College Station is proud to have 51 parks with more than 1,300 total acres. One of the City’s goals is to continue to develop more parks and natural conservation areas. Many of these parks contain native habitats, leaving existing natural spaces intact as green corridors for wildlife. Parks and other natural areas help to reduce storm runoff from rain and decrease the heat effect, issues caused by the increasing amount of pavement and buildings in our growing city. And don’t forget, natural spaces are good for our own health and well-being.
You can help support the City’s parks by participating in volunteer activities that plant trees annually and also by using and enjoying College Station’s parks with your family. Remember, to take care of these areas by doing things like picking up your trash while you’re there. Some parks even have information in them about local plants and native animals. Not only can this help you know what plants and animals to look out for while you are at the park, but it can also inspire you as to what plants to have in your own gardens.
The City is also encouraging green practices in building and has goals to create codes for such a purpose. Whether you are thinking about remodeling and repairing your home, or constructing a new one, you can choose to include green products and sustainable approaches in the process. Some of these green methods are highly visible, as in flooring choices or paint. Others are less visible such as types of insulation and efficient heating/cooling systems. All methods are beneficial to your home, health, and the environment. Be sure to talk to your contractor about available green options and don’t be afraid to do some research on your own.
In terms of design, your home should be integrated with the natural environment. Additions and new construction should be designed with existing trees, sunlight paths, breezes, and drainage in mind. Creating outdoor covered spaces are also economical ways to expand your home without adding additional loads for heating and cooling. They provide a great place for relaxing and connecting with nature, as well as socializing with your neighbors and friends. When inside and outside spaces work together, your home becomes functional, beautiful, and sustainable.