Breathing Life Into The Badlands

Breathing Life Into The Badlands

6 min read

The Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library is a destination for conservation education

The need for transformation is more urgent than ever. The threat is no longer invisible; we can feel it and see it. Record temperatures and weather events are killing many people and sickening others, damaging property, crops, and treasured, abundant natural resources. Unless we change, we will have more drought, rain bombs, fires, smoky skies, displaced people, and more damage to cherished natural places, not to mention homes, businesses, parks, community recreation centers, and sports facilities. 

Ending The “Syrup Syndrome”

Changing “business as usual” starts by ending the “Syrup Syndrome.” Picture pancakes on a platter, representing business as usual. The syrup represents pouring on sustainability separately, after the fact. Imagine designing a community recreation center, then once it’s nearly complete, pouring on watered-down sustainability like low-emitting materials or LED lamps.

Sustainability is a key ingredient to success, mixed into the batter from the start—not an optional condiment or afterthought. Larger buildings and tourism destinations have the power to make a noticeable environmental impact. To achieve a net positive future, sustainability must be a prominent part of conversations, community culture, and economic growth.