Our Voice: We're grateful for people who are looking forward

Water trail

The Tapteal Greenway Water Trail has been three years in the making. We're guessing few people knew about it before it's maiden flotilla this week. This makes us curious: Are there any other neat projects under way in the Mid-Columbia that will be unveiled in the near future?

We're grateful for our water. It's used on our crops, transports our goods and provides hours of recreation. The new trail is one more way for people to enjoy one of the Mid-Columbia's treasures.

The water trail is a 30-mile, 12-stop, four-launch trail from Benton City to Bateman Island. It's free to use if you supply your own water craft.

The idea behind it is to mirror the land trail, which provides a different opportunity to get closer to the Yakima River.

It's worth noting that regardless of which type of flotation device you use, life jackets are required when you are on the river -- always.

The project is funded with a grant from REI, and the work comes from the Tapteal Greenway Association. It's a good model of public-private cooperation.

Thinking about giving the water a try? Search the Internet for Tapteal Greenway Water Trail for maps, photos, directions and rules. Brochures also are available at REI.

We're grateful for people with foresight that bring these recreational opportunities to our community.

Books on the bus

What a great idea. Pasco school bus driver Carlyn Kraft started providing books for kids to read while on her bus. The Children's Reading Foundation of the Mid-Columbia caught wind of the idea and did two great things.

One: They recognized Kraft's innovative idea. Two: They expanded the program.

Kraft was using her own money to supply the books.

Time spent on the bus isn't part of the school day, but it still can be used for learning. And, at the very least, kids reading a book are kids who are engaged, calm and sitting down. We're sure it makes the ride a little more educational for some and a lot more enjoyable for all.

At home in Haiti

Brittany Hilker is having a different life experience than most of the kids raised in the Tri-Cities. She's living in a remote part of Haiti -- by choice. She helps run a nonprofit agency with a different outlook. It serves people by seeking out "what 'they' think they need, not by what 'we' think they need."

It's a philosophy we ought to consider a little more often. Sometimes when we try to "help" someone, we are really trying to impose our notions of help on them, which actually is not all that helpful most of the time.