Environmental Advantages of Small Town Life

Okmulgee is a proud community within the greater Tulsa Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Many people choose to live in Okmulgee and commute to Tulsa for their work. This affords them the “best of both worlds”—the comforts of small town living plus access to the amenities of a major urban environment. Okmulgee is fortunate to have many residential properties that are affordable and desirable for young families who are connected to Tulsa. Numerous houses in our local inventory would make excellent starter homes or charming project houses.

Q: How can we get more young adults and young families interested in living in Okmulgee?

Young people today have been raised in a culture that has taught them to be health-conscious and concerned for the environment. These admirable characteristics might also help persuade them to reconsider their decision to live in a major metropolitan area.

In response to this question, all last month, we’ve been talking about different advantages of living in a small town—how we can sell the idea of living in Okmulgee to young adults. Too often, we take our local amenities for granted or just focus on the negative things about our community. But if we want to sell our way of life to someone who does not live here, we need to brush up on the rewards of living in a small town like Okmulgee. This week, I would like to stress the “environmental advantages” of living in a small town:

  1. There’s a sense of place to be preserved. Small towns each have their own character and charm, and often, a strong connection to their own history. There’s something special about preserved buildings, old streets, decades-old traditions, and one-of-a-kind stores and restaurants.
  2. You’re more likely to be closer to nature or anything other than city streets. Small towns are better known for their natural wonders than for their overcrowded streets and sidewalks. Because there’s less city sprawl, it means quicker access to things like nature trails, mountains, streams, or lakes.
  3. Fewer cars means cleaner air. People can enjoy a healthier lifestyle when there is less air pollution, which works out great for people in small towns because there are no smog alerts here. Residents of small towns can generally enjoy the great outdoors whenever they desire.
  4. There’s a hometown feel with all the conveniences of big city life. You can get all of the first-class service and hospitable treatment in your quaint local businesses and restaurants that you would get in a city bustling with trendy cafés and pop-up shops. Basically, it’s the best of both worlds.
  5. There’s less light pollution and more birds and animals. No skyscrapers or big box stores means no bright lights to block out the constellations. There’s also a wide assortment of animal life that can be seen every day. It’s a great place to set up a telescope or to use your binoculars. Sky watchers and birdwatchers alike really have it made in a small town.

I’m still receiving wonderful suggestions for future installments of this column. Please keep them coming to osuit-president@okstate.edu.