Recipe for the Comeback of North Brevard
The Space Coast receives recognition as the “comeback king” after surviving devastating job losses from the shuttle retirement at the beginning of a national recession. And no area of the county has felt it more poignantly than North Brevard.
But things are popping in North Brevard, and it’s an exciting time. So what is/was the secret sauce?
Who doesn’t love a good challenge? The gauntlet was thrown down with the 60 Minutes feature in early 2012, where they called us a “ghost town.” Hours of great interviews about resiliency, dedication, etc. and they used the worst footage possible and the gloomiest forecast to tell a story that fueled a fire to prove them wrong.
There are certainly recognizable leaders in the community, but this situation encouraged leadership at every level. Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” starts out with “The Change Starts from Within,” and I think that is the most important piece. As a community, we didn’t wait for someone else to help us. We were willing to face the hard facts, ask the difficult questions, and put together a plan to mitigate the circumstances.
The Beatles said it best: “All you need is love!” In the end, love can triumph over hardship, but sometimes it takes the hardship to uncover the love. The past few years have brought to the surface a wave of fierce protectiveness and love for our community and everyone who lives here. And with that love has come gratitude, and a broader awareness of what makes this community special.
What does playing have to do with a community that is recovering? It’s a vital component. I am encouraged by the city employee who has taken it upon himself to put positive messages and small pieces of art in our downtown using rain-activated paint… so they only appear when the pavement is wet.
I love the enthusiasm of the north area parks and recreation staff that are looking for new ways to engage all ages in fun and recreation. I am excited to see our parks and public spaces alive with activity — including porch swings in our newly renovated Riverfront Park (across from El
Leoncitos Mexican Restaurant on U.S. Highway 1). Since I live near the new trail network, I love to see people encouraging each other as they walk, run or ride the trail, and to hear about the instances of “trail magic” that are taking place… people putting out water or snacks for trail users, or providing rest areas along the way — shade, picnic tables, etc.
And my absolute favorite parts of this whole experience are the bonds that have formed and the collaboration. The networks that have been created to help us get through are continuing as connections to keep us engaged with one another. And I think that will serve us well for years to come. Looking outside of our own circle, recognizing the impact we have on others, and reaching out to collaborate makes everyone and everything better.
BIO: Marcia Gaedcke is president of the Titusville Area Chamber of Commerce and a lifetime resident of Titusville and Brevard County. She is a passionate leader and a serial volunteer, concerned about the future of our community and economy, and is willing to roll up her sleeves and work for the betterment of Brevard.