Record Number of Communities Participate in 2023 Michigan Green Communities Challenge

Jessica Weirauch
Michigan Municipal League
[email protected], 734-669-6311


ANN ARBOR, Mich. – A record 63 local governments across Michigan have been recognized for their sustainability efforts and environmental leadership through their participation in the Michigan Green Communities (MGC) Challenge. This year’s participants included 43 cities, 11 townships, 7 counties and 2 villages. Together, they represent 4.1 million Michiganders.

“Michigan’s local governments are critical to creating and protecting clean, safe and healthy environments for Michiganders,” said Julie Staveland, Assistant Division Director for the Materials Management Division of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). “We’re proud to support the Michigan Green Communities program and partner with them to accelerate local action on waste diversion, energy efficiency, clean energy adoption and climate resilience. This year’s record-breaking participation in the MGC Challenge is a testament to the program’s ability to provide local governments with an accessible list of best practices while supporting them with technical assistance to reach their goals.”

Communities are awarded bronze, silver, gold or platinum seals of achievement. These certifications reflect their leadership in areas such as energy efficiency, climate adaptation and resilience, recycling, environmental justice and more. For the 2023 Challenge, there were 36 communities that achieved gold seals, 20 achieved silver seals and 7 achieved bronze seals. This year’s Challenge retained 96% of participants and had 10 new participants.

This year’s 63 participating communities’ certifications were:

Bronze: City of Bay City, City of St. Joseph, Kalamazoo County, City of Brighton, Monroe County, City of Clawson and Village of Mackinaw City.

Silver: City of Fennville, Saugatuck Township, City of Clare, City of Hancock, Ingham County, Williamstown Township, City of Grandville, City of Eastpointe, Marquette County, City of Madison Heights, Village of Milford, City of Troy, Buena Vista Charter Township, Scio Township, Washtenaw County, City of Dearborn, City of Livonia, City of Plymouth, Plymouth Charter Township and the City of Grosse Pointe Park.

Gold: City of Coldwater, City of Battle Creek, City of Petoskey, City of Grand Blanc, Delhi Charter Township, City of East Lansing, City of Lansing, Meridian Charter Township, City of Kalamazoo, City of Portage, City of East Grand Rapids, City of Grand Rapids, City of Rockford, City of Sterling Heights, City of Marquette, City of Ludington, City of Muskegon, City of Berkley, City of Birmingham, City of Ferndale, City of Novi, Oakland County, Orion Township, City of Royal Oak, City of Southfield, West Bloomfield Charter Township, City of Northville, City of Grand Haven, City of Holland, City of Ann Arbor, Pittsfield Charter Township, City of Ypsilanti, Canton Charter Township, Macomb County, the City of Detroit and the City of Traverse City.

“I am very encouraged by the response to the MGC Challenge that we saw this year,” said Danielle Beard, MGC Program Coordinator. “In a time when equitable climate action at every level is imperative to protect current and future generations, we are seeing more and more Michigan local governments stepping up to the challenge. Next on the horizon for MGC is to continue expanding participation, particularly among historically under-invested and overburdened communities, to accelerate this critical work.”

Michigan Green Communities (MGC) is a free program open to all local governments in the state. MGC provides networking, benchmarking and technical assistance to guide communities in their work to improve their sustainability efforts and adapt to our changing climate. The program also helps communities to protect infrastructure and to improve the quality of life for those living in their communities. The goal of this work is to create a more environmentally and economically sustainable future for Michigan.

MGC is supported by EGLE, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (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. MGC is funded by EGLE and MEDC with in-kind staffing support from the Michigan Municipal League.

More information about the program is available at Questions regarding the program can be directed to the League’s Danielle Beard, Program Coordinator of Michigan Green Communities, at [email protected]. For media inquiries, contact the League’s Jessica Weirauch, Director of Marketing and Communications, at 734-669-6311 and [email protected].


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