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Next Huntington in Bloom Forum: Plan 2025 Sustainability Summit

Apr. 15, 2013 @ 11:20 PM

You will hear the following words many times over the coming months: Huntington in Bloom; and you should be grateful for it. Part of the annual America in Bloom competition, Huntington in Bloom is a community-wide effort designed to improve the quality of life in Huntington through beautification projects, clean-up efforts, graffiti removal, and more. This effort has the ability to bring us together for a common cause and to create an ongoing legacy of pride and beautification that can transform how we and others see Huntington.

The Huntington in Bloom campaign officially kicked off Monday, April 15, with a community forum where residents were invited to learn about the various efforts and how you can get involved.

The next public forum, the Plan 2025 Sustainability Summit, will be at the Create Huntington Chat 'n Chew on Thursday, April 25. This and all Chat 'n Chews are 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the lobby of the Frederick Building, 940 4th Ave., Huntington. They are free and open to everyone.

At the Sustainability Summit, you will have the opportunity to share examples of cities that you have visited or read about that you love; what makes them attractive, appealing, and sustainable? You will then have the opportunity to break into small groups to focus on ways to reduce waste, look at alternative transportation, discuss the local food economy, brainstorm ways to create a truly sustainable local economy, and consider what we can do to improve the quality of life in Huntington.

"What is sustainability?" you ask. Sustainability is recycling and local foods. It's well-maintained sidewalks and bike lanes. It's addressing the city's storm sewer issues. It is being conscious about the products you buy and choosing those that have the least environmental impact. It is also creating resources to nurture our children and help each of us enjoy a fulfilling life. And it's about building an economy that takes builds on the competitive advantages of our area and our people.

Jonathan Porrit, with the Forum for the Future, says, "Sustainable development is a process which enables all people to realize their potential and improve their quality of life in ways which protect and enhance the Earth's life-support systems. In short, sustainability is the capacity to endure and the opportunity to achieve our fullest potential. Healthy environments are essential for humans to flourish, and education is needed to ensure negative human impact on the environment is reduced. Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs is necessary if Huntington is to become a model for sustainable cities.

By promoting sustainability through an open dialogue, Huntington can become a healthy, viable community throughout the course of the city's master plan, Plan2025. This all can be made possible through integrating renewable resources, improving quality of life for residents, applying innovative technologies and solutions, reducing carbon footprints, creating opportunities for local suppliers, contractors and workers and promoting long-term viability and economic benefits.

If you'd like more information on Huntington in Bloom, visit the group's website at www.huntingtoninbloom.com or Facebook page. For more information on Create Huntington and the Create Huntington Chat 'n Chews, visit their website at, www.createhuntington.com or Facebook page.

Thomas McChesney is a Huntington resident.