Why sustainability is not just about the environment

5 key principles

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In essence, sustainable is about five key principles:

  1. Care for the Environment
  2. Respect of Ecological Constraints
  3. Fairness and Equality
  4. Quality of Life
  5. Participation and Partnership

Or in a nutshell, a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

As parks and recreation professionals each of the key principles affect our daily lives.  In order to ensure future sustainability practices, not only should the younger generations should be engaged in these philosophies, practices and key elements but the entire population.

Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods sparked a movement to encourage children to go out and reconnect with nature. This movement has since sparked innovation in amenities to keep them engaged such as Nature Play Playgrounds, Sensory Gardens, and Nature Programs and Curriculum.

Most of us are aware of the above aspect of Sustainability.

But what about… Fairness and Equality? Quality of Life? Participation and Partnership?

Fairness and Equality

When it comes to societal transformation for a sustainable future, there are three reasons why equality could be part of the equation.

First, inequality drives materialism.

Second, people living in more equal societies value collective responsibility more. This leads to a host of sustainable spin-offs.

The third reason also relates to business and economic growth. Transforming societies will require significant innovation.

Quality of Life

Our profession enhances the unique characteristics of all communities by providing healthy, safe and walkable opportunities for all ages. It creates memories, physical activity, and fun! We have the power to enhance the quality of life for those willing to participate.

Participation and Partnership (or in our case, FUNDING!)

We have recently witnessed the lack of participation and partnership regarding the support of funding for parks and recreation in Pennsylvania. Continued development of strategies that inspire our communities, residents and government officials will allow them to discover the importance of parks, recreation and open space in the Commonwealth. Partnerships have proven to be the backbone to financial sustainability. The Growing Greener Coalition, PRPS and others have worked to keep us informed of changes that are being made to potential funding cuts that can and will affect most of us.  Continue to be part of our uniform voice when there is a “Call For Action!”

Sustainability will continue to increase in Pennsylvania because of all YOU do.

Parks and Recreation is “Good For You, Good For All.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Heather Cuyler

Recreation Planner Pashek+MTR

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