Matt Bach, Director of Media Relations
Michigan Municipal League
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb 25. 2014
Michigan Communities Go for the Gold in Environmental Leadership
FLINT, Michigan – The 2014 Olympics may be over, but gold, silver and bronze awards are still being handed out to a select group of Michigan communities.
A total of 33 Michigan local governments were recognized for environmental leadership at the Michigan Green Communities conference in Flint on Tuesday, February 25. They are the second set of governments recognized under the recently expanded Michigan Green Communities Challenge (http://mml.org/green). The program helps local leaders measure their progress in implementing energy, economic development and environmental improvements.
“Michigan communities go to great lengths in making sure they are as energy efficient and environmentally sustainable as possible,” David Norwood, sustainability coordinator for the city of Dearborn and co-chair of the Michigan Green Communities steering committee. “These awards recognize that hard work and effort.”
Awards were given at four levels of accomplishment:
Gold: Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Charlevoix, Dearborn, Dexter, Farmington Hills, Grand Rapids, Meridian Township, Oakland County, Rogers City, Williamstown Township
Silver: Berkley, Birmingham, Delta Township, Lathrup Village, Monroe County, Novi, Quincy, Saline
Bronze: Delhi Township, East Jordan, Royal Oak, Sterling Heights, Troy, Warren
Member: Bangor Township, Clawson, Coldwater, Curtis Township, Fremont, Fruitport, Lansing, Livonia
The Challenge is a new tool to help local leaders measure their progress in implementing energy, economic development and environmental improvements. It is supported by the Michigan Association of Counties, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan Economic Development Corporation Energy Office, Michigan Municipal League, and Michigan Townships Association. It uses a rating system to recognize sustainability accomplishments and serves as a guide for the community leaders looking to learn from their peers. Participation is free and open to all local governments in Michigan as part of the statewide Michigan Green Communities network that aims to support local sustainability efforts.
The Challenge launched in 2009 and emphasized energy efficiency projects in an effort to help local governments prepare for and make the best use of federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) funds. In the past, graduate students from the University of Michigan worked with Challenge participants and the staff of a partner organization to update the program and reflect the evolving sustainability standards. The updated challenge reflects broader topics, such as green economic development, resource conservation and water quality, in addition to maintaining a strong energy component.
The Michigan Municipal League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services.