I consider my community to be the Jordan Creek area, which is actually a little more diverse of a community than one would think. It’s a healthy community, but a confusing one. It’s part of Dallas County, the Waukee school district, and can also be incorporated with Polk County to somebody who isn’t sure where to place it. In this paper I will be discussing the types of community capital I believe exist in the Jordan Creek community, how social capital relates to making this community healthy, the community capital that is lacking in this area, and the four major contributors to community health.
I can find several different types of each kind of community capital in my area. I think that some of the environmental capital that exists in my area is the many acres of land in my community, like the healthy grasslands that could be used to produce either more economic capital, such as expanding the amount of local business or expanding physical capital, such as adding to the bike trails or building more playgrounds. There are a lot of healthy, beautiful trees, small ponds, and a creek that runs the length of E.P. True Pkwy., where many of the community’s manmade bike trails have been built. This provides a rich source of physical capital, creating enjoyment for people of all ages in my community. Raccoon River Lake is another source of manmade physical capital made free to the community that is about six miles from my house. People of all ages go there to enjoy the playgrounds, beach, bike trail, walking trail, and dog park. The physical capital designed by manmade roads make it easy to access the economic capital, such as Jordan Creek Mall, or the West Glen shopping center, two places that my community is well known for. A lot of proceeds from events that take place in my community such as the Principal Golf Charity Classic at Glen Oaks go to fund necessary free services. I know they just purchased and donated a computer lab to the Young Women’s Resource Center, located in downtown Des Moines. This is great economic capital that is turned into physical, human, and healthy social capital. A great source of Human capital in my area would be this free service called, “Community Greetings.” When I first moved out to this area of town, I called up this service and made an appointment with a very nice woman who made me a “community basket” full of free samples, coupons, and brochures of all of the available Human capital available in my area. There were brochures for family doctors, pediatricians, pediatric dentists, general dentistry, chiropractors, car repair, coupons for free oil changes, and coupons to take advantage of the many locally owned businesses in my area from grocery stores to dry cleaners to family-owned restaurants. There were also free samples from beauty salons, gift cards for self-pampering, and several pens, business cards, and other novelty items with business names on them, all from locally owned community businesses within about five miles of my house.
There are great sources of informational capital in my community. Every week I get a free copy of the West Des Moines Register, which informs me of things going on within my community and also things that have happened in my community. Once a month, we get a free copy of a magazine called, “West Des Moines Living,” which includes activities that have been coordinated within the community as well as exclusive advertising for West Des Moines local business. The magazine talks about accomplishments of individuals within the community and is also informative about upcoming sporting events, concerts, and other special interest events coming to the area. There are several classes you can take ranging from ballroom dancing to martial arts and this magazine tells you how to sign up for the classes, when and where they take place and whether or not you need to pay for them. It is also a great source of...