Yesterday NCPR began its series on young people in the North Country by talking with Becca Johnson, a St. Lawrence County native who has made her life in the orbit of New York City.
And here on the In Box, we talked about what you’re seeing in your corner of our region: Is the flight of young people hollowing out your community? Are you holding your own? Seeing a little renaissance?
Today, we talk with Tim Morse, a 26-year-old who grew up in Copenhagen, near Watertown, who has chosen to come home to the North Country to make a life and a career here.
Tim points to the outdoor life and the closeness of family, along with the availability of a good job, as strong draws bringing him back.
So here’s my question for In Boxers today: What do you think can be done in your community to make it more inviting for people like Tim to stay, or return after a time out in the wider world?
Can or should local governments do more to foster a youth culture?
Particularly in communities that have some resources that attract young people (colleges, the Fort Drum Army base, hiking and camping destinations) are we doing enough to welcome young people and to encourage them to consider our region as more than just a stopover point?
And I’d also love to hear from young people, both those reading the In Box outside the region, and those who are making a living here: What would make your life better, more inviting, more secure?
Is it as nuts-and-bolts as good jobs and affordable housing? Or are you more interested in the fun, inviting stuff, like a better nightlife, more places to hang out and meet friends?
If you’re still skeptical that this is a meaningful issue, take a few minutes to play with these projection charts put together by Cornell University. You can actually see a graphic representation of the aging North Country population.
Comments, as always, welcome.