What is ‘sustainability,’ really? Although it is a term that has gotten a lot of use, some would say over use, it is important to be clear about intention. Kerry Fox, Pringle Creek Community’s Sustainability Outreach Coordinator, co-hosts a weekly morning segment on Salem’s public radio station, KMUZ each Wednesday morning where Kerry features local and regional guests who join her to speak about ways the Salem community specifically, and Oregon in general, are addressing community sustainability. You can hear her segment between 8:00 – 9:00 on 100.7 FM, 88.5 FM, or streamed at www.KMUZ.org.
Have you heard the analogy of the three-legged stool in regards to sustainability? It is a great metaphor since a stool cannot stand with one or two legs. It requires at least three legs to function as a stool. A sustainable society also requires three vital components: a healthy environment, a just society, and a strong local economy. These elements do not exist in a vacuum. If a community is to exist in-perpetuity (or sustainably), all three areas must be respected and nurtured. Pringle Creek Community is a great example of how these three aspects can come together and harmonize into a place where the people, the natural environment, and the local economy thrives. Pringle Creek Community is a multi-use sustainable community with residential homes that are built to LEED standards, which address the environmental impacts of building so that materials are re-used and the home is energy efficient, we have lots for commercial development, work-live home & retail plans, and 12 acres dedicated to green space and food production.
Kerry interviews guests who articulate an aspect of one of these three areas of sustainability. Recently, she interviewed Catherine Alexander, Executive Director of the Straub Environmental Center, a local, environmental education organization whose mission is building awareness and understanding of our relationship to the environment, working in partnership with the community. Their environmental education programs teach and motivate people to become active stewards of our environment. Kerry and Catherine spoke about Catherine’s transition into her new position as ED of the organization as well as the significance of their mission and events that are coming to Salem in the near future. Kerry has interviewed about the minimum wage issue, met with Marion Polk Food Share, discussed coal and LNG (liquid natural gas) export, community gardening, and many, many other issues. You can find out more through the Willamette WakeUp webpage. Kerry’s work at Pringle Creek Community as sustainability outreach coordinator informs her perspective and awareness of issues that interest and and inform her guests and audience at KMUZ. She appreciates the opportunity to work directly in a sustainable community while also bringing ideas to a wider audience through her work at KMUZ.
Kerry is enthusiastic about sustainability issues and proud to be part of both Pringle Creek Community and KMUZ; sharing her knowledge and passion. She believes that the more people understand about the inter-relatedness of the economy, the environment, and a just society, the better off we’ll all be – knowing that our actions impact everyone and everything around us – and therefore directly impact our own well-being.