48 Communities Recognized for Environmental Sustainability Leadership

Posted on May 16, 2023 by Matt Bach

The Michigan Green Communities (MGC) program is recognizing 48 counties, cities, townships, and villages that took part in the annual MGC Challenge for their environmental leadership.

These communities logged the actions they took through 2022 related to energy efficiency, climate adaptation and resilience, recycling, environmental justice, and more. Nine communities received bronze certification, 14 received silver certification, and 25 received gold certification.

The bronze level certifications went to Bay City, Grandville, Mackinaw City, Madison Heights, Marquette County, Monroe County, Plymouth, St. Joseph, and Saugatuck Township.

Silver level certifications went to Birmingham, Clare, Fennville, Eaton County, Grosse Pointe Park, Ingham County, Kalamazoo, Livonia, Milford, Oakland County, Sterling Heights, West Bloomfield Township, Westland, and Williamstown Township.

Gold level certifications went to Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Berkley, Canton Township, Delhi Township, Detroit, East Grand Rapids, East Lansing, Ferndale, Grand Blanc, Grand Haven, Grand Rapids, Holland, Lansing, Marquette, Meridian Township, Novi, Orion Township, Petoskey, Portage, Pittsfield Township, Rockford, Royal Oak, Traverse City, and Ypsilanti.

A press release about these green communities was released last week and so far several articles have resulted. View the press release here. And here are the articles that have been posted:

This year, the MGC program added metrics to the Challenge for communities to track their success in reducing water use and greenhouse gas emissions, adopting renewable energy and electric vehicles, and more. Twelve communities completed the metrics. They are Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Birmingham, Ferndale, Grand Haven, Grand Rapids, Petoskey, Portage, Rockford, Pittsfield Charter Township, Traverse City, and Mackinaw City. Some highlights from the metrics include:

  • Battle Creek reduced municipal water use by over 14 percent from 2021 to 2022
  • 208 publicly accessible EV charging stations among the twelve communities
  • 4 percent of Grand Rapids’ energy for municipal operations was supplied by renewable sources in 2022
  • 14 cooling centers/resilience hubs were reported among four of the communities
  • Over 53 percent of the area of the Village of Mackinaw City is covered by tree canopy

Your community can be recognized and gain access to free technical assistance from MGC, too, for your sustainability efforts in 2023. Get started by going to or emailing Michigan Municipal League special projects coordinator, Danielle Beard, at [email protected].

Michigan Green Communities is a network of local government staff and officials that is designed to:

  • Promote and facilitate peer learning and sharing to support innovative solutions for community sustainability and livability.
  • Recognize communities for their sustainability accomplishments.
  • Promote Michigan’s leadership role in environmental stewardship and green economic development.
  • Enhance Michigan’s economic competitiveness in the 21st century global green economy.
  • Develop and share world-class models that will reduce costs and increase business activity in our communities and stimulate world-class research, development and commercialization of breakthrough green technologies, products, and processes.

The Michigan Green Communities program is open to all local governments throughout Michigan, at no cost. The program guides and supports communities in adapting to a changing climate, protecting infrastructure, improving the quality of life for neighbors, and creating a more environmentally and economically sustainable future for communities throughout Michigan.

Michigan Green Communities is supported by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), the Michigan Economic Development Corp., the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Michigan Department of Transportation, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Michigan Association of Counties, the Michigan Municipal League, and the Michigan Townships Association.

“Michigan communities are leading the charge to ensure that all Michiganders live in clean, safe, and healthy environments,” said Julie Staveland, EGLE Assistant Division Director for the Materials Management Division. “The Michigan Green Communities program amplifies and accelerates their progress in improving air and water quality, adopting clean energy, building the circular economy and becoming more resilient in the face of climate change.”

More details can be found at Questions regarding the Michigan Green Communities program can be directed to Danielle Beard, Michigan Green Communities program coordinator, [email protected]. Media inquiries can be directed to Matt Bach, League assistant director of communications and media, [email protected].

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