A Wider Perspective
September 5, 2020

As I continue to work through my internship, I am beginning to notice the connections between the people, establishments, and the natural environment within my community more often. This internship has brought new, wider perspectives into my interpretation of commonwealth and its assets. My interests have always centered around wildlife and the environment, however, it wasn’t until recently that I began to pay more attention to how my community influences the environment, and vice versa. Eight of the twelve Key Commonwealth Assets have caught my attention. They are Education, Leisure and Recreation, History, Sense of Place, Water Cycle, Wildlife and the Natural World, Soil and Mineral Cycle, and Foodshed. One topic that was heavily discussed in my college courses was the coexistence of ranchers and wildlife. We often used the example of landowners conserving their playa habitats for the benefit of both their ranches and wildlife. I was surprised to discover that many ranchers in our region are open to the idea and have been working with organizations such as OC to help educate the public about their efforts. Farmers and ranchers also help steward the conservation of our topsoil and groundwater, which both influence our region’s foodshed. Other examples that come to mind are our local 4-H clubs and special school programs. These community leaders are actively getting children involved in a variety of programs and projects that allow them to learn about and interact with their natural resources, and maybe even gain an interest in stewardship. The twelve assets, though each separate in definition, are part of one interconnected whole. Changes to one can influences changes in another, which in turn impact the entire community.