Just commenting on the Farmington, Utah nomination...........if you move to Utah, you'll want to live in Salt Lake City itself, not anywhere outside of it. You'll find more diverse opinions and more cool stuff to do in Utah's capital city. (You'll deal with bad air in the winter in Utah, though, unfortunately.)
Yes, Salt Lake City does meet the diversity requirement, while Farmington does not. And the month of January is typically not good for air quality, but the other 11 months are usually great. However, I love the many community gardens, backyard chickens the small town feel, and the relatively large percentage of people who live a more "natural" lifestyle in Farmington, as compared to Salt Lake City. I guess there is always the trade off for what is more important to you.
Melissa Wife to DH, Mom to DS (3 y.o.) and DD (infant) We are a homebirthing, no circ, select and delay vax, cosleeping, full-term breastfeeding happy family!
Peggy, I can't speak for Manhattan, but I can speak for Milwaukee. Our air here is smog-free. Is it pollutant free? I don't know, but I think with air currents, you can't even be assured of that in the suburbs either. We have lake breezes which come directly off of Lake Michigan and we have the north wind which is very unpolluted. Also, cities with long winters tend to have less air pollution because the pollutants are driven to the ground (most of which, like petrol, come from the ground to begin with and are fine on the ground...just not in your lungs).
We do have a long-standing commitment to clean air in Milwaukee also.
I have spent time in Manhattan, but not lived there. I agree that, for the number of people it services, it will never be pollution free.....but it does an incredible job working toward it. Beekeeping on rooftop gardens in Manhattan...and now I hear they're even contemplating rooftop chickens!
In the future, because of the ability to move many people with a single stroke, green mass transit will make its debut in cities first. Cities have always had the advantage of being the places where improvements begin...in the future I believe that green transit will be a city-wide improvement before it ever reaches the suburbs and countries. Our city already has a portion of our buses converted to clean diesel, for example...and we'll be putting in light-rail. All of those improvements will take a long time to reach the smaller counties in the surrounding areas, even as they populate more and more.
You're right, herbsmd, I shouldn't dismiss cities out of hand. Chicago is also a great example of a cool city. I went to college in Milwaukee, Marquette and UWM, so know the city well but not for a long time. So, I don't associate it with pollution air because back in the day there were more factories. Glad to know so much cool stuff is going on there as it is a beautiful city by the lake and you're right that the lake itself helps to clean the air. And, it's good, as you say, to keep an open mind to cities. They can be so vibrant.
I'm surprised that Denver, CO hasn't made the list yet, and therefore I nominate it. I think it's a lot more NFL-friendly than most people realize:
- Easy access to nature through large public parks, bike trails, state and national parks, and nearby bodies of water. - YES. So many parks, the mountains are an hour away, and a wonderful trail system.
- Composting and recycling programs. - Yes on recycling. I'd have to looking into composting programs. Most people I know do their own composting.
- Affordable housing - Yes
- Diverse population - Oh my, yes!
- Good elder services - Yes
- Good public transit - Wonderful bus and light rail system. Unfortunately it's not used by as many people as it should be.
- Child friendly - Yes
- Farmer markets, CSAs, community gardens. - Yes. Again, lots of options to choose from, especially Farmer's Markets.
- Backyard chickens legal - Not sure on this one.
- Homeschool friendly - Yes. I used to teach in public schools, but am surprised how much the homeschool community is growing in Denver and the surrounding areas. There are also some wonderful charter school that focus on experiential education and similar philosophies.
- Midwives and homebirth legal - Yes. I am planning a homebirth in March & considering pursuing midwifery myself.
- Healthy birth culture - Yes. And it's growing. There are several pregnancy centers that have popped up that are offering natural-birth centered classes and services, as well as endorsing breastfeeding.
- Philosophical exemptions for vaccines - Yes
- Alternative and integrative health practitioners - Yes on both
- Breastfeeding friendly - Yes. I haven't had anyone voice concerns about breastfeeding in public.
- Clean air - most of the time. We do have the "brown cloud" that rolls in occasionally.
- Quiet - depends on what part of the city you live in, but most of the neighborhoods that are not right down town are nice, quiet, and family-oriented.
- Great public library and affordable family activities - The library system in Denver is wonderful. There are also a lot of family activities organized by the city recreation district & local businesses, such as Yoga in the Park, free movies, art shows, etc.
