This has been cross-posted at our sister site, A Better Brainerd.

Is this all we can come up with for a solution to trampled grass? Just pave it all? Is this all the better we can do here in Brainerd? I hope not.I posted this photo of the “improvements” to the BHS south entrance to my Facebook feed. Amid the general disgust with what has been done (seriously – just pave it all?), a few people thought I was “nit picking” and that the pavement was necessary due to the high number of students getting on and off the bus here.

Two things. First, we need a lot more nit picking. It is attention to this kind of details, stuff that isn’t expensive to do right but is simply horrible when done wrong, that separates good places from great. This says to the world, “we don’t really care.”

We do, though. We care a lot about our community. It is pride in the community that should make us all disgusted with this, make us insist that we do better. That we pay attention to details.

Second, we have more imagination that this. “Just pave it all” is what a lame school does. A great school identifies the problem (students trampling the grass) and then comes up with an approach that solves it with class. We’re capable of this. We can do it better using less money, we just don’t demand it of ourselves. We just accept lame. To do otherwise is “nit picking”, and we don’t want to be accused of that.

Let’s get this right. If people are interested in fixing this, I’m volunteering to (a) design a solution for this problem that we can take some pride in and (b) work to get it funded. If twenty of you in this city will step up and help me, I’ll do it.

I’m sick of lame. Who is with me?