By John McFerrin
One of the books of my youth was If Everybody Did. It was a series pictures of behaviors followed by what would happen if everyone took the same actions. My personal favorite was, “You throw your oatmeal on the floor. Think what would happen if everybody did.” Turn the page and there was the same kitchen, waist deep in oatmeal.
Which brings us, sort of, to the New River Gorge National River’s Sandstone Visitor Center, the site of the April, 2019, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy Board meeting.
The Visitors Center was designed with all manner of features to conserve energy and generally minimize its impact upon the earth. It is heated and cooled by circulating water underground until it reaches the earth’s natural temperature and then returning it to the Visitors Center for heating and cooling. Its roof is a light color to reflect heat, making it easier to cool the building in the summer. It is landscaped with native plants that require less water, fertilizer, and pesticides than non-natives. What water they do need comes from runoff from the roof and storm water.
There are lots more features. The Visitors Center brochure lists twelve in all. There are little signs around the property pointing out the features.
As Humphrey Bogart said, sort of, in Casablanca, “the efforts of one little Visitors Center don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.” But think what would happen if everybody did.