Summer is here, are children’s needs being met?

Summer is officially here with the coming weekend expected to certainly showcase that.

With our region’s fairly short summers and with school being out for the season, it is particularly relevant to families with children.

Minot has a plethora of opportunities for families with children, from Roosevelt Park Zoo and pool to the many fine parks our city can boast to organized youth league sports.

That said, recent reports have asserted that North Dakota is becoming, on average, younger these days, which might be different from years past when designations like that went to sun belt cities and states with major metros.

Furthermore, as most agree, Minot’s needs include improving the quality of life for residents – and potential residents. The city’s overall population is in decline after many years of increasing. Regional leaders discuss the need to attract new businesses and thus the employees to man them. Despite our minimal unemployment and many other economic and social advantages, quality of life remains a prime concern for expanding the city and economies of the future.

Family activities are a key to quality of life.

With all that Minot has to offer families with children, is it enough? Do we have enough to offer to make parents believe Minot will make a good hometown as children progress through our (good) schools?

Minot Daily News believes strongly that children’s opportunities are extremely important to the future of the city and greater community. MDN believes equally as strongly that the Parks District provides wonderful services and public spaces.

That said, MDN also believes more is better and it is a good idea to address that now.

Minot Parks has an ambitious new long-term plan, soon to be finalized, that would address this issue. Included are, among many things, an enhanced trail system, park improvement and additions and a plan for an aquatics center. These are in addition to the zoo enhancements and the already-in-the-pipeline Magic City Discovery Center, the children’s museum likely to be a regional attraction year-round.

These are tremendous potential opportunities.

As city and economic development leaders invest in a blueprint for Minot’s future, MDN strongly suggests that quality of life issues related to young people remain a top issue to consider.

It is, after all, the future.