Hi Neighbors! I had a lengthy conversation with a friend here in LFP the other day who was commenting on the growth of our fledgling forest and the progress with our home remodeling projects. They "admired" the work we've been doing over the last eight years to transform both our home and the land it's on. As many before her have wondered, she asked, "Why didn't you just build a new house?" The answer is easy. That wouldn't have matched our values.
What we saw when we looked at this home back in 2013 was a place that was part of the history of Lake Forest Park; a place where a lot of heart had gone into making it a home for a number of families before us. We saw a place that, with some work-the action part of our values, we could improve as a way of decreasing our carbon footprint (not tearing down something that was still very solid, insulating the heck out of every wall, improving the plumbing, installing LED lights everywhere, creating passive cooling, reusing and recycling loads of building material, etc.) and honoring the original work of the builder (a widowed carpenter who built this house for his young son and himself).
We got to work as soon as we moved in and have spent the last eight years repeating an annual cycle of design, build, and recover for one project after another. Along the way, we've worked with Mother Nature to nurture the hundreds of saplings that started springing up on our front slope within six months of moving in. We decided that 1) the land clearly wanted trees and 2) we could reestablished a connection between a fractured wildlife habitat; a fact I was delighted to share with one of our research scientists at my museum who works on this very kind of restoration work in the Western US and Africa. :-) Now, at the end of our big projects, we are down to much smaller, typical homeowner honey-do lists. Whew!
Our conversation turned to my run for city council. My friend says, "Why would you run for LFP City Council? And, why now? Don't you want a break?" The answer was, again, easy. It aligns with our values - to serve our community and contribute to work that help all parts of our community thrive.