Sheridan is a community that cares.

Since moving back to town a year-plus ago, I have been fascinated by local communication online. Wonderful grassroots efforts emerge from Facebook groups, such as the recent backpack drive for students in need organized by Neighbors Helping Neighbors. And, because it’s the internet, terrible threads also appear, spinning beyond the scope.

While they come from a passionate place, these conversations are missing the spark of real-life interactions. Humans are drawn to town centers for a reason. Friends and family throw get-togethers for a reason. Companies spend thousands flying representatives to out-of-town meetings for a reason.

Letters, phone calls, Facebook posts — even Facetime cannot replace true face-to-face communication.

With the spirit of community engagement in mind, my colleagues and I at The Press hope to channel that online passion into public discourse. Taking advantage of the last warm days of the season, we are holding a special one-week series in the town’s parklet, which is stationed outside of our office at 144 Grinnell Plaza.

We read your Facebook comments and your letters to the editor: We know you have plenty of opinions. This is our opportunity to talk about them, honestly and openly. Is there a story that should be covered? Share it! Wonder how we choose to cover certain issues? Ask us! Can we improve? Let us know how!

So, please, take a moment next week to pop by the parklet over your lunch or coffee break. “The Press in the Parklet” schedule runs as follows:

Saturday, 9-10 a.m.: Java with a Journo
• Get your coffee to go, and meet the editor of The Press in the parklet.
• Share your ideas, give feedback and ask questions.

Monday, 11 am.-1 p.m.: Pitch in the Parklet
• Have a great story that The Press should cover? Pitch it to the newsroom in the parklet.

Tuesday, 11 am.-1 p.m.: Open office hours
• Come by the parklet to chat with a member of The Press, eat your lunch or read the newspaper.

Wednesday, 11 am.-1 p.m.: Photographer’s Corner
• Our photographer will take professional headshots for only $15 per digital download.
• Get photography tips from a pro.

Thursday, 11 am.-1 p.m.: Open office hours
• Come by the parklet to chat with a member of The Press, eat your lunch or read the newspaper.

Friday, 11 am.-1 p.m.: Garments for Good
• Buy the new My Bighorns hats and T-shirts ($29 each plus tax), and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Sheridan Community Land Trust.

…Is this also a not-so-secret excuse for us to work outside? Yes, yes, it is. I hope to see you there!