By: Izzy Schwarze
If you walk anywhere in Oxford this fall, you will seen the streets sprinkled with the colorful fall leaves, but this year you will also see signs for the Oxford City Council race. This year one of Miami’s own professors is running. David Prytherch is a father, husband, professor, and an active member of the Oxford community. For fourteen years, he has grown his life and his family in Oxford. He teaches geography at Miami University, as well as serves the Oxford community on multiple committees ranging from the Transportation Committee to the Planning Committee. This November David Prytherch is running for City Council.
For four years on campus, he served as Miami’s first ever Sustainability Chair. Students and members of the community noticed that Miami need to begin to take steps to eliminate their carbon footprint, so a sustainability committee was formed. Prytherch was appointed to oversee its progress. He helped to steer the campus in the right direction and set goals for Miami’s sustainability advancements. Today around campus tangible progress, guided by Prytherch, can be seen: geothermal wells around campus, public transportation for students, and single stream recycling.
For 10 years, Prytherch has served on the Planning Commission for the city. He has guided goals and formulated plans to work towards a more sustainable Oxford. One of his triumphs with his time on the planning commission has been co-writing and organizing the first area trails. These are trials that are enjoyed by all members of the community, students included, that allow for people to be immersed in the beautiful nature that Ohio has to offer.
“Locally grown and operated businesses boost your community character” says Prytherch, an advocate for strong local business, “they put more money back into the local community, and they are the types of businesses that are going to sponsor your soccer team.”
Prytherch believes in cultivating people and an economy that will set Oxford and Miami apart from other towns and campuses. The community has an excellent, high quality organic food scene, which is just one of the examples of what Prytherch believes makes Oxford highly distinctive from any other town.
Prytherch has high hopes for Oxford’s sustainable future. He believes that, as a community, we should set long term goals together to create a place we want to be in ten or twenty years from now. In the past, Oxford has exhibited that not leaving a carbon footprint is important. The entire community decided together to switch to wind generated energy; this is the exact mentality that Prytherch hopes to capture: thinking big and thinking together. Secondly, Prytherch hopes to formulate a comprehensive planning approach to making the town more efficient and environmentally friendly.
When asked what he believes is the biggest issue facing Oxford’s sustainable future, Prytherch said, “to me, it is thinking small. It is not so much a single issue. These problems with sustainability are not as hard to tackle as you think they may be, and if we think a little bit more boldly and we have a goal and we set some reasonable targets, we can do it.”
Photo by Andrew Lynn.