Joe Schmitt writes a weekly blog called The Good Life, featuring information about the region’s history, culture, climate and economy. The blog also showcases new residents, clubs and organizations, outdoor recreational opportunities and local events.
While it might not be news to you, it’s nice to have an independent third party confirm it -Yakima is a great place to live. Better still – we have great people! The City of Yakima, in partnership with the National Research Center, Inc. and the International City/County Management Association recently conducted the National Citizen Survey for our area. The survey asked Yakima residents, “In the last 12 months, about how many times, if ever, have you or other household members participated in the following activities?”
A whopping, and when I say whopping, I mean a WHOPPING, 97% of residents have provided help to a friend or neighbor. And there’s more… 61% of us volunteer for a group or activity in community. Nice job citizens of Yakima! This doesn’t really come as a surprise to you though does it? Whether it’s making a homemade spaghetti dinner and bringing it over to your new neighbors, who have just spent all day moving in, sharing fresh fruits and vegetables grown in your own gardens with friends and co-workers or volunteering your time at a local non-profit organization, we are a community of givers.
It only makes sense then, as I read more of the research findings – 77% of us plan on staying right here in Yakima for the next five years and 57% recommend living in Yakima to someone who asks. Other gems I gleaned from the study worth sharing include – 75% of citizens think we have “excellent” or “good” libraries (I encourage you to visit the new West Valley library – it is beautiful) and 80% of us love our local fire departments. As Marketing Director for Yakima County Economic Development Association, I work closely with newcomers to our area. I consistently hear comments from them noting how warm and welcoming the people here are and how easy it is to get plugged-in and feel a sense of connectedness to their neighbors. Now we have scientific proof of our kindliness. Well done neighbors- keep paying it forward!