What three attributes do you consider Flagstaff’s greatest assets and why?
We attract creative problem solvers who are invested in our community.
Our natural environment provides clean air, recreation, stress relief, and beauty.
Our cultural diversity. The Diné and Hopi have a rich history and culture dating back long before others arrived and thrives today in Flagstaff and surrounding lands. People who arrived to work in industries such as lumber and farming continue today through remaining decedents. Our scientific and cultural institutions continue to teach us about this history while making new discoveries. It’s an exciting place to live for the curious minded.
I consider the following three attributes Flagstaff’s greatest assets:
1. Flagstaff’s location at 7,000 feet on the Colorado Plateau. We live in one of the most beautiful landscapes in the country with amazing outdoor recreation opportunities out our back door. While the City of Flagstaff has a population of about 72,000, it can feel smaller, something that many people really enjoy.
2. We are a hub for art and culture in Northern Arizona. The music, theater, and visual arts that Flagstaff cultivates is a huge asset to our community.
3. Our diversity. Being the closest city to many Native American reservations and tribes, and a city where most residents have relocated to, provides a place of rich multiculturalism.
Three of Flagstaff greatest assets, ecologically speaking, are our people, environment and history. The people of Flagstaff are boldly unique in their resilient independent nature. We have a strong desire to build an equitable community that resembles the diversity of this land we occupy. In Flagstaff we are simply human beings that are compelled by respect for our natural surroundings. Our environment is sacred to us and we will fight to preserve it. Historically our ancestors were drawn here by the Peaks, which reside as the fulcrum for northern Arizona and the place of worship for our indigenous relatives.
First, our people are diverse, open minded, and smart. That leads to interesting interaction from the personal level to the cultural level, for instance the music scene — everything from Pickin’ in the Pines to local bands on Heritage Square. I have attended Hopi Kachina dance ceremonies and learning events at the Murdoch Center. Next, our natural surroundings are amazing. I hike the Grand Canyon and our backyard – Mars Hill, Mt. Elden, and Humphreys Peak.
And finally, we have a can-do spirit. Examples include NACET (Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology) and several local startup companies.
Flagstaff showed me a different way of being from where I grew up in Los Angeles as I had never lived so close to accessing nature and the landscape here has deeply enriched my life. Educational opportunities such as Lowell Observatory, Willow Bend Environmental Education Center, and NAU have all broadened my awareness of the world and for that I owe a debt of gratitude for those experiences. The third attribute is the people of Flagstaff as I’ve made so many friends over the years that have helped me to understand the importance of place and community.