Sustainability is key to having a successful community and believe it or not, it is a subject that does cross the mind of today's teens. Community involvement and environmental responsibility are important in keeping people involved. McKinney’s diversity is something that makes it unique. Historic downtown McKinney, especially, brings a unique twist on the city because it offers a variety of restaurants, boutiques, and photography and art studios.
For older teens like myself, with graduation approaching, the downtown area is a popular location for senior portraits. Aside from a variety of shops and restaurants, McKinney also offers a variety of natural hike and bike trails. It is more common to see teens outside walking the trails or playing disc golf on the course off of Valley Creek Trail.
The city of McKinney has implemented a new bike plan for 2012 to promote biking as a better way of transportation in the city. This could help stimulate a domino affect and students may even begin riding their bikes to school to help save money and gas. Although it’s not something teens think about everyday, we do take note of the water shortage. It is common for teenagers to try and conserve water by taking shorter showers or turning the water off when brushing their teeth. Most teenagers don’t watch the news, but we are all very aware of the environment and know that we are fortunate to have, what it seems to us, a plentiful amount of clean water.
Environmental responsibility is not the only thing that supports sustainability as community involvement is a huge contributing factor as well. McKinney helps promote community involvement by offering children various opportunities to participate in recreational sports leagues. There are different sports for both boys and girls and this gives parents and kids a chance to meet new people and give back by showing their support. This also helps get families off the TV and into the field or court to have some fun and be more involved.
In my opinion, environmental responsibility and community involvement are key to improving McKinney’s sustainability. Getting teens involved is crucial and the easiest way reach us, other than text messaging, is through school. Promoting awareness and having a competition with a prize or recognizing volunteers might push more teenagers to be more involved. Lets face it, the teenagers of this generation are the future leaders of America and without them, it will be much more difficult to make an impact.
Christine Baker is a contributing writer for TSB and a Senior at McKinney High School.