By Greg Kowalski
Sustainability Studies intern
This summer I will be doing my internship with Garry Harrington at Rum Village park on the city’s south side. I am hoping that together we can both figure out how to meet the current needs of the park without compromising its ability to meet its future needs so that future generations will be able to enjoy the natural beauty that this park has to offer. Garry is the director of the nature center at Rum Village and I am hoping to learn from him how he is teaching our younger generations to care for and respect all that nature has to offer. While doing this I believe that he is indirectly teaching kids how to be sustainable as far as nature is concerned. I feel like reaching kids while they are in kindergarten or at the latest in first or second grade, we have the chance to start teaching them how to respect nature, which in turn will help them have respect as they get older for our planet.
I am also hoping to see how a true nature park is maintained in regards to the four principles of sustainability. I have already met with Garry and we have discussed ways of maintaining the more than three miles of trails by being minimally invasive. In order to do this much of the work will be done by hand without the use of power trimmers, saws, etc. unless necessary. I hope to have time this summer to also talk to Garry about possibly incorporating some sort of programs for the older kids to participate in during their summer months out of school. I would also like to discuss how the parks department itself is run and maintained in regards to being sustainable, and see if there are any ideas we can come up with that may help them become more sustainable and at the same time save some money.