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The good life can be found here

We were happy to learn that Denton is back in the national spotlight for the quality of life its residents enjoy, and we think the honor is well-deserved.

Writer David Wann featured Denton among the “8 Great Places You’ve (Maybe) Never Heard Of, 2012 Edition,” in Mother Earth News magazine.

“It’s to spotlight underappreciated communities that, large or small, are succeeding in creating a good home for the people who live there and are making choices with an eye to sustainability,” Wann wrote in the article appearing in the October-November edition.

We like that recommendation because we believe that Denton has become a leader among North Texas cities for its efforts to promote environmental awareness.

The magazine is known for its coverage of organic foods, country living, natural health and green building. The author cited Denton as “a leader in clean energy,” and he pointed out that a Denton fire station was the second in the country to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED gold certification for environmentally responsible buildings.

The article also mentions that 40 percent of the electricity consumed by the city is wind-generated, making it the country’s highest per capita wind-energy consumer.

We have to think that the “underappreciated” tag probably refers primarily to residents of other areas who aren’t familiar with Denton, but there are probably a few folks in these parts who may be unaware of the extent of the city’s sustainability efforts.

“I was delighted to find out everything Denton is doing,” Wann said. “Denton fit our qualifications of what we were looking for very well.”

The author mentioned other strong points, too, of course, including Denton’s colorful history, the addition of the new commuter rail line, and cultural programs including the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo and the Denton Arts & Jazz Festival.

Other cities featured in the article were Golden, Colo.; Dover, N.H.; Lawrence, Kan.; Charleston, S.C.; Port Townsend, Wash.; Red Lodge, Mont.; and Hilo, Hawaii.

Wann acknowledged that cities that made the “Great Places” list aren’t perfect, but he states that each featured city represents a community that’s engaged in the discussion to move the town and its environment forward.

We think that’s a pretty good recommendation all by itself.

“Increasingly, the world is coming to realize that Denton is a leading center for creativity, culture and sustainability,” City Council member Kevin Roden said in a statement. “There’s just something about the soul of this town that breeds greatness and ambition among our citizens well beyond what you’d expect of a city our size.”

Denton is only the third Texas city to make the magazine’s list since it was created a few years ago. Wimberley was listed in 2006, and Fredericksburg made the list in 2011.

We think you — the people who make up the “engaged community” that Wann mentioned — deserve a lot of credit for all you’ve done to help make Denton “a great place,” and we encourage you to continue your efforts.

Denton does offer a high quality of life, and it’s up to each of us to make sure that continues.