How can one person make a difference? Here's a list of 7 ways to participate in a bright future for Fort Smith. Hint: Item 5 is all about having fun. We even have some suggestions! May we remember the fallen - and their loved ones - on this Memorial Day weekend.

Increasingly, citizens are asking, “How do I get involved?“ or “How can just one person like me make a difference?“ Building a bright future takes *all of us* doing something. Be involved. Here are a few ideas.

1. Report a problem as you see it (if you're not driving).

The new myFortSmith app is online, on Google Play and Apple/iOS stores. Designed to help you report issues 24/7/365, your city services are accessible. You can even chime in on someone else’s service request, and track the issue all the way through the resolution process. Because 9 to 5 is so yesterday.

2. Adopt or sponsor a spot.

Perhaps there’s a space near where you live, work, walk, bike or drive that’s maintained by the Fort Smith Parks Department. Might you consider adopting a median, flower bed or a park? Perhaps you’d like to maintain the space with your own time, or maybe your business could benefit from being associated with a good deed. Partnering to beautify public spaces might be a tall investment or a small, quiet act of service. Volunteer here.

3. Be informed, and inform.

The City of Fort Smith is working to bring information to where you are. We’re asking for your input on a variety of topics, at points of service, and in ways that are convenient to you (see #1). Reach out to City Hall digitally via Twitter or Facebook, or at points of service. The Department of Sanitation, for instance, is actively featuring information of local and global interest. Downtown Development is providing fresh content. Streets and Traffic Control provides timely information based on weather conditions and, sometimes, just for fun.

4. Be active.

Much of what elected officials are hearing locally is that the local community must make a commitment to alternative modes of transportation. What do you think? Where do we build the infrastructure in Fort Smith so that it connects regionally and beyond? Learn more about the Arkansas State Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, and respond with your opinions

5. Join the fun!

Get out. Do. Bring friends and family. Celebrate the Old Fort Days Rodeo, parade, fun run, and lots of other events associated with Fort Smith Western Heritage Month. Embrace our past, through the lens of today. Remember sacrifices by visiting the Fort Smith National Cemetery. Enjoy our recreational amenities. Creekmore Park is busy, with the opening of the pool, and the traditional Memorial Day operation of the steam engine from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The splash pad at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park is in operation, and the Park at West End, while closed on Monday, will commence its summertime hours next week. Looking for more? Check out the Convention & Visitors Bureau calendar, Things to Do in Fort Smith, or Entertainment Fort Smith for long lists of fun.

6. Shop local.

One of the charms of visiting other places is finding local cuisine that isn’t available anywhere else, or a special shop with a unique atmosphere. While our favorite chain restaurants and retailers provide a level of comfort, consistency, and affordability that any community our size ought to have, when was the last time you purposefully looked at Fort Smith through the eyes of a visitor? Try it sometime soon.

7. Look forward.

The next Movie in the Park is May 30 at Tilles Park, featuring Epic. The Mayor’s Fourth of July Extravaganza on July 4 begins at 7 p.m. at Riverfront Park, featuring Blue Fiddle, the River Valley Community Band, Mr. Cabbage Head and the Screaming Radishes, the Arkansas Valley Mustang Club Car Show, and fireworks. The 43rd Annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, featuring Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby is Friday, July 18 at 6:15 a.m. Holiday Inn City Center 

A note about city services on Memorial Day

City offices will be closed Monday, May 26, in observance of Memorial Day.

Residential sanitation routes normally collected on Monday will be collected Wednesday, May 28. The landfill will be OPEN from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Monday.

Transit on Friday is a free ride day. Monday, transit will operate with limited demand response service from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All trips will be $3. No fixed route service, and no night service.

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