The cities of Highland and Alton were recently awarded for their participation in the pilot program of the Green Cities Challenge, while Madison County was awarded for its efforts as a champion level participant in the Green Business Challenge.
The Green Business Challenge is a joint program developed in 2010 by the St. Louis Regional Chamber and the Missouri Botanical Gardens to support the adoption of fiscal, social and environmental improvements for businesses within the Greater St. Louis area.
The Green Cities Challenge is aimed at promoting sustainability on a municipal level.
The City of Highland was recognized for:
▪ Instituting a Complete Streets Policy;
▪ Creating an opportunity for children to interact with nature in a mini-ecosystem at Silver Lake Park; and
▪ Establishing a community recycling policy for curbside recycling and city departments.
Highland is also building its momentum in sustainability.
“Having the opportunity to be a part of the Green Cities Initiative has shed new light on best management practices in the green industry,” stated Mark Rosen, Highland’s director of Parks and Recreation. “We are excited to embark on incorporating new ideas to be an area leader in conserving and enhancing our environmental resources.”
Alton was recognized for:
▪ Holding “How to Balance Energy Efficiency with Historic Preservation” workshop;
▪ Adopting a Climate Action Plan; and
▪ Reducing energy consumption at Alton Public Works building from 579,000 kWh to 372,155 in three years because of lighting upgrades and other energy efficiency strategies.
Madison County was recognized for:
▪ Coordinating the incineration of more than 1,225 pounds of unused prescription medication through the Rx Takeback Program, in partnership with the Madison County Sheriff’s Department and the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office
▪ Awarding $16,117 in grant funds to nine county schools for sustainable projects including solid waste management, air quality initiatives, energy efficiencies and stormwater projects
▪ Collecting and recycled 668.54 tons of recyclables at seven collection sites located throughout Madison County
▪ Working with the U.S. EPA to initiate the Air Quality Flag program in county schools.
“Supporting local governments, businesses and residents through innovative sustainable programs will lead to a better future for Madison County, for our region and, most importantly, for our residents,” said Madison County Chairman Alan Dunstan. “The County’s Sustainability Program, which includes the innovative Green Schools Program, continues to lead the way toward a more sustainable future within the region.”