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Amy Johnson and husband Toby Johnson in Saturday’s Kit Carson Days Parade.
John R Schecter

Amy Johnson Awarded Good Scout Recognition at Kit Carson Days

By Tess Johnson, introduction by Betsy Barnett

September 7, 2022

Kit Carson Days was held over the Labor Day weekend like it has for many years. One of the traditions of Kit Carson Days is to recognize a person within the community who has made significant contributions in one way or another to Kit Carson and the surrounding area. This year Amy Johnson was presented with the award and there is no one at this point more deserving to be recognized in the community of Kit Carson. She’s the face of the local economic development group who has worked for a number of years to rid Kit Carson of the squalor of old houses and old business sites that have long been abandoned.

Like most small towns, Kit Carson had its share of sites, houses and commercial buildings, that were being used for “storage” but were no longer an asset for the owner or the community. These sites became eyesores, and it took Amy’s brand of determination to talk the owners into getting out of the rut of storing old things they’ll never use again and instead thinking out of the box at looking forward to a new use for the property. Amy’s model is the model small towns across America should be following in preserving what can be saved—but by getting rid of stuff/junk and buildings whose usefulness has long—long gone away.

The Independent salutes Amy Johnson as, yes, a Good Scout, for the Kit Carson community; but even more than that an intelligent, humble and persistent individual that has a vision and lives every day of her life walking toward that vision. Her method and modeling for Kit Carson should be emulated by every other little community in this state and across the country. Because it works and it is getting results.

The following is a tribute to Amy Johnson as the Good Scout of the town of Kit Carson as written by her daughter Tess, a senior at Kit Carson High School:

The 2022 Kit Carson Good Scout Award recipient is Amy Johnson. Amy has been a significant asset to the community since the day she moved to Kit Carson in 1995.

From the start, she fell in love with the town and people of Kit Carson and with the guidance of the late Ralph Bullock, she found a place at Kit Carson Rural Development (KCRD). She saw places that could use improvement and rather than sitting back and hoping someone else would get the job done, she jumped right in.

Throughout her work with KCRD, Amy has made Kit Carson an even better place to live. The grants that Amy has written have cleared 12 vacant and dilapidated sites, built 8 brand new, affordable houses, remodeled 4 homes, installed the community park, cleaned up a major Brownsfield site and installed a brand-new shared workspace on it. She recently wrote another grant for KCRD that will help bring 5 new houses to Kit Carson within the year. In addition to all this, at any town cleanup day, you can expect to see Amy there, getting her hands dirty.

She did all this work not because she got paid for it, not because someone asked her to, and not for the recognition. Instead, she did it because she cared. She wanted to better the community. She saw a place for improvement, she knew what needed to be done, and simply put, she did it.

Amy credits her amazing support system, the hardworking members of KCRD, and the people of Kit Carson for helping her along the way.

Amy, this town and community is forever in debt to you and all of your volunteer time. We just want to thank you for all your many sacrifices to make this town a better place. Without you, Amy, Kit Carson truly would not be what it is today. Thank you!

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