Land Legacy improves quality of life for everyone in Oklahoma

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Do you ever find yourself looking around your local city and wonder, could my home be more green?

No not Bermuda grass green or green for St. Patrick’s Day but green for the environment.

Could we, as a city focus more on keeping our area clean and improving the quality of life around our great state? Could we teach our children to follow these ways long after we are gone?

Sadly, the only thing I know about helping the environment is picking up trash and although it does help, I wish I could do a little more. Unfortunately whatever I do decide to do won’t go much further than my own backyard and it’s not very big. Still the need to go green is great now, more than ever and I’m hoping a few cities will listen and call Land Legacy.

Land Legacy was founded in 2003 and their mission is to conserve, enhance and restore urban and rural lands and water. Basically it is to keep Oklahoma green. Currently they protect 19,700 acres in Oklahoma and currently have 96 landowner partners.  Their programs help landowners and cities with programs such as the watershed protection & green cities initiative. They also focus on turning old railway easements into biking and walking trails, leaving nothing unusable behind. And for military families or those close to bases they will help you sleep better at night by drowning out some of the noise from the bases.

This organization emphasis to cities such as Tulsa about the need for urban parks and play a crucial part in protecting the cities water source. They have also helped cities and various land owners save money by going green and say, “People who want to protect their land for future generations can now take advantage of substantial tax breaks when they donate to the cause and protect their green space or water tributaries from development.” I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t like to save a little money while helping the environment.

What Land Legacy really does though is enhance the quality of life in Oklahoma. Because of their efforts, cities have cleaner water; the air is easier to breathe. Your children can play in the dirt and lakes and not worry about toxic chemicals. Your city will have less trash and more beauty. Your children will have a more healthy land to live on than you had. Your pets can enjoy beautiful grass in the summer and they help various wildlife in their efforts. And for some of you, your favorite bike trail may even be the work of Land Legacy.

Just by keeping the state more green this organization impacts more than just a few, but thousands. You may not notice because the impacts are not in front of you, instead they are all around you in the water you drink, the land you walk on, and the air you breathe.

Does this mean we leave it all up to Land Legacy? No.

I asked them what we, the public, could do locally.

Land Legacy officials stated, “Knowledge about the environment is the key to saving it. Learning the importance of waste, its impact and how to help at the individual home level is everyone’s responsibility. The basics are important. Getting young people thinking in terms conservations is essential. More elementary schools should have environmental projects like recycling programs, outdoor classrooms and anti-littering campaigns.”

Of course with all the budget cuts the education system is currently facing I would say it is more up to us. Parents, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, grandparents, etc. It is up to us to teach conservation values to our children now, not later. It is also up to us to show our local city councils how important it is to protect our state and the quality of life here in Oklahoma.

If you would like to speak to Land Legacy about conserving your land or helping your city go green, call 918-587-2190 or visit www.landlegacy.com.

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