- Support groups such as LLL, API, Holistic Moms, and Meetup - Yes to all
Just wanted to chime in to say that Backyard Chickens are definitely legal in Denver! (: And I second Denver as a really fabulous NFL city based on these criteria!
Alissa: married to dh since 05/2006 and mama to Solomon (08/2009) and Ezra (04/2012).
Perhaps not the cleanest, but NYC is much better off than LA, or many California cities: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2011/04/us-cities-dirtiest-cleanest-air/1#.UDwNY1HOTKY
It also includes a boost to Hanover, NH, which I suggested-- top 25 cleanest according to this list.
Book loving, editor mom to 2
Anyone mentioned Asheville, NC yet? It has good parks/bike trails and natural beauty, surrounded by farms and so access to local foods etc. Everything on the list, except not sure how great the public transit is and I know that midwives are NOT legal. Though using local midwives and doulas is a thriving practice. And not sure about the pesticide things.
Oh, and one good quality in my mind... SAFE. Lots of rainfall and not in a hurricane belt, or in an earthquake prone area. :)
homeschooling mom to 2 pisces & 2 sag
Asheville has not been nominated! If you'd like to nominate it would you please follow the directives in my first post?
Here's our list. Have I missed anyone's nomination? Any other nominations before we close this?
1. Portland, OR 18/20
2. Berkeley, CA 19/20
3. Madison, WI 17/20
4. Bend, Oregon 19/20
5. Santa Cruz, Ca.
6. Bellingham, WA 19/20
7. Oakland, CA 19/20
8. Neenah Wisconsin 19/20
9. Eugene, OR 19/20
10. Ferndale, MI 18/20
11. Traverse City, MI
12. Austin, TX 19/20
13. Santa Fe, NM 18/20
14. Chapel Hill NC 20/20
15. Carrboro NC 20/20
16. San Francisco, CA 19/20
17. Toronto, Ontario Canada 18/20
18. Corvallis, Oregon 20/20
19. Nevada City, CA 20/20
20. Brattleboro, VT 20/20
21. Seattle, WA 19/20
22. Belfast, MA 19/20
23. Farmington, UT 18/20
24. Owen Sound, Ontario - may be excluded without confirmation of the qualities
25. Vancouver, BC 20/20
26. Milwaukee, WI 19/20
27. Denver, CO 19/20
28. 28. Victoria, BC 19/20
29. Chicago, IL 15/20
30. Hanover, NH 17/20
31. Des Moines. IA 16/20
The plan is to pick the top ten based on ranking of the nomination qualities and then ask the community to vote and/or confirm the city as a Best Natural Family Living City. We need community confirmation about the qualities of the city and that's the best way we can think of to get that. Any other suggestions or questions before we commence with the voting? If you have any additional info to offer for a particular city feel free to post that, too.
Okay, a vote for ASHEVILLE, NC. Sorry for the late response!
1. nature - tons of this, large public parks, bike trails, state and national parks, water holes etc.
2. composting and recycling programs - yes to recycling programs, no to composting programs
3. affordable housing - absolutely
4. diverse population - not really
5. good elder services - yes
6. good public transit - decent enough for a small town
7. child friendly - yes
8. pesticides banned - um, not to my knowledge
9. farmers markets, CSAs, community gardens - yes
10. backyard chickens legal - yes
11. homeschool friendly - absolutely, tons of homeschoolers
12. midwives and homebirth legal - no but flourishing anyway
13. healthy birth culture - yes
14. philosophical exemptions for vaccines - yes
15. alternative and integrative health practitioners - tons
16. breastfeeding friendly - yes
17. clean air - cleaner than most places
18. quiet - yes
19. great public library & affordable family activities - yes, yes, yes
20. support groups eg. LLL, Holistic Moms - yes
homeschooling mom to 2 pisces & 2 sag
Can anyone tell me which of the places on this list have a local Montessori school through elementary school? I'm having the hardest time finding ones that go through elementary school and not up to age 6!
Madison, WI has a school that goes through 14 yrs (or equivalent of 8th grade).
Jean, feminist mama raising three boys: W (7), E (5) and L (2.15.13)
One thing you could do is use the "Find A School" search at amshq.org. This is the website for the American Montessori Society.
Another good place to search is through the "School Directory" on the North American Montessori Teachers' Association website: montessori-namta.org.
A quality Montessori school is a priority on my list, too! I hope this info helps your search!