An Environmentally Friendly Theme Park

The earth is dying. Every day we as humans harm the earth by burning fossil fuels, polluting waterways, littering, and taking no action to help solve those problems. Thankfully, mother nature has presented us an easy solution for many of those problems: trees.

Trees operate in such a way that they actually remove pollutants from the earth by removing carbon from the air through photosynthesis, as well as preventing erosion and runoff of chemicals into our waterways. Unfortunately, trees are also seen as a valuable resource, and thus are destroyed at incredible rates. This in and of itself is not a problem, but we have let it become one because we do not replace the trees at the same rate that we destroy them. This leads to an imbalance in pollutants and the earth’s ability to remove them. My goal is to raise funds to reforest many parts of the world through profits earned from an environmentally friendly theme park.

Now this sounds like a very obscure goal, but for me, it is not. I currently work as an operations supervisor at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, a theme park owned by Sea World Parks and Entertainment, in Williamsburg, Virginia. Our park not only houses world-class rides and attractions, but we also have a strong focus on animals and the environment. This job has given me a passion for the theme park industry and for environmental care, and I want to take the theme park conservation concept to the next level. This park will feature environmentally friendly procedures such as water recycling systems, solar panels, hydroelectric power sources, compost bins, reusable dishware, and many other methods, but it will also have a major focus on helping the environment outside of the park.

Many companies ranging from stores to web browsers are focused on reforesting the planet by utilizing some of their profits to plant trees all over the world. I plan to join this coalition of businesses with this park. Once the park has been developed, the energy sources have been created, and the water is being recycled, the operating costs of the park will be relatively low, as most of the required resources will have already been purchased and will simply be reused over and over. For this reason, I hope to use a large percentage of the extra profits to fund reforestation efforts. Guests will also be able to make donations through merchandise purchases, which will give them a direct way to help with our reforestation efforts.

Not only will the park be undertaking these reforestation efforts, but it will also encourage guests to do the same. I plan to incorporate signs and activities that help educate the guests about the consequences of deforestation, as well as the benefits and success of current reforestation efforts. There will also be information about how guests can get involved at home by planting their own trees and joining the fight against deforestation.

Overall, I understand that this is a very specific and slightly obscure goal to increase reforestation efforts, but I know that it will have a major effect on reforestation and bettering the environment as a whole. Although the park may have a limit on how effective it’s reforestation efforts can be, the ability to promote awareness in the guests will have the most influential and lasting impact. Every person that walks through the gates will leave with raised awareness over the problem, as well as resources to solve it.  That is the best way to make change. Not just by making it yourself, but by infinitely increasing the outlets for change to occur, and that is exactly what this park will do. We won’t just plant one tree; we will teach thousands of people to plant trees.

Scholarship Essay by Campbell Burden

UCA’s most recent Scholarship Essay Contest for High School Juniors and Seniors officially ended on May 15, 2020.  While the theme has always been to explore ways to make a more caring world, our most recent  Essay Contest specifically asked how they would make a more caring world in one of four categories  – Children – Animals – Reforestation – Elderly.  The winning essays have been posted and awards distributed. 

Because there were so many impressive essays submitted from across the U.S., we decided to share many of these students’ inspiring caring actions with you in this publication. Through their essays, the students provide a refreshing insight into their minds and hearts, offering an in depth view of our world that we often overlook. They take us on a journey rich in knowledge, personal experience and creative solutions.  It is our hope you will feel as informed and inspired as we do. We are proud to present to you the writings, thoughts and dreams for a more caring future through these articles.