Rates of violence are generally lower in neighborhoods with higher social cohesion. In the city of Cortland, Neighborhood Watch committees and ward meetings provide opportunities for citizens to work together for this and other goals.
The city of Cortland and the Cortland County Planning Department are both involved with the creation of comprehensive plans to guide future growth and development. Meetings scheduled before regular Common Council meetings have solicited community input for the city plan. Town meetings do the same for the county plan.
Throughout the year 2001, there will be a series of town meetings to discuss the proposed River Trail project and draw community ideas from the riverfront property owners, naturalists, historians, recreational experts, cyclists, walkers, runners, the disabled, the commercial interests, and those who fish, canoe and kayak.
SUNY Cortland serves as a major cultural contributor to the community. Plays, art exhibits, and musical and dance events are brought to the campus and shared with the community. State of the art recreational facilities are also shared with the community.
The physical education emphasis of the college sets a fitness model for the county. Soon, a new SUNY stadium will draw many thousands to Cortland for major sporting events.
A year of centennial celebrations for the city of Cortland in the year 2000 brought new spirit and interest in civic renewal. The Centennial Committee created a yearlong celebration of Cortland commencing with a First Night celebration on New Years Eve on Main Street. The Cortland Standard, one of the few surviving locally owned daily newspapers, did a centennial series to remind us of our historical roots -- the Underground Railroad, the McGrawville College, Victorian architecture, and the famous social reformers (Susan B. Anthony, Henry Ward Beecher, etc.) who spoke at the Cobblestone Church.
Even greater citizen involvement is a community ideal and could be fostered with school requirements and employer policies for community service. The annual United Way Day of Caring is a fine example of this giving back. SUNY Cortland student internships, service-learning, and cooperative educational experiences are wonderful learning experiences for the students that greatly contribute to the community.
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