“Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve done it again! For twenty-five years in a row Iowa County has been ranked as the best in the state,” boasted board chairperson, I. M. Proud.
“What a record! How did this start?” Anita Nohow, the newest board member, asked.
“Back in 2014 we received news that the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation determined we were #1 in the ‘Health Outcomes’ area. Ever since, we’ve been ranked #1in some area each year. These past ten years it’s been in environmental sustainability,” replied Olive A. Kleenerth.
“Wow, what environmental factors do they consider?” Anita Nohow asked.
Everyone was eager to brag up his special field of interest. Rich Huemus spoke first. “The farmers have really led the way. Between rotational grazing and regenerative organic cropping, our farmers actually sequester, that is soak up, more carbon dioxide than we put into the atmosphere. They’re helping reverse the negative effects of climate change.”
Colleen N. Ergy jumped right in. “Don’t forget about our distributive energy system that supplies power to our community owned co-ops. Almost every rooftop is graced with solar panels. No need to buy fossil fuels from other states, and almost no green house gas emissions.”
S. A. Warmhaus interrupted, “All that power generation is great but don’t forget about our house weather-proofing and insulation retro-fit programs. And all newly constructed homes include passive solar and thermal heat sink features. Many of our homes use almost no energy input to stay toasty warm in the winter and cucumber cool in the summer.”
Not wanting to be overlooked, E. Lex Tricar stood up. “What about our transportation system? Once we set up the network of charging stations those solar panels provide the power for most of our private vehicles. And county bio-digesters provide the liquid fuels for heavy equipment. Expanded mass transit to Madison and Dubuque is icing on the cake!”
“It almost seems like a dream,” said Proud. “Back in ’14 when my uncle, Macon A. Neworld, was on this board he and the other members had a vision of a cleaner, more sustainable way for our county to prosper. Uncle Macon said he knew we could do it and that we must. ‘This is the only home we’ll ever know,’ he said. ‘We must treat it with respect because we are forever…Earthbound.’”