Matt Bach, Director of Media Relations
Michigan Municipal League
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb 25. 2014
Ann Arbor Recognized for Environmental Leadership
FLINT, Michigan – The City of Ann Arbor was recognized for environmental leadership at the Michigan Green Communities conference in Flint on February 25. As part of the Michigan Green Communities Challenge, participating local governments were awarded Gold, Silver, Bronze or Member seals of achievement reflecting community leadership in areas such as natural resource conservation, green economic development and energy efficiency.
Ann Arbor achieved Gold status for exemplary action in a variety of categories, including the collaborative regional initiative county-wide transit planning and HUD corridor planning. The HUD-funded study, led by Ann Arbor-based consultant SmithGroupJJR, provides a future vision for cross-sections along the 5-mile stretch of Washtenaw Avenue, including sidewalks, bike lanes, vehicular lanes, and detailed future right-of-way needs.
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.