The City of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan's Business School will host the Michigan Green Communities Leadership Academy July 16 & 17. The Academy, facilitated by the Institute for Sustainable Communities and sponsored by the Michigan Municipal League, Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Ann Arbor SPARK, will be an opportunity for local government leaders and their regional partners to learn and develop strategies to further green economic development. 18 cities, from Marquette to Detroit, are sending teams of three or four individuals to participate in the event. Those teams will learn about sustainability initiatives in Michigan and across the country that can be adapted and implemented locally. They will learn valuable strategies for engaging the public and communicating about the economic and community benefits of sustainability. And they will build leadership capacity and skills to advance sustainability initiatives together when they return home.
The Michigan Green Communities network is dedicated to bringing unique peer-learning and technical assistance opportunities, such as this Leadership Academy, to its members. Mark your calendars now for the third annual Green Communities conference November 2 in Lansing. To join the network, contact Laura Matson.
Luke Forrest is Project Coordinator for the Center for 21st Century Communities. Contact him by email or Twitter.
The third annual Michigan Green Communities conference is scheduled for November 2, 2012, at the Michigan Municipal League's Capital Office in Lansing. Staff and elected/appointed officials from local government, colleges and universities, or other organizations partnering with local government are invited to submit a proposal to present at the conference. Initial presentations to the entire audience of 75 will last 10 minutes. Presenters will then have the opportunity to lead break-out discussion sessions with 10-30 attendees to continue a more in-depth conversation about the presentation topic. Submit your proposal here by July 27.
Contact Laura Matson with the City of Ann Arbor with any questions. Visit the Green Communities webpage for presentations and videos from the previous two conferences.
Federal agencies are offering two new grant opportunities for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. US EPA will fund feasibility studies for renewable energy developments on brownfields or other contaminated properties. Local governments are eligible grant recipients. Applications are due May 20. The Department of Agriculture is offering grants and loans to rural small business owners and agricultural producers for energy efficiency or renewable energy projects through its Rural Energy for America Program. Applications for the next round of grants are due June 15.
Luke Forrest is Project Coordinator for the Center for 21st Century Communities. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-669-6323.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced its 2010 rankings of metropolitan areas with the most Energy Star certified buildings. Detroit jumped six spots from the 2009 list into ninth place. Energy Star buildings must meet certain energy-efficiency criteria and be certified each year by an independent professional. The EPA estimates that the owners of metro Detroit's 151 Energy Star buildings are saving nearly 19 million dollars annually because of increased efficiencies.
EPA provides a searchable map that allows you to find Energy Star buildings in and around your community. Spread the word about this program to local school board members, business owners and other building owners and let's see if Michigan's metro areas can keep climbing the rankings in 2011.
Luke Forrest is Project Coordinator for the Center for 21st Century Communities. Contact him at 734-669-6323 or email@example.com.