Officials meet to talk about the value of the county's natural resources and how to use them wisely.
When it comes to nature, the prevention is way cheaper than the cure. A 2018 study shows Carbon County saves under a billion dollars each year in natural system services such as clean water and air. And they're calling it a return on their environment.
"You could spend upwards of millions of dollars to put in a water treatment system, or as nature can do that for you for free. So what we're working on, and wanting to educate people on, is how important our natural systems are to our day to day lives." said Kathy Henderson from the Carbon Chamber.
Henderson understands we need sewage services in our towns, but not as much as other counties because our streams, rivers, and trees help us keep our water clean. East Penn Township is an example of using nature to our advantage. It's the future of what younger people are looking for when finding a place to live and raise a family.
"We have 50 percent more outdoor space and recreation in East Penn Township than what's required by the state. And so we're very proud of that." Henderson said.
Christine Dettore from the DCNR said Carbon County has a large mix of outdoor recreation young adults are looking for such as a vast trail system and easy access to water.
Dettore said, "Not every area across the state has a water trail. Or has a long distance trail such as the D&L. We're standing here in Carbon County which as of right now is the only county that has a fully completed D&L trail within it's county borders."
And of course this lends itself to tourism. People from urban or suburban areas will enjoy the outdoors. Businesses will continue to thrive as long as we are clean and green.
"Because they're stopping to get a bottle of water, or they're stopping in Jim Thorpe to get their outfit for that day." Dettore said, "Their hiking shoes, their fishing poles. And then the return is the benefits of you don't have to pay for it because the environment is here."
This is also good for our physical and mental well-being. Just in East Penn Township alone, the study estimates the residents here save over two million dollars a year in healthcare costs just because of outdoor exercise.