and vibrant community, we have evolved as time and lives have changed. What remains a constant core value is working together and caring for each other.
In neighborhoods, parents arrange shifts to walk to school with all the neighborhood children as a walking school bus. Neighbors watch out for each other’s guests or visitors who are lost. People on the street are friendly and welcoming. Person-to-person kindness makes a community thrive.
In the country, farmers gather to bring in a neighbor’s hay because the landowner is ill or his machinery broke down. A neighbor once brought home my cows, rattling stones in a bucket he had in his truck, when the chain on the gate failed and the bull, 16 cows and their calves were walking down Frays Mountain Road.
The entire families of our volunteers, active duty and auxiliary fire and rescue members, provide their service for our safety. The spirit of volunteerism, altruism, and community engagement is so important for our community’s sense of self.
Let’s celebrate the wonderful breadth of activities available across the district, created by citizens, with encouragement from me and assistance of County staff.
When the Waldorf School was ending their lease for the old Crozet Elementary, a planning process determined the best use of the building. No one wanted it sold. No one could use the whole building with their current operation. I asked two participants, Sharon Tolczyk of the School of the Arts and Todd Barnett of the Field School if they could share the space. The result has been a strong collaboration between the two tenants and a lively use of the building by community groups ever since.
The Crozet Trails Crew has created more than seven miles of well-tended trails throughout the area.
Crozet Park Board members led the fundraising to build a dog park on the eastern end of Claudius Crozet Park.
Peachtree families funded lights at the Holzwarth baseball-softball field at Crozet Park. The first ever girls Peachtree softball team (2019) went to nationals in Georgia. WOW!
Farmer’s markets pop up everywhere in harvest season. Apple butter making dominates October throughout the district. All of these events bring people together and connect them with local growers and artisans.
I encourage everyone to celebrate being a Crozetian. That includes the country neighbors too, who might be outside of the downtown core. Anyone in the White Hall district can get to Crozet in thirty minutes; it is a center for our entire community.
Have you ridden your bike around town on bike and trails day? It is amazing how close parts of town are when we get out of our cars.
Have you attended the Crozet Arts and Crafts festival?
How about the Second Saturday “Small town, big art” artisan tours? A special tour is happening this November 9 including an improv workshop and performance by the Hamner Theater, one of the partner tenants in the Crozet School of the Arts.
Have you seen the eagles’ nests at the Lickinghole Basin or listened to the river roar on the Moormans after a rain?
Make your future one of participation, engagement, and enjoyment in our community. There is much at stake in this election.
Vote for me on Tuesday, November 5, to preserve what we have built together and to preserve the process of citizen involvement. Constant attention is needed to continue our wonderful progress. I am ready and willing to work for you!