48 Michigan Communities Recognized for Sustainability Accomplishments

Matt Bach
Michigan Municipal League
[email protected], 734.669.6317


Local government environmental efforts benchmarked as part of Michigan Green Communities Challenge 

LANSING, Mich. –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, fourteen received silver certification, and twenty five received gold certification.

“Michigan communities are leading the charge to ensure that all Michiganders live in clean, safe, and healthy environments,” EGLE Assistant Division Director for the Materials Management Division Julie Staveland said. “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.”
The 48 communities and their certification levels are as follows:

Bay City
City of Grandville
City of Madison Heights
City of Plymouth
City of St. Joseph
Marquette County
Monroe County
Saugatuck Township
Village of Mackinaw City

City of Birmingham
City of Clare
City of Fennville
City of Grosse Pointe Park
City of Kalamazoo
City of Livonia
City of Sterling Heights
City of Westland
Eaton County
Ingham County
Oakland County
Village of Milford
West Bloomfield Charter Township
Williamstown Township

Charter Township of Canton
City of Ann Arbor
City of Battle Creek
City of Berkley
City of Detroit
City of East Grand Rapids
City of East Lansing
City of Ferndale
City of Grand Blanc
City of Grand Haven
City of Grand Rapids
City of Holland
City of Lansing
City of Marquette
City of Novi
City of Petoskey
City of Portage
City of Rockford
City of Royal Oak
City of Ypsilanti
Delhi Charter Township
Meridian Charter Township
Orion Charter Township
Pittsfield Charter Township
Traverse City

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 and are listed below.

  • City of Ann Arbor
  • City of Battle Creek
  • City of Birmingham
  • City of Ferndale
  • City of Grand Haven
  • City of Grand Rapids
  • City of Petoskey
  • City of Portage
  • City of Rockford
  • Pittsfield Charter Township
  • Traverse City
  • Village of Mackinaw City

Some highlights from the metrics include:

  • Battle Creek reduced municipal water use by over 14% from 2021 to 2022
  • 208 publicly accessible EV charging stations among the twelve communities
  • 44.4% 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% of the area of the Village of Mackinaw City is covered by tree canopy

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 (MGC) program is open to all local governments in Michigan, at no cost. MGC is a sustainability networking, benchmarking, and technical assistance program. It guides and supports municipalities and counties in adapting to a changing climate, protecting infrastructure, improving the quality of life for residents, and creating a more environmentally and economically sustainable future for the state of Michigan.

In January 2023, the MGC program, funded by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), launched the Accelerator Cohort, a free networking and technical assistance program for Bronze- and Silver-certified MGC communities. This cohort helps municipalities and counties accelerate their progress in embedding environmental sustainability in their operations, practices, and policies and move toward Gold-level MGC Challenge certification.
The Accelerator Cohort will first address green infrastructure – features such as green or vegetated roofs and walls, stormwater infrastructure, rain gardens, permeable pavements and surfaces, cisterns, rainwater collection and reuse, native landscaping, and more. Through hands-on exercises with subject matter experts from the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), Lawrence Technological University, and other partners, the cohort will identify relevant green infrastructure solutions and zoning reforms needed to enact those solutions. Once communities complete this green infrastructure module, they will identify another sustainability subject to address as a group. Funding for this technical assistance component of the MGC program comes from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).

Michigan Green Communities is supported by EGLE, MEDC, 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.

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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