City still has a way to to to become green

Voice of business for Parksville's chamber of commerce

I’ve been feeling a little green lately. I am not known for my environmental views, but our recent success in assisting businesses to lower their energy footprint and our determination over the summer to use less water has set me on a path.

The incentive was how can we as an organization lead the way for our member businesses to improve the bottom line by decreasing our energy and water consumption.

I have heard a lot of positive comments from non-business members of our community for our positive approach to environmental stewardship.

We have been challenged to become the most sustainable business community on Vancouver Island, where sustainability means a business built on positive environmental and social values to create economic success.

I would like to take things to another level and challenge Parksville to participate in our new-found green initiatives and find a way to get out of your car.

The City of Parksville has included the following statement as a vision for the city. This statement certainly addresses the three pillars of sustainability but I think we can all recognize that we still have a ways to go:

The desired Parksville is a compact and orderly city contained by greenbelts and natural features. Its form respects, above all, the outstanding natural setting and maximizes recreational opportunities for its population.

The waterfront is particularly emphasized and made accessible to all. A balanced demographic profile and a comprehensive system of community services ensure social stability.

An array of land uses and housing types centered on the downtown core meets the diverse needs of the population in the most environmentally efficient and aesthetically pleasing manner.

A peaceful and secure atmosphere is ensured by the pedestrian scale of development and the spirit that comes with pride in one’s community.

Anyone who has been here for more than a week will understand the need for heavy emphasis on the ‘desired’.

We do have lovely walkways and some safe bicycle lanes, however our current transit system is a joke and the sprawl of single family home development coupled with an aging population has made it difficult to buy a loaf of bread without getting in a car.

Over the next several weeks we will be entertained by those aspiring to lead our city for the next three years.

Please add this to the job requirements as you conduct your interviews: “What will you as a city councillor do to increase the density and decrease sprawl, improve both the walkability of our community and the access to public transit?”

If we really want to take a step forward we need to find a way to reduce our vehicle use … and hey with gas at $1.29/litre we get to save a little ‘green’ as well.

 

 

— Kim Burden is the executive director  of the Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce.