It goes without saying that Shorewood's natural goal is that of maintaining its independent existence from the city of Milwaukee from which it evolved.
Therefore, as Shorewood is immediately adjacent to Milwaukee it will constantly be seeking and attempting to become self-sustaining and a self-contained community regardless as to whether the full intent of that goal will ever be attained.
Because of its nature, that of a suburb rather than that of a spontaneously self-generated village or small town, Shorewood is more or less a “derived” community contingent to and an outgrowth of its parent city.
Therefore, as such it must superimpose as many community forming elements as possible that operate toward our remaining self-sustaining and significantly independent, as we, as a community set out to do many years ago.
Today many physically uniting elements are available. Solar and wind energy can be provided from within the community, if not on an individual, small group or block by block basis, then as a total community integration.
As energy is one of the most important of our needs, we should seek to supply most of our required energy on our own as we possibly can and include this as a required element in all of our new developments, especially those initiated by the Village.
Our own fresh water supply is quite important too of course. How to do we attempt to provide that independently? Are there certain water treatment methods that would make that economically possible? Could run-off water play a role in our water supply?
Run-off water can be retained in various ways for future treatment and utilization.
Sewerage and garbage under self-contained and organic treatment systems can produce both a supply of sterile hot water and methane gas, two elements for operating steam generated electricity. Many treatment plants already have this element in place, although at a small scale.
One or a few of these methods would operate toward our overall goal of a self-sustaining community. The very establishment of these goals and a process for achieving them my move us toward a self-contained community.
Perhaps not a completely achievable goal, but the effort to reach this goal must remain constant. The effort itself releases many social community forming energies.
Enhancing existing social elements, such as our school system, health services and community provided security services all add to our objective of reaching that point of a self-contained and sustainable community.
Accommodating our elders as we do our school children is another of these self-containing community elements. We need to direct a great deal of thought to this aspect of community. Private services of sorts should also be encouraged as long as they are community forming elements.
Some of these objectives are more practical and more feasible than others and therefore present the best opportunities. Some have long term possibilities and must also be kept visibly before us as goals in order to initiate action when opportunities present themselves.
Our goal for sustainability is a constant one and must be pursued with vigor and at all times.
Although we are involved with other things, we can not lose sight of that main and basic goal, that of sustainability. We should constantly be looking for projects. The Solar Energy Tree is apparently one of these projects that we should seize on as an opportunity.
Let's start digging into solar energy right away and meanwhile let's start to look toward developing a long term solar energy program. Is there any reason why we should not?
These physical community services can assist us in developing the new self-containing structure that is required to maintain our long-term independence and sustainability.