Inside the Newsroom

News, commentary, insight on local happenings and fun from the staff of The Saline Reporter and Milan News-Leader.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Top 10 things that make Saline great

Saline is a special community to live in and that opinion is coming straight from the people who should know –– local residents, business leaders and public officials.

While the editors at CNN/Money Magazine had the good sense to recognize Saline as among the top 100 places to live in the country, it’s the people who call Saline home who personally know why the city earned the distinction.

Based on nominations from local residents, the staff at The Saline Reporter compiled a top 10 list and created a video featuring representatives from each of the top 10. From the schools and library to the hospital, retirement homes and parks to the area’s rich agricultural roots, we hope you agree with our thoughts. If you have different ideas or your own top 10 list, we invite you to post your comments on this blog.

Also, pick up a copy of the April 24 Saline Reporter. It includes a 24-page special supplement highlighting the 59 things that make Saline great.

The list below is in no particular order.

* * *

Saline Recreation Center –– encouraging a healthy lifestyle. When it comes to physical activity, Saline-area residents enjoy the Saline Recreation Center. The recreation center, which recently completed a $1.5 million renovation, offers basketball, volleyball, racquetball and wallyball courts. An indoor 1/16-mile track, an outdoor fitness trail and 25-yard lap pool make it a busy place for local residents striving to stay fit and healthy, while also enjoying the fun and games recreational opportunities bring. The facility also has an aerobics studio, a free-weight room, cardiovascular equipment, and a Nautilus weight room, as well as four softball fields and a disc golf course.

Saline District Library –– the heart of the community. In 2006, Saline voters passed a 0.55-mill levy to help fund a $5.8 million expansion of the Saline District Library. The new-and-improved library opens May 27 after 10 months of operating offsite at Liberty School while the facility was expanded from 16,450 square feet to 33,000 square feet. Local residents are eagerly awaiting the opening of the new facility, which will provide a collection of more than 90,000 books, magazines, movies, CDs, audio books and more. The library is truly a gathering place in the community for people of all ages as it offers something for everyone, from computers with Internet access, special activities for teens and children, and resources for all to enjoy.

Saline School District –– educating Saline’s future citizens. The district is touted as among the tops in the state and receives remarkable support from the community as illustrated by the success of Community Project 2000, a $124.5 million bond passed by district voters eight years ago. The bond funded the construction of a new elementary school and a 500,000-square-foot high school. The district has a rich tradition of academic and athletic excellence.

Two Twelve Arts Center –– providing a creative outlet for all ages. The community has embraced the Two Twelve Arts Center, a nonprofit organization offering art classes, exhibits and encouraging creativity in local residents. It has everything, from knitting and pottery to drawing, basketry and painting, as well as numerous courses and camps for children. The center enriches lives as a gathering place for area artists and those interested in learning a new skill or hobby.

Evangelical Homes of Michigan –– providing a safe place to call home for Saline’s older residents. Residents appreciate the proximity of the Evangelical Homes of Michigan, which encompasses the Evangelical Home, Brecon Village, and Mill Pond Manor. The range of resident programs provide a safe, secure, and stimulating environment for Saline’s older community members.

Saline Area Chamber of Commerce –– tirelessly promoting businesses and organizing events to promote Saline. The busy chamber of commerce represents local merchants, and the many successful businesses and strong industries that make Saline a well-rounded municipality. Its administrators and board members work hard to celebrate local businesses and the community through its business enterprise awards and Saline Salutes programs, while educating its membership on issues affecting the business community through breakfast talks and luncheons.

Rich agricultural roots and active farm community make Saline a diverse community to live in. Farmers help sustain the community and feed the nation. The active 4-H clubs pay homage to Saline’s rich agricultural roots and inspire a second generation of farmers. And with the Washtenaw County Farm Council Grounds just minutes away from downtown, residents can enjoy livestock auctions, antique shows, carnivals and competitions year around.

St. Joseph Mercy Saline Hospital –– ranked tops in the nation. Saline hospital, which two years running has received recognition as being one of the top 100 hospitals in the nation, has served the community for more than 50 years. Built in 1959, the 74-bed facility boasts an award-winning 24-hour emergency department, a newly expanded and renovated nuclear medicine suite and a clinical laboratory. Plans are in the works to develop an imaging center.

Lots of festivals –– providing entertainment and activities, while promoting Saline’s downtown. From the Saline Celtic Festival to Summerfest, from Harvest of the Arts to the Saline Fair, the community holds dear the events that draw its residents together. That includes a parade, whether it’s the Memorial Day parade, the Homecoming parade, the fair parade or holiday parade. These annual events provide opportunities for local folks to congregate and to celebrate their hometown pride.

Saline parks system –– encouraging passive and active recreation. Salinians cherish their park system, which is extensive and varied. Within Saline there are 11 public parks that cover 190.54 acres. Fish or just stroll along the Saline River at Curtiss Park. Walk the dog at Millpond Park’s dog park. Catch a Little League ballgame or have a picnic at Brecon Park. Take a walk in the woods at Wilderness Park. There is a park, it seems, that fits the interests of everyone in Saline.

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