Healthy community, healthy planet

24 06 2009

As part of President Obama’s “Clean Energy Week,” Lisa Jackson, head of the EPA, spoke at the Highlands Garden Village yesterday. I had the opportunity to hear Ms. Jackson speak on the topic of sustainable communities. Highlands Garden Village is in the heart of the Highlands in northwest Denver and is a model of sustainable living. It was previously an abandoned amusement park (the former location of Elitch Gardens) that has been converted into a community that accommodates the elderly, young, single parents, parents with kids and extended families each of whom have diverse degrees of economic and cultural characteristics.

Highlands Garden encourages pedestrian activity, and many daily needs are withing walking distance. Schools, the post office, parks, a fitness center, cultural activities, and restaurants are all easily accessible via the pedestrian paths that wind through the community. All of the residential buildings are built with recycled or recyclable materials and the homes are built with energy-efficient mechanical systems and construction, achieving Colorado’s Built Green Program, E-star rating standards.

The 100-year-old Elitch Theater, once the longest running summer stock theater in the U.S., is being renovated into a center for arts and culture. The carousel pavilion that once housed a 1926 carousel ride has been restored with a walking labyrinth and will feature farmers markets, small concerts and private weddings. The historic park entrance has been restored to reflect the formal gardens of the former amusement park.

So very cool. You can see more here: www.highlandsgardenvillage.net

kt/

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