In our age of commodities, convenience and consumerism it is not surprising that the multi-syllable word “sustainability” is not used often by community planners when talking to the public. This is my observation.

As scientists pronounce Literacy is on the wane I am grateful for a verbal challenge.

Of course I also include the implication of the word. A sustainable community is an efficient and effective community, a social network. It is a walkable community in which social and food needs are within 200 m. It is buildings with reduced energy and water consumption mechanisms, and includes good transit options, and stewardship of the environment.

We are a closed system up here. Not only does this make a challenge for suppliers and municipal services who must climb the roads to reach our hilltop. Ice, cold and snow create a challenge for any vehicle during our most severe storms. We must not forget, the mountain (a limited reserve of about 550 acres) provides a finite habitat for hundreds of species of birds, of rarer amphibians, of reptiles and of mammals such as the bobcat, black bear, black-tailed deer and other smaller mammals. We do not have the buffer for example of the North Shore, were the Coastal Mountains offer thousands of acres of adjoining natural habitats.
Our mountain residential community continues to grow. Don’t be fooled, any development is in conflict with the needs of river systems that support a newly re-established salmon spawning population. The recent return of salmon is a stark example of the wildlife our mountain supports. The natural habitats are delicate and at a disadvantage. The salmon in our little urban oasis, will always need our stewardship.

Building development sites reduce forest sites that support wildlife. New concrete and cleared sites effect stormwater drainage which can impact river systems and habitats that won’t tolerate increased sediment.

To give my reader a simple task. I ask you to support the local businesses, who support our walkable community. Was that the new SFU University President, Andrew Petter I saw yesterday walking his groceries home to his One University Crescent penthouse from Nesters? Indeed it was. Hmm!? If a president has time?…

Eric Wilson is the store manager at Nesters. This gentleman works closely with the community. Along with the Organic Cafe, Nesters recently provided catering to the opening ceremony of our new school. Bill and Dolores have supported community events for a long time now since 2002.
Imagine if all those foods for the school event had to be shipped in from off of the mountain!

And to be honest, the prices at Nesters for many products is much less (for fruits and veggies for example) than I have found at any grocery – Across the city. I love the selection of no-preservative sandwich meats, and the homeopathic personal hygiene products at the pharmacy. This selection, considering our small community is a privelaged opportunity, and requires loyal support.

FYI There is free one hour parking under the Hub, the building in which Nesters is located. It is accessed on the Western side through the side driveway.
If you can, of course walk! It can only be less than a 200 m distance, each way.

I am proud to say I participate in a Sustainable community. We all must in some way. However we are a very unique example.

I am most excited to continue to search the vocabulary that defies the experts announcements of the death of language and literacy.

We all have our own reasons to support a reduced footprint.

On a serious note, we need our young generations (below 45 years old) to be fluent in Sustainability. Sustainability requires some sacrifice: living in smaller condominiums, being aware of waste such as excess water usage, and reducing pollutants in our finite ecosystem of the mountain. I hope our community will continue to enjoy the great interaction of conversation. Just go by the Organic Cafe and have a chat with the owner Bill. Bill is always willing to discuss issues in the community, and offers great insights.
Read! Investigate the issues of sustainability.

Thanks for reading today.

Vivian Sorensen