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A Question of Quality and Crickets

Here, in the last hours of a mid-July afternoon, mulling over the principles that define a Quality of Life, golden sunlight splashes its last rays on dancing leaves across the weathered fence in my backyard in a small pocket of the Truckee Meadows. This is quality time.

The question of a quality life is central to our choices we make as we strive to live our best lives and yet the backdrop of our existence is often forgotten in our rush toward more and better.

As dusk approaches little sparrows flit about settling in for the night. The earth turns slowly toward a star-filled night and the purple mountains rise above the Cottonwoods as I wait for the crickets to enter nature’s symphony. In these moments I am rich beyond my income level, satisfied to the depths of my being and wonder if I have tuned-in to an ancient frequency of the native dwellers who knew they lived in the best place in the world! Surely a quality moment.

Suspended in a moment like that, I wonder how these values of wealth beyond-money can translate into a concept of Quality of Life in our community?

A Report on the Quality of Life in Washoe County

Just this month, a couple of local organizations published a new reference document to help us reflect on the Quality of Life over the last 12 years to get a perspective on how we are doing in and what we need to attend. Truckee Meadows Tomorrow (TMT) and United Way of Northern Nevada and Sierra (UWNNS) compiled The Truckee Meadows Community Progress Report as a quick reference and a portal to deeper dives into the factors that affect the Quality of Life in Washoe County. Set on a background of a 14% population increase, the report is full of large samples of data highlighting successes in resource use along with some glaring issues that need our attention; it is an invitation to locals to identify and collaborate on the Quality of Life in Washoe County so we can become better together.

Defining Quality of Life

Quality is a term that draws on ideas of endurance, reliability, preference and satisfaction and having a superior experience so it seems to align with the proverbially trio of things that make us healthy, wealthy and wise. Things that cultivate goodness in life. Do crickets count? Absolutely!

Quality of Open Spaces, Parks and Trails

TMPF has been working on improving the Quality of life factors for almost 10 years. We collaborate with others in the community that work on preserving and protecting the backdrop of our lives: our environment; the foundation of all life. By collaborating with others whose work aligns with our own, we synergize our efforts to accomplish more than we ever could alone; thank you to our sponsors and members.

The Report from TMT and UWNNS shows that our mission of protecting and enhancing our community's livability through public engagement, education, and the sustainability of our parks, open spaces, and trails, is on-point to providing health and wellbeing to our community within our urban setting.

One of our projects is the rewilding of the Rosewood Nature Study Area, a 15-year project entering its second year, to become a much needed regional park. The goals are to restore the wetlands to prime condition in order to provide a carbon sink for greenhouse gasses of our urban lifestyles. It adds 220 acres to the open spaces that contribute to the physical and mental health of our community. And it will become the crown-jewel of outdoor science education where we will prepare future generations to be stewards of the land we all rely on.

As our blue-marble world makes grand sweeps around the sun, many of us persist in what Gen Z encourages us to call Eco-optimism; to assure a rich Quality of Life for generations to come. TMPF invites you to contribute to our work to support our community now and in the future…which includes the crickets who add their song to the sensory symphony of a rich Quality of Life here in the Truckee Meadows.


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