The city of Farmington Hills was recognized for environmental leadership at the Michigan Green Communities conference in Lansing on Nov. 2.
As part of the recently expanded 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.
Farmington Hills achieved Silver status for exemplary action in a variety of categories, including its rebuilt City Hall, which is now LEED Gold-certified and is saving the city 54 percent per square foot on energy costs. The city has also established a Sustainability Fund to recycle city wide energy savings by reinvesting a portion of funds into additional projects. They track their sustainability progress through a dedicated website, www.SustainableFH.com.
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 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. Over the last year, a team of graduate students from the University of Michigan worked with Challenge participants and the staff of partner organizations to update the program. The updated Challenge reflects broader topics, such as green economic development, resource conservation and water quality in addition to maintaining a strong energy component.
Source: Michigan Municipal League press release