An impressive city-wide effort

By Laura Spehar | Apr 26, 2012

Editor:

I am on the Edmonds Mayor's Climate Protection Committee and recently found out the City of Edmonds has applied for the 2012 Assoc. of WA Cities "Going Green" Municipal Excellence Award.

I hope you will help me in spreading the word in recognition of the City's sustainability efforts no matter if the City receives the award or not.

The City has a "green team" made up of staff representing various departments. This team meets regularly to discuss ideas for reducing energy use related to City functions.

I think it is a great inter-departmental effort on the City's part. The City's staff recently worked with the Cascadia Consulting Group on developing the new "energy plan" for the City.

As I look back on some of the "greener" highlights over the past few years of projects the City has taken on to make our town more sustainable I become immediately impressed. Here is a list I have compiled... see if you agree with me.

Edmonds was the first city in WA state to pass an ordinance prohibiting the use of single-use plastic checkout bags in August of 2010.

In May of 2011 the City partnered with Climate Solutions to complete a "New Energy Cities Action Plan".

The City later in hopes of promoting reduced energy consumption passed a Complete Streets Ordinance in June of 2011.

The City used a federal energy efficiency and conservation block grant to purchase 36 energy use meters. The meters are available for local business owners to check-out and use.

Through this same grantor the City received funding to upgrade standard vehicle purchases to acquire hybrid and electric vehicles.

Through a partnership with Charge Point NW, six electric vehicle charging stations were installed in 2011 around the city for public use.

From 2010-2012 the City has been awarded Energy Star labels.

Due to improvements the City has made with their energy initiatives, savings such as $13,900 in 2011 were made at the Public Safety Complex alone.

The list of savings in money and resources goes on and on.

From new LED light poles to replacing inefficient computer servers, the City has been busily going green.

In 2010 the City purchased software that shuts down computers during non-business hours which gives a total savings of 225,000kWh per year.

The Wastewater Treatment Plant went above and beyond in their efforts, so much so I can't list it all in this one letter.

Lastly, the Edmonds Cooperative Solar Project which I am a proud member of; this is the first community solar installation in the Puget Sound region.

I think it being at the Francis Anderson Center has encouraged the Parks Dept., who is now in the process of scheduling green/solar initiatives/education for local residents.

The Parks Dept. has also installed 17 irrigation rain sensors in local ball fields to secure less water waste and also put in drip irrigation systems at local flower beds and planters for that same reason.

I am so proud to write you this letter. I am proud of our City and give big kudos to the City's staff, Council and Advisory Boards.

I leave you with this information and hope that you will help me to let the residents know what good green work their City is doing.

With Earth Day on Sunday.. I couldn't be more proud to live in Edmonds.

We have a bronze level Eco-School at Westgate Elementary, a Platinum level PCC store, Tree City USA status and my favorite – being the 41st Community Wildlife Habitat City in the United States.

It's definitely turning into a "Edmonds Kind of Earth Day"!

 

Laura Spehar

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