A view on sustainability from Seattle Parks

Eds Note: Andy Soden of Seattle Parks and Recreation chimes in on defining sustainability

By Andy Soden, Golf Director, Seattle Parks and Recreation

Based on my spell check, even Microsoft does not fully recognize the concept of sustainability. To begin this exercise, we all would have to agree the impacts and effects that we’re having on our planet, our countries our communities and children are not only profound but far-reaching.

Each and every one of us needs to buy in and get in the role and responsibility to sustain and do it together, a feat easier said than accomplished.

A better reason?
The recent war, economic crunch and environmental picture of our world provide another and ample wake up call to the fact that not everyone here in the States is completely engaged and committed to the concept and cause. Just like many things in this land of the free and home of the brave, there is just enough leeway to lose sight of the big picture.

I find it interesting that so quickly after gas prices lowered again, the legions of people who were suddenly riding the bus and the train to Seattle are right back in their cars. Why? They can.

Please let me and other city staffers here in Seattle know what we can do to partner and raise the level of awareness surrounding this issue. Our new Park Superintendent Tim Gallagher is there, I can assure you, and supports all the things we are doing in Parks to raise the bar on this topic.

We’re celebrating Earth Day, March 21, next month at the golf courses in the city to engage our loyal golfers and customers in the leadership role Parks and Recreation is taking to reduce the luxury consumption and use of potable water, fertilizer and pesticides here in the urban environment.

Parks is also rolling out the Green Golfer program this year, which is part of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program’s Community Outreach component for golf courses. We’ve been participating in this 6-stage process towards Certification for about five years.

These are exciting times, and call for extraordinary and unique efforts towards sustaining our environment, economy, communities and future. Keeping in mind that we’re doing this for our children and their future, we feel that to get there, we’ll need to do it one thing at a time.

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