Over my 60-plus years there have oodles of times that I found it is easy to jump on a band wagon and join the crowd. And, I often found it even easier to be a naysayer and put down ideas that appear to be against my beliefs. I have learned that in addition to my thoughts and opinions I need to educate myself on issues and/or trust those who have done their homework and who have put in the sweat equity to achieve a goal.

I was reminded of this in something I saw in Bellevue over the past two years. Just north of Bellevue I heard that a campground was going to be built in an area that, to me and many others, defied fiscal and practical logic. While it was being built I joined other naysayers in speaking of the waste of money to build a white elephant. Now that it is finished I witness that it is so full that there is a waiting list of people wanting to rent spaces and the campground is working on expanding to meet demand. 

Bellevue has a gold mine. I hand humble pie.

And now is Maquoketa’s opportunity. A campground is being proposed for here which will enhance the quality of life in our Maquoketa area. I don’t know enough to judge the ups and downs of the proposal and find it would be easy to be a naysayer. But I do know this: Daryl Parker, the Jackson County Conservation Board, its dedicated employees, and its many volunteers know that they’re doing. Everything they have given us is top drawer and golden. Through their efforts Jackson County and Maquoketa have much to be proud of. They do their homework, and along with many fine volunteers, put in the sweat equity to make their ventures successful. They have earned our trust.

Thus, I support the creation of the campground at Prairie Creek Recreation Area and I trust the funds they request will be well spent and will pay a dividend in return

Tom Draus

St. Donatus