Nothing like it
My father, who is currently battling stage four cancer, has one regret this year.
His treatments did not allow him to travel here to watch his grandchildren ski and race at Hickory Hills.
My mother-in-law made a photo album in January 2012 of my youngest daughter's very first day of skiing.
It is full of pictures of joy, family, snow and tow ropes. My grandparents come to town every Sunday to watch and cheer for their great-grandchildren racing on Swede, Buck and Birch.
All three of my children have learned to ski at Hickory Hills. My two oldest are pacing the house right now with tears in their eyes and heavy hearts. We all can't breathe.
Hickory Hills draws us to town and connects us with an amazing community.
It is the local place that all of the children (and adults) go to play in the winter.
Skiing at Hickory is synonymous with winter for us. Please save this northern Michigan treasure; there is nothing like it in the world.
Continue the vision
I am a third-generation native of Traverse City. I, too, recall many fond memories of growing up spending numerous nights and weekends at Hickory Hills in an attempt to try to learn how to ski.
The snack bar with its unending plethora of sweet snacks, along with the roaring fire, and a steaming cup of hot cocoa is where I spent most of my "ski" time.
While these images are wonderful keepsakes, my heartstrings are attached to Hickory Hills because of a different reason.
My grandfather was Oscar "Swede" Johnson, one of the founding fathers of Hickory Hills. In fact, the hill "Swede" was named after him.
He, along with his cohorts, had a vision for the residents and youth of our fine city.
He spent countless hours of his time and money to make that vision a reality.
I applaud our current city commissioners (grandpa also served as a city commissioner) and residents in their ongoing attempts to continue that vision for future generations to come.
Life wouldn't be same
I am 12 years old. I want Hickory Hills to stay open. My friends and I ski on our own at Hickory. We feel safe there. You could find us there riding the tow ropes five days a week, all winter long.
Skiing at Hickory has taught me many skills. Racing at Hickory since I was 4, I have met many knowledgeable and encouraging mentors and coaches.
Being able to ski at Hickory has taught me to watch out for my friends and be a leader. I've learned I can rely on them when I need to. I've learned to be brave when my parents are not around.
Without Hickory, my life would not be the same. Please do your best to help the community stay the same wonderful place it is.
Support Hickory Hills
Do we want to become another suburban community like those surrounding Detroit? Or do we want to become the most desirable place to move families and businesses to in the great state of Michigan?
If we choose to grow into one of the most desirable places in the country to own a home or business, we must "walk our talk" and fight to keep our town's treasures alive and funded.
Save Hickory Hills. The path may not be easy, but it is critical to prioritize programs and facilities that support healthy lifestyle choices, develop strong community, build successful children and add value to the Traverse City marketplace.
Support Hickory Hills. Save Hickory Hills. Preserve Hickory Hills. Fund Hickory Hills. Vote for Hickory Hills.
Keep kids moving
There are so many reasons to preserve the Hickory Hills recreation area, but one important reason that has not been discussed as much is its positive impact on reducing childhood obesity.
Childhood obesity is a major health threat to the youth in our community and all over the U.S.
Hickory Hills is one of the very few affordable, outdoor, all-season recreation areas where the youth in our community have access to and can engage in many forms of physical activity in a supervised setting, learning lifelong outdoor recreation skills, and all the while having a great time.
Preserve Hickory Hills and let's keep our kids moving and healthy.
Don't take away chance
I am very disappointed to hear that the city intends to stop funding Hickory Hills.
As an avid fan of Traverse City sports this is unacceptable.
With skiing being a major part of Traverse City citizens' lives, taking away the opportunity for our young people (and not so young) to be able to ski right here in town is very sad and very much against why so many people choose to live in the Grand Traverse area.
Please keep Hickory Hills open and part of this great city.