This is a play on words to be sure, we have great police and fire departments and I fully support them. However, there isn’t anyone talking about Nature. Who will preserve our natural resources to protect our livelihood and the livelihood of the animals in our township?
Our Natural Resources
The natural resources I am speaking of are:
-our undeveloped land, including soil health
-our forests and old growth trees
-our air quality
-our ground water including drinking water, watersheds and aquifers
-our bodies of water including ponds, lakes and streams
-our animal habitats (including aquatic life)
-our plant species, native plant restoration and fungi
So what is the solution?
Advocacy, education and people who give a damn (pardon my French). There has been an obvious focus on economic development in our township for the past 20 years, and what we need now is a focus on the resiliency (our ability to respond, recover and thrive) by strengthening the planet we inhabit.
-We have to ensure the old mines at Portage and Lutz are not leaching acid and heavy metals into our water supply (this property has been in the news lately, but no one is discussing this)
-We have to protect forest and undisturbed greenspace for animal habitat through grants, or Ohio USDA programs or nonprofits, Zoning regulations to preserve 15% or similar
-Start advocacy groups in our area like Rural Action
to enable local entrepreneurs to create ecotourism businesses, help bring farm to table and other rural focused ideas to Jackson Township
-We need to add green infrastructure and permaculture solutions to our built projects and required in our Zoning ordinance for development standards. Green infrastructure are things like bioswales to help naturally clean storm water before it goes into our ground or storm water systems. And permaculture solutions like rain water harvesting and planting food forests in urban areas to utilize water, stabilize topsoil and provide food for years.
-We have to look at our yard debris drop off with more creative solutions (mulch and composting for the community), nature has solutions to many of our problems if we know to look for them
-We need address recycling in our community. Help create local businesses with environmental agendas, for example the USDA has a Rural Business Development program to create rural resiliency, or creative ways to use recycled materials (Earthship
construction) and allow them in our Zoning.