Sustainable Communities

Greater awareness of long term impacts of human activity is translating into demand for a greater understanding of how rural communities impact the environment, and how to reduce or mitigate adverse environmental impacts through reduced use of non-renewable resources as well as restoration and development of natural systems. Communities are also under stress of population decline; involving a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including those who do not usually participate in decision-making processes, is important to reverse long term decline and assure sustainability into the future. Rural areas are also interested in developing their share of green jobs and otherwise reinventing their manufacturing base as a way of sustaining the local economy. A better understanding of how and why rural youth engage in sustainability issues is needed.