If you are reading this, it is very likely that you are a green conscious individual. You subscribe to the principles of sustainability and you participate in recycling, renewable energy, habitat protection or any number of these important moralities.

Something that may get overlooked in our efforts to promote sustainability is the protection and enjoyment of our green space. The City of Omaha Parks System encompasses over 11,000 acres. These spaces include Community Centers, Golf Courses, Marinas and Lakes, Forests, Trails, Greenbelts, Nature Centers, Ice Rinks, and much more.

With our daily addictions to instant gratification on our mobile devices, it is far too easy to take these vital spaces for granted. They process oxygen, they provide habitat, they provide natural drainage, and they rejuvenate our spirits.

If you have a favorite park or favorite green space, I encourage you to spend more time there. It is the simplest thing to set aside 30 minutes for a casual walk outdoors (even during winter). Immerse yourself in the thorough enjoyment of these spaces, and engage yourself in their preservation. Find a way to get involved, find a way to get outside, find a way to preserve. You will find it good for body, mind and soul.

Tom Baker
President, Green Omaha Coalition

Visit www.parks.cityofomaha.org for more information.