Sustainability is more than a property management team that drives a fleet of 50 mpg Toyota Prius’ and introduces community gardening practices to its residents. At Capstone sustainability also is an enduring commitment to where we live and work through a focus on all things local – products, partners, people, produce – combined with a stewardship mentality of preserving Southeastern Ohio’s natural and human resources. We have a long way to go, and continue to search globally for best practices, but the following are some examples of our efforts to engender sustainable community impact.
A sense of place is difficult to define, and harder yet to create, but Athens County overflows with it. Whether it is the brick streets, Appalachian culture juxtaposed within an international community, an economy of innovation and agriculture, university scholars and iconoclasts, an on, our community has an inimitable spirit. We try to sustain that unique sense of place through restoration of some of Athens historically significant structures, support of local entrepreneurs and businesses, and other activities that imbue that Athens spirit.
Tearing down a 2,000 sq. ft. historic home results in a lot of refuse; renovating such a historic structure saves the same amount of new material required for the replacement home. Recycling the old fashion way. We’ve rehabilitated some historic homes where it wasn’t economically justified. We’re okay with that.
Southeastern Ohio has an abundance of locally manufactured products and resources, some well-know, such as the paw-paw, most largely hidden. Take the sycamore tree, for example, plentiful yet often dismissed as a wood product. Harvested and milled locally, it’s renewable and Capstone’s proffered local-sourced paneling for closet and office interiors.
A garden says community. Very local produce. And healthy eating. Capstone gardens, designed by landscape architect John Tracy III, are a popular gathering place of many Capstone communities (vegetables always taste better when picked 50 feet from your door). Our gardens, walking trails, and other activity-oriented amenities aren’t for everyone, but those that like neighborhood interaction often call it their home.
Partnering locally pays dividends, particularly in Appalachian Ohio where business-to-business connections and new economic development have a strong multiplier effect. Trusted as a partner, we continually look to expand local connections and investments.
We take seriously the role of training and developing folks starting early in their careers and onward. Our youth programs are oriented around developing good habits, skills acquisition, and responsibility. A demanding but ultimately rewarding university internship program has become highly sought after by undergraduates and graduate students, and graduated alumni with impressive career advancement.