In Spokane, we think a green city is as much about the green spaces in the community as it is about energy efficiency. Green spaces like parks, playgrounds, sports complexes, arboretums, gardens and golf courses are important for many reasons. These areas promote safer neighborhoods, create vitality of communities and raise property values. They prevent soil erosion and soak up rainwater runoff, provide an indicator of overall ecological health and have been shown to absorb environmental pollutants. Plus, they're just cool places to hang out.
According to Spokane County records, our county has over 69,800 acres of public, recreational land. This includes conservation areas like the 16,000 acres of Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, state parks like Mount Spokane as well as city and neighborhood parks. Within the Spokane city limit, there is a total of 87 city parks and more than 4,100 acres of protected green space.
Trail systems are also very prominent in the Spokane region. Along with the 37 mile Centennial Trail that runs all the way from the Idaho border following the Spokane River and through Spokane's downtown, there are miles upon miles of of additional trail systems for hiking, biking, geocaching and even dog walking!
See, being green isn't just about light bulbs and recycling bins. It's also about the way a community functions and how it uses its natural resources. In Spokane, we think we're using it just the way nature intended.
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Marla Allen: email@example.com