The Third Annual Lemon Lily Festival was last weekend. What a success! The Festival’s popularity and reputation has grown each year.
This is true of the much bigger and well known Jazz in the Pines Festival, which is on the eve of its 19th annual production.
The success of these festivals and Idyllwild’s winter fest — the Idyllwild Film Fest — are all dependent upon the energy and good will of dedicated volunteers, the preponderance of whom are also Hill residents.
I’ve been told that readers are tired of my reflections on this special characteristic of the Hill, but the feelings left from last weekend’s “Hot Dogs” and next month’s sounds overwhelm me.
“Unincorporated,” “rural,” “small,” “no traffic lights,” “mountain” are all used to described this community and explain its uniqueness. But what I observe is the community’s willingness to volunteer.
Some may say that this effort to serve is no different in the flatland communities. They have volunteer groups. But I believe it is different.
Just this past weekend, The Desert Sun ran a feature story lamenting the lack of volunteeers throughout the area. Its headline was “Coachella Valley cities struggle to fill volunteer panels.”
Along with the story, was a list of the programs, committees and boards that were having trouble functioning without citizen involvement.
Palm Springs with 12 vacant positions had the most. Several had four vacancies and some cities — Indian Wells, Rancho Mirage — had none at this time.
The point of the story was that citizen involvement in the Coachella Valley seemed to approaching an all-time low. Cities were exerting more effort to recruit volunteers and encountering more resistance.
On the Hill, some projects or boards also require more time to fill positions. County Service Area 36’s Advisory Committee has two vacancies. But in past years, there have been multiple applicants for this committee.
The new Historic Preservation District board is still seeking a fifth applicant. But this board has yet to convene and establish its role in the community. Even La Quinta is seeking a member to its Historic Preservation Commission.
While the Pine Cove Water District just announced the resignation of a member and the concomitant vacancy, they already have interest in the position.
Except for these noticeable vacancies, like a baseball team with a wellstocked minor league system, the denizens of the Hill are willing and able to fill those necessary and unglamourous positions.
As I’ve mentioned and the town proudly acknowledges, the building of the playground was accomplished with an army of volunteers. The majority hammered, raked and carried stuff.
The Hill seems like a well-run hive to me. We have leaders and workers. Identify the problem and seek a solution, then local volunteers will be buzzing to help achieve it.
So again I say “Thanks to all of you” for making this community better.
If you’re interested in the CSA 36 Advisory Committee, contact Opal Hellweg, of Supervisor Stone’s staff. Her number is (951) 955-1030 or (951) 698-7326.