If you lived in a nature-lovers paradise, you might start to take all that beautiful scenery for granted. Not so for the leaders and residents of Volusia County, Florida.
The community is forward-thinking about protecting the environmental integrity of their neighborhoods for years and has made developing a sustainability action plan for the county a high priority.
Here's a closer look at the Sustainability Action Plan - part of the "Green Volusia" program - that will help make Volusia County a best place to call home now and always:
Why Create A Sustainability Action Plan?
The effort stems from an understanding of the far-reaching benefits of sustaining a healthy local environment. Volusia County is working to be proactive about maintaining clean water, protecting and restoring natural areas, and maintaining quality of life when it comes to traffic, city planning, and affordability.
The objectives of the plan are focused on continuing to make Volusia County an attractive and healthy place to live. Some of the sustainability goals include maintaining a healthy economy and environment, promoting a healthy community, efficient transportation, conserving water and energy, and reducing waste.
These goals are hoped to lead to better bike and pedestrian facilities, improved air quality, and a healthy economy. In other words, an attractive, healthy, and vibrant community in which to live.
What Steps Are Being Taken?
Very specific goals are laid out in the sustainability plan. Here are some of the highlights of the strategies being developed to achieve them:
Volusia County's approach to reducing energy consumption features action steps include increasing the use of renewable energy and encouraging better energy performance in construction.
Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is of particular importance to Volusia County. This is due to threats of sea-level rise from climate change, risk of flooding, erosion of beaches, and loss of wetlands.
Transportation and Design
Improved traffic is better for both the environment and quality of life for those who call the are home. Volusia County is looking to improve pedestrian and bicycle lanes, reduce the use of single-occupancy cars, and enhancing public transit.
Steps are being taken to conserve water through conservation measures for both indoor and outdoor water use. More water-efficient fixtures are being used in new construction, while less efficient existing fixtures are being replaced. The public is also being educated about how to adopt good water conservation habits.
Waste reduction plans include increasing the recycling of yard waste and promoting composting among the community. Other efforts are aimed at promoting markets for recycled materials. Waste reduction strategies include a green purchasing approach by the county and educating consumers and businesses about ways to reduce waste.
Promote a Healthy Environment and Economy
One way to preserve and promote a strong economy in Volusia County involves continuing to maintain a healthy environment. The county is taking steps to protect and restore natural lands and water bodies, protect threatened and endangered species, and develop strategies to deal with sea level rise. The community benefits from its many amenities such as parks, libraries, and cultural institutions. There are also attractive walking and hiking trails, urban open spaces and well-situated urban tree canopies.
Beyond just the environment, the assurance of a healthy economy that can provide resources for the community is a key focus. The overall balance of economy, environment, and community through job-growth, tourism, recreation, and amenities, while also promoting green businesses, industries, and technology for long-term sustainability is an important piece of the Sustainability Action Plan.
Maintaining a High Quality of Life
Volusia County developed a Sustainability Action Plan because it is a key part of helping to raise and maintain the quality of life for area residents. With its abundance of natural areas and wildlife, beautiful beaches, parks, and recreational activities, those who live in the area benefit from a community that helps them feel energized, recharged, and content